March 7, 2012

Gluten Free Banana Muffins

3 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 9:42 AM

Here are my muffins....aren't they pretty...come on just lie to me and say they are!!  They taste really good, isn't that all that matters.

I got the original recipe from Pamela's Products, but I've tweaked it just a bit...

1 3/4 c baking/pancake mix flour
1/4 c butter melted
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 smashed up bananas

optional: 1/4 c chopped walnuts

Preheat Oven to 350.

Have Milk and Egg at Room temperature.

Mix all ingredients together and spoon 2/3 full into cupcake liners in a muffin tin.  Bake for 18- 20 minutes.

Yields 12 muffins, I leave 6 out for breakfast and freeze 6 for the following week.  They freeze well.  I have not left them frozen for longer than 2 weeks.

I have made the same recipe adding blueberries and bananas, and Chocolate Chips and Bananas.

Why all the banana muffins you ask???  Well, Avery hates bananas, but she gets really bad cramps in her legs, so I sneak them in wherever I can so that she can get as much potassium as possible...

Do you have any sneaky tricks to fool your kids to eat foods they hate??  What food do you not like??



~XOXO~
Alisha

You can often find me at these Parties!
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March 5, 2012

Meal Plan {3/5-3/11}

2 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha at 11:27 AM
What is going on...The weeks are flying by so very fast!!

Spring Break is NEXT week!!
source

I haven't gotten anything accomplished.  I have a To-Do list a mile long and I just keep adding to it...


I was prescribed several new medications with funky side effects:
  • lack of appetite
  • drowsiness
  • nauseousness

I didn't think anything of it because usually the side effects don't bother me, but boy, oh boy...I have actually slept 9 straight hours every night since Thursday and food is absolutely disgusting.  All I have been able to stomach is a bowl of cereal and yogurt.  I am not craving food, I'm not hungry, and the smells actually makes me sick.


So this meal plan was lots of fun to write!!  I have no idea if any of these meals will actually get made...my poor family may be stuck eating baked potatoes for a week.



Monday (3/5): Tacos

Tuesday (3/6): Enchiladas

Wednesday (3/7): Calzones w/ Caesar Salad

Thursday (3/8): Sausage & Potatoes

Friday (3/9): Chili w/ Corn Bread

Saturday (3/10): Corn Dogs w/ Tator Tots and Fruit Salad

Sunday (3/11): Tuna Salad

Monday (3/12): BBQ Chicken w/ Veggies and Yellow Rice

Tuesday (3/13):  Not Real Sure...


Hope you all have a great week!!


~XOXO~
Alisha

You can often find me at these Parties!
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March 2, 2012

Gluten Free Beefy Mac

3 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 10:51 AM
Easy, Cheesy, Beefy Mac...The Kid's Favorite Meal!

1lb Ground Beef (turkey or chicken could do also)
1/4 finely chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
3-4 overly ripe tomatoes chopped (or a can of diced tomatoes)
Small can of Tomato Sauce & can of Water or left of Spaghetti Sauce
Seasonings of your choice...sometimes I use Taco and sometimes I use Italian...
2-3 cups of shredded cheese of your choice
16oz cooked pasta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook noodles and set aside.
Brown and drain the ground meat.  Add onion, garlic and seasonings.  If you are using fresh tomatoes add them now and cook until onions are soft.   Add your liquid to the meat and tomato mixture and cook till well blended.  Cover bottom of 9x13 pan with a spoon of sauce and then mix noodles and sauce together.

Place a layer of the noodle mixture over the sauce and then cover with cheese.  Top with remaining noodles and then cover with last of cheese.  Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and broil for a few minutes to get the top nice and browned.  Let sit for 3-4 minutes, then serve...

Enjoy!!







~XOXO~
Alisha

You can often find me at these Parties!
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March 1, 2012

A New Doctor Experience...

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 2:13 PM
Going to a new Doctor's Office is STRESSFUL...yeah I used all caps, cuz that is how I felt this morning...

I never know exactly who to tell all the info to.  Do I tell the poor nurse taking my blood pressure or do I wait and tell the Doctor?  I have a long list of issues and the list just keeps getting longer as the years go by.

I remember when I was 23 the hardest question they asked was when my last cycle started.

When I was 25 it was when my last shot of hormones was given.

When I was 27, 28, and 29, I practically lived at my OBGYN's office.  I swear I saw him 3 times a week for both of my pregnancies.  Why do you have to pee in a cup at each and every appointment? Is one's pee really all that interesting...And why is my pee not interesting now??  No uterus means no more cups??  No idea...

