Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recently my bread has been turning out a flat little rectangle that is twice as wide as it is tall. I was getting sick of having miniature sandwiches! Yesterday, my bread was so pretty I had to take a picture of it and post it. Yeah for normal-shaped bread!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Thanks to Carrie and Ms. Tee who commented on my first post about my past. They both found it interesting that I was homeschooled, so I thought I'd talk about that in a little more detail.

My sister and I both loved being homeschooled. Now, I’m not na├»ve; I do realize that homeschooling is not for everyone. Just in our case, it worked out quite well!

We would do our schoolwork in the mornings (usually), and then have the whole afternoon for fun stuff. I remember learning fractions by helping my mom double or half recipes. I remember my mom countless times telling me to look up a word in the dictionary to figure out how to spell it or what it meant. (By the way, that fostered a lifelong love of the dictionary and using words correctly, even though it drove me crazy at the time!)

A normal week would look like this:

Sunday – church
Monday – homeschool band (when we were a little older)
Tuesday – swimming lessons, in season
Wednesday – evening church
Thursday – co-op with other homeschooled families

Friday and Saturday were let free for impromptu playtimes with friends or special trips downtown or whatnot. You can see that we didn’t suffer from social deprivation in any way!

I loved the days when we’d be going somewhere in the morning, like band or co-op, and we'd pull up to a stoplight next to a school bus full of kids. We would always laugh because they would look at us like, “Why aren’t you in school?” And we were in school!

Homeschooling taught me how to really learn. When I started public school in 9th grade, my natural sciences teacher would keep saying to the students, “You all learned this in 6th grade; why don’t you remember any of it?!” I sat in my seat and thought to myself, “I never learned this specific information before, yet I’m acing (literally) every test!”

Homeschooling gave me a love for learning as well. Even today, I love to study new subjects or go more in depth in my favorite subjects (music, theology, ancient languages, science, etc.).

(I could talk about this forever and ever, so I’d better call it quits here, since I need to finish up making dinner.)

If you are considering homeschooling with your children, I would heartily recommend it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

About Me

Since Tim and I had tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner, and since we're planning on eating from the cupboard all week, I thought I'd share a little bit about myself.

I'm the youngest of two girls. My older sister is two years, eight days, and a few minutes older than me. I grew up in the Minneapolis area (Minnesota), and actually didn't mind the snow.

Now, one of my cousin (who was just visiting last weekend) has a memory like an elephant. She can tell you vivid details from each year of life. She'll say something like, "I loved playing kickball in second grade, but I didn't like it as much in third grade.." I don't have as specific of memories, and I really don't have as good of a timeline in my head.

My sister and I were homeschooled until highschool; I think that's why the grades all run together in my memory. I really loved being homeschooled. I think it's a great way to go! I could go on and on about it, but I won't do that right here and now. (I may do it some point, though.)

When I was young, I enjoyed reading and playing make believe with my sister. We had so much fun pretending to live on a farm and ride horses. We'd also pretended to be on space ships, and built forts, and played with dolls and Lincoln logs and legos. Oh, what fun we had!

Because we were homeschooled, we did a ton of fun stuff! We were in a homeschool band, went on field trips with other homeschooling families, went to the nature center, and had a weekly co-op meeting. We made wonderful friends, many of whom are still our good friends today.

I was blessed to have such a good childhood. I'll tell you more about my older childhood years later this week.

Let me know if you have a specific question about me that you'd like me to answer!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Breakfast

Here's what we had for breakfast this morning.

There's nothing on it, no sauce or dressing or whatnot. Just fruit. Sometimes simple is gooooood!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mac 'n' Cheese - Finally

I've finally come up with a Macaroni and Cheese recipe that I like! After having two failed attempts, I'm glad I stuck with it.

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons rice flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
16 oz. uncooked rice pasta

Prepare the rice pasta as directed on the package. Will that is cooking, melt the butter in a sauce pan or stock pot. Once it's completely melted, add the rice flour little by little while whisking to create a roux.

