Pumpkin Time!

It’s October!  That means Pumpkin Cookie/Muffin/Bread time around here!  Here’s our first batch of “Gluten Free” Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

In place of the flour in the recipe I substituted King Arthur Flour: gluten free multi-purpose flour, which I found right in the ‘baking needs’ aisle at the grocery store next the the regular flour!

I truly LIVE for these cookies so I knew I’d be a pretty tough critic of the GF version, but… they’re good!  For those of you who have done some experimenting with GF baking, you know that the texture just isn’t quite the same as the regular versions.  Mainly I’ve noticed that things tend to be a little more crumb-y.  I don’t mind this part too much as long as the flavor is still there and there isn’t any aftertaste… So though not quite as moist as the originals, I think these cookies are a fairly close substitute that I am sure I can put away at the rate of one batch per week for all of Fall 🙂

My little helper!

My little roly-poly giggle box!


Gluten Free Livin’- Again

It feels pretty weird to write a blog that is all about me… to be honest, I don’t really like doing it.  However uncomfortable though, I thought I would like to share a little of what’s been going on with me and give some background for you before I start sharing Gluten Free Recipes that left you wondering… what the heck?

About 7 years ago I was plagued with constant stomach pain and anxiety.  Even then I wasn’t quite sure which was a symptom of which.  Finally, through many, many doctor visits, including an intestinal biopsy, a visit to an allergist, a chiropractor, and multiple different restrictive diets, I came out with a very loose diagnosis saying that I was gluten intolerant or had a gluten sensitivity.  The prescription= a gluten free lifestyle and some mild intestinal muscle relaxers to help with some digestive issues (namely- IBS).  This gluten free diet was the only thing that seemed to alleviate my symptoms and so although I was very sad to leave many of the foods I loved,  I was SOLD.  After living this way for around 9 months my doctor recommend that I try to gradually add gluten and wheat products back into my diet and see what happened.  I was TERRIFIED!  If any of you struggle with gluten sensitivity you know that after being gluten free for a time the idea of introducing it back into your body is enough to give you a stomach ache.  But I did, and slowly but surely I was able to handle it and even eventually got back to my old “normal” diet.  In the back of my mind were always the words of my doctor saying that some people just don’t digest gluten as well as others and to be aware and sensitive to my body… I have definitely taken this precaution into consideration noting that when my life got a little high stress, my stomach was the first to go.  I would generally steer clear of wheat products until the stressful situation was taken care of and that seemed to help. This has been my general approach for the past 5 years and that gets us to the past few months.

After having a stomach ache every night for about a week followed by some brief episodes of heightened anxiety, I started to try to figure out what was going on.  The symptoms immediately transported me back to 5 years ago and I was almost positive I was dealing with a relapse of sorts.  Sure enough when I looked up gluten sensitivity/intolerance it said that symptoms can be exasperated by high stress, lack of sleep and pregnancy. AH HA!  My main symptoms tend to be anxiety, stomach issues and a hard time sleeping… what a catch 22!  Without looking back I have jumped into my old GF life again.  I need more than ever to be on my game to chase my 2 little ones around.  Now looking back over my pregnancy I can see that all of the normal signs were there, but due to being so hungry and having been so sick for the first half of the pregnancy, I had discounted the almost daily stomach aches and never steered clear of foods that I knew could be adding to the problem.   I think I could have caught this sooner, but was focusing so much on my drastically different life with 2 kids, a new house, and summer traveling that I overlooked it for months.

As I attempt to feel better both physically and emotionally I  will try to share I little of what I am finding to feed my body.  I know that more and more people are attempting a gluten free lifestyle due to the fact that stomach and head issues are so hard to diagnose.  It is amazing how diet can truly change everything about you.  The way you look, feel, your mental state, your energy level, how well you sleep,  the condition of your skin… the list goes on.  Here’s hoping this diet= HEALTH for me!  I know that many of my friends and family struggle with some or all of the same issues as me- as my form of moral support I’m going to try to share some yummy GF recipes that feed my soul and keep me feeling good!  Last time I was sick I lost so much weight because there wasn’t much out there in the form of Gluten Free products… this is SO NOT THE CASE NOW!  I do not doubt that a few extra pounds will find me as I taste test all of the wonderful products now available at Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, even the normal grocery store and a handful of restaurants in town.  If any of you have any experience in the Gluten Free life please feel free to pass on your favorite products and recipes!  This actually might be a little fun!

My Number 1 Gluten Free Dessert LOVE!

All flavors are Gluten Free *except English Toffee and Cookies and Cream

YO-KEVA… IF you haven’t ventured into a Keva Juice lately, you should.  We have recently added frozen yogurt that is WONDERFUL!  4 flavors are offered at a time (flavors change on Thursdays and Sundays) along with 20 different delicious toppings!  The yogurt is self serve, thirty nine cents an ounce AND after 7 p.m. it is half off!  Also, if you go in and ask for EXTRAS (the flavors that they have recently changed out that have been packaged and frozen) they are half off ALL THE TIME!

That said, here is my first GF dessert!:

1 Package of Glutino Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies (bought at Sunflower Market) – finely crushed

1/4 cup butter- melted

Mix and press into a 9 inch pie pan and cook on 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Put 1 full 24 ounce container of Yo Keva Extra’s (in this case Irish Mint) into your Kitchen Aid Mixer along with mini-chocolate chips (or candy of your choice) and mix until smooth.  Then spoon into your crust, cover with Cool Whip or Whip Cream and freeze for about 3 hours until set!