So anyway, I'm 36 now and I get asked all kinds of hard questions now...and I never know how much to say.  I have a ruptured disc in my spin, L5 to be exact, when they ask "How'd that happen?" Do I tell them I was chasing my son through the Sears parking lot or do I say I took a step when there was actually a step down and fell smack on my tailbone.  Then to make matters worse a year later I was rear ended and injured my back even further...I can't sit cross legged anymore...

Then they say "Well what kind of exercise are you getting?".....Ummmm, not much...remember the tailbones constantly grinding together, it kinda makes things difficult.  "I swim in the warmer months when I have money in the budget to go to the pool."

"Your cholesterol is a little higher than we'd like, it is 100, and with diabetes it should really be at 70, have you made any changes to fix that?"  Ummm, no, I thought 100 was okay, but as of January I haven't eaten a single fast food meal because my daughter is gluten free.  "Oh, well that would have made an improvement!"

Then we start discussing all the medicines I am on and none of them are the right dosage or even close to being beneficial.  That makes me angry.  I made this appointment with a new office because I felt my other doctor wasn't listening to me.  Now not only was she not listening to me, she wasn't even helping me!

But there is GOOD NEWS...my A1C dropped from 8.0 to 7.2!!  That is awesome!!  I have NO IDEA what I am doing to get my diabetes under control, but whatever it is, it is working!!  And now that my medicines will actually be effective, my diabetes will get even better!!

We did the blood panel to test for Celiac.  I am not going to do the biopsy.  I just cant afford that procedure right now, and from all of the reports I've read the results aren't 100% accurate anyway.  I know that eating gluten free makes me feel better, so that is what I'm going to do.  I wanted the blood panel for peace of mind mostly.

I know this is really all over the place, but it was my day at the doctor.  My thoughts and what happened...

What stresses you out when you go to a new doctor? 
What LOW impact exercise to you recommend?
How do you pick a new doctor?

~XOXO~
Alisha

You can often find me at these Parties!
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February 28, 2012

To Go or Not To Go to the Warehouse Stores...

1 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 4:34 PM
Warehouse shopping isn't always cheaper.  It is actually almost never cheaper, more convenient YES -- less expensive NO.

However, there are several items that I always buy at my local warehouse store.  These are items that we ALWAYS eat and eat LOTS of...


Warehouse Price Grocery Store Price
Cheese Sticks 48 @ 8.28 24 @ 5.49
Shredded Cheese 80oz @ 11.88 32oz @ 8.38
Bacon Bits 20oz @ 8.98 3oz @ 2.76
Salad in a Bag 32oz @ 2.88 9oz @ 3.50
Fuji Apples 6lbs @ 5.98 1lb @ 1.99



Other items that we often save money on are Strawberries, Roma Tomatoes, and Generic Claritn.

You have to be smart when shopping at a warehouse stores, think about what items are on sale and what items you can buy at your grocery store with coupons.

Warehouse shopping is a great place to stock up on all those items you know you have to have, but only if the price is right.  I wanted to stock up on Tuna the last time I went and was very disappointed that the price per a can was actually about 25 cents more expensive than my grocery store.  You have to pay attention to the Unit Price Sticker and remember the prices from your grocery store.

 Learning how to read these little stickers was the first truly 'grown-up' & responsible thing I did.  There are tons of sites out there that can explain them better than I, so I will leave that up to google.

Here is my Grocery List Price Sheet that I use all the time.  I only add items that I buy often and items that have varying prices.  Feel Free to print or download, and I hope it helps you like it has helped me...



While at your warehouse store, think about other things you've been thinking about purchasing.  For example, I have wanted a new broom for awhile.  We have hard wood floors and a black lab, I sweep 2-3 times a day!  I wanted a broom with a LONG handle (I'm very tall), I wanted the handle to be very sturdy and not come unscrewed while I swept. I also wanted a wide head.  I wanted it it cover as much floor space as possible....I wanted a lot!!  I looked everywhere, and nothing was the right price or the right quality.  Low and behold I found the absolute perfect broom in the industrial cleaning section at my local warehouse store for a whopping low price of $8.00.  The little flimsy ones at Wal-Mart weren't even that inexpensive.

Warehouse shopping is a hit or miss, you can save big but if not paying attention you could also spend big!  So if you've never shopped at a warehouse, keep these tips in mind and double check your prices.  


I am in NO WAY a budget savvy frugalista, but I try.  
So, please take my tips with a grain of salt, 
and if you have better tips for shopping at a warehouse store, PLEASE share them...
we are all trying to save a few pennies here and there.
Thanks!!



~XOXO~
Alisha

You can often find me at these Parties!
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February 27, 2012

Meal Plan {2/27-3/4} Changes

3 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 6:49 PM

This week went by so very fast!!  I was not prepared at all for today's meal plan.