Then whisk in the milk. Once it's blended with the roux, add the seasonings. Then add the cheese and stir constantly until it's melted.

When the pasta is fully cooked, add it to the cheese sauce, and there you go!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CVS Money Saving Trip

Eating gluten free can be expensive. I love it when I can save money on non-food products, so I have more dollars left for food!

Here's the deal that I got today at CVS that definitely helped stretch our food/consumables budget this week.

What I Got

CVS vitamin E oil - 0.78 (on clearance)
2 Oral-B Indicator toothbrushes - 3.98
Revlon mascara - 6.49
Advil Children's - 5.79
Advil PM - 5.29
CVS sunblock - 1.99
Hefty ultra-flex garbage bags - 6.49

Coupons I Used

2.00 off CVS skincare product
1.00 off 2 Oral-B toothbrushes
1.00 off Revlon
1.00 off Advil PM (CVS store coupon)
2 - 2.00 off Advil products (manu. coupon)
19.97 in Extra Care Bucks

How Much I Spent and Got Back

I spent $2.25 out of pocket and got $12.79 in ECBs back.

I normally wouldn't be able to get garbage bags for $2.25, let alone all that other fun stuff, too!

I usually go to Money Saving Mom to find CVS deals, but I put this one together all by myself! (I'm beaming with pride!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rice and Lentil Hotdish

Rice and Lentil Hotdish

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1 cup uncooked lentils
3 cups gluten free chicken broth
3 cups water (naturally gluten free, haha)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon dill

Put all ingredients in a rice cooker and cook just as you would when cooking rice.

This made enough for dinner for Tim and I with leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Thanks to Sister Rae for introducing me to lentils. They're not as scary as I thought they'd be. They're a cheap and tasty source of protein.

Menu for the Week

Here's what we've got going on food-wise this week:

On Saturday my Sis and Cousins are coming to stay with us through Sunday. Boy, will Tim be out-numbered or what?!! We haven't set the menu for their visit yet, but I think we'll be going to HuHot for lunch after church.

Check out OrgJunkie's Menu roundup for other great menu ideas!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vegetable Beef Soup

I know veggie beef soup is a little out of season right now, but I rarely eat according to the season anyway. So Wednesday morning I threw this in the crockpot and cranked it on. The house smelled so good when I came home from work! I love not having to cook when I get home. Also, I love not having so many dishes to do; I just had the crock to wash, and I think that Tim actually washed it!

Here's what I put into my soup:

1/2 pound stew beef
baby carrots
2 cans of diced tomatoes

I also put in a few cubes of Herb Ox beef bouillon. I was reading the ingredients and *thought* it looked gluten free, then turned it around and there it was in big, bold letters: "GLUTEN FREE."

My in-laws are visiting for the weekend, so I'll stop in on Sunday to give you a weekend food update.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bean Dip

Tim and I had this for dinner on Monday. It also works great for parties. You can make it on a disposable aluminum pizza pan and just throw it out so you don't have to bring home a messy platter.

Bean Dip

1 can of gluten free refried beans
1 packet Ortega taco seasoning (it's gluten free)
shredded cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 medium onion, diced
black olives, lettuce, green onions, tomatoes, just about whatever you want

Since I was making this for dinner, I heated the beans up first. If I'm taking it somewhere, I just leave them cold.

Mix half of the seasoning packet into the beans. Spread out the beans on a platter or pizza pan. If the beans are warm, add the cheese next.

Mix the other half of the seasoning packet into the sour cream, and layer that on the beans.

Next, throw all of the veggies and stuff on top. Finish it off with salsa.

Serve with chips or toasted tortillas!

(Aren't those roses pretty? Tim got me three for our three year anniversary. He's the best! )

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Super 8 Motel is having an "8" party this month. You can get a hotel room for just $8.88! You have to register online at exactly 8:00 pm EDT and be one of the first 800 registrants, but it worked for me! We're going to have a little one-night getaway for $9.95 plus gas money.

I had checked with the specific hotel that I wanted in advance to be sure they had rooms. I also typed out my address, email, phone #, and check card # into a Word doc. I refreshed the promo page right at 8pm and copied and pasted my info into the form.

Apparently I was one of the first 800 to complete registration. I'm "Super" excited for a little getaway trip!

Thanks to MoneySavingMom for alerting me to this great deal.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Monday

The in-laws are coming to stay this weekend. We always have a very nice time together, but since we've been gone so much recently, the housework has exponentially multiplied. That makes for a semi-stressful week. At least we have our menu set and grocery shopping out of the way!
  • Tuesday - Macaroni and Cheese
  • Wednesday - Beef Stew
  • Thursday - Beef Stroganoff
  • Friday - Pancakes and Bacon
  • Saturday lunch - Chicken on the grill
  • Saturday dinner - Eat out (perhaps Montage since they have a gluten free menu!)
  • Sunday lunch - Chicken Peanut Stir Fry
  • Sunday dinner - Sanwiches
  • Monday - Rice and Lentil hotdish

Check out more menus here.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Me and My Fam

Here's a picture from my Mom's wedding a few weeks ago. It's me, my sister, and three of my cousins.

I'm in the back middle, and going clockwise from me we have Blondin, Tini, Bevo, and Rexi (my sis). Those are all nicknames, rest assured. My family is weird, but not that weird.

(I love you guys!)

Bread Making Tip

I just put a loaf of bread in the oven, and thought that I'd share a time saving tip.

When I make my bread, I measure out two sets of dry ingredients and use one immediately and keep one for the next time I'm baking. It really saves time since there are so many different ingredients in gluten free bread.

And, you only have to wash your measuring cups once! Yeah!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cobb(ish) Salad

If you saw my menu on Tuesday, you know that we had a salad for dinner Tuesday night. I'm not sure exactly what goes on a Cobb salad, but mine was pretty tasty just the way it was.

It had turkey bacon, eggs, cheddar cheese, Carl Buddig corned beef, onions, and carrots on it! It was filling, healthy, and delicious! And, naturally gluten free!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Camping Food

Here's one of our meals from when we were camping:

As you can see, it's taco salad. Yummm! I love it that taco salad is gluten free. It was so easy to make, I'm sure we'll have it next time we camp!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Check out my friend's new blog here. Carrie's a veteran of gluten free blogging; a link to her Ginger Lemon Girl blog is on my sidebar. I'm excited to see where she goes with her new blog about living frugally.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Menu Plan Tuesday?

Here's my menu for the week.
  • Monday - Eggs and sweet potato hashbrowns (yummm!)
  • Tuesday - Salad
  • Wednesday - Eat out, our 3rd anniversary!
  • Thursday - Goulash
  • Friday - Sandwiches on the road
  • Saturday - At a wedding
  • Sunday dinner - Spaghetti
  • Sunday supper - Taco dip

We're going to Tim's cousin's wedding this weekend. Luckily for me, Tim's Grandma has Celiac, so I'm pretty sure that there will be something for me to eat. Since the Matriarch of the family has to eat gluten free, I'm always guaranteed to have something to eat at family gatherings.

Check out some more meals here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm Baaaaack!

Well, I'm back. Back to cooking three meals a day and doing dishes. Back to wearing dress clothes instead of tee-shirts and flipflops. Back to humidity with no lake breezes. Back to thinking about meal plans and budgets.

And for some reason, I just want to be back at camp.

I really had a very nice vacation last week. The weather was great. I enjoyed many hours of fun with family and friends. We played Hand and Foot, Settlers of Catan, and made lots of music (piano, singing, percussion).

The chef at the camp was well versed in gluten free cooking, so I got to just go through the buffet line and say that I needed a gluten free meal, and it was always there! He made a great bread, although it fell apart a bit. It was nice to not have to think about it at all.

I'll put up our menu for this week later. We're going to be travelling to a wedding this weekend, so this will be a short week.

It really is good to be back. Now if only I could wear shorts, a tee-shirt, and flipflops to work!