Avery and I have been sick...we have the crude....coughing, hacking, fever, sore throat, all over feeling yucky!!

Due to the vast amount of time spent cuddled on the couch, I have been fiddling with a new theme....do you like??  Can you tell that aqua is one of my favorite colors?  If you find any pieces out of order please let me know so that I can fix it.  I am not an HTML/CSS code expert, but I know a thing or two.

So I am in the mood for soup, yummy comforting soup...maybe because I haven't felt good.




Monday (2/27): Fajita Salad

Tuesday (2/28): Pasta Fagioli

Wednesday (2/29): Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

    Thursday (3/1): Leftovers

Friday (3/2): Pizza Rolls

Saturday (3/3): Ribs

Sunday (3/4): Salad & Sandwiches

Monday (3/5): Chicken & Rice Casserole

Tuesday (3/6):  Not Real Sure...

I have several recipes to post so please check back often...


I link up every week at Organizing Junkie, because even before we started this Gluten Free way of life and I wrote out our meals on the backs of envelopes or kid's school work, I always visited her site for inspiration.








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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bars

3 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 11:29 AM
Saturday I got the urge to bake. It may have been because my son was rummaging around the kitchen looking for anything that would half way resemble a cookie. Poor kid, we haven’t had any cookies in a while…I should have waited till Sunday to start this ordeal seeing as it was already almost 9pm.


At first I think its ruined…
The recipe I am adapting says to cook for 30 minutes, but when I check it at 22, the sides are already too brown for my liking. I do the tooth pick test and the center is still gooey…I was not sure what to do. I covered it with foil and turned the oven off, figuring it was a lost cause anyway.
In every book and blog I have read, every author stresses the importance of taking whatever you are making out of the pan and letting it cool on a rack. So in my attempt to do that I lost the majority of the middle of the cookie bars. It broke apart into two clean pieces, no crumbling or anything…


Feeling Completely Dejected, I covered it in foil and went to bed…

My son, who would eat anything with a little chocolate in it, decided he was going to have the first taste test. (at 7am) My daughter, who is a bit more picky about her sweets had the second taste test. (7:05am) And then, when they woke up my husband with chocolate smeared all over their mouths, he decided to join them in the taste testing…

Their official responses were “tastes kinda like a scone”, “not pretty, but very yummy”, and “can you add more chocolate chips next time”.




IMAG0045

adapted from Bakerella


Congo Bars
2 3/4 c. GLUTEN FREE FLOUR (Bob's Red Mill)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder (already in flour mix)
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. butter, softened
2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 package milk chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)



I added 1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter mixed with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  I roughly mixed it into the already prepared batter and then spread it in the pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine butter and sugar using a mixer until blended. Add eggs, one at a time to sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour and mix until combined. Stir in chips and then pecans.

Coat a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and spread batter evenly into dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Make sure you don’t over bake.

Inspired by Six Sisters' Stuff

See where I Link Up...
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February 24, 2012

10 Day YOU Challenge: {Day 2} 9 Loves

0 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 8:38 AM

9 Loves

This is going to be so super easy, too easy...

My first thought was to list off 9 foods that I really really love and have yet to replace in a gluten free replica.  
But, there really aren't 9 foods that I can't have, only one...



So, when I lived in Miami, I lived in Coconut Grove, which is a more upper class area of Miami.  I was a hick from Texas, working at a deli that sold $1000 bottles of wine and fresh bagels made daily.

If you've never had a fresh bagel, you are in for a treat.  They taste nothing like what is sold at the grocery store.  They are soft and so very chewy, mmmmm, just good!!

1)The only way to eat a bagel in my opinion is with cream cheese, tomato, and salt & pepper.  I LOVE THIS!


I am thinking the rest of the list will be pretty straight forward...Maybe a picture or two…

2) Pedicures.  I love to go get a pedicure.  Not only do I get pretty toes, but I get time with my girlfriends and a bonus back massage.  (all of the spas here have massaging pedicure chairs)

3) My husband's shoulder/chest...there is this spot that my head fits perfectly.  No matter what is happening, if I lay down in that spot, and he plays with my hair, I will pass out and sleep like a baby for at least 4 hours.  I love that he lets me take a nap when I need one.  I love that there are days that he says "come on you need to go take a nap."  I love that, even though my insomnia is a hassle and really a major pain in the rear, he is understanding most of the time.

4) My son's imagination.  He is amazing!  When he was about 3, we watched Eragon.  For months after, he would tell me stories about his dragon that lived on our roof and ate his corn dogs.  His dragon took all the leaves off our oak tree for his bed and then sneezed and they got all over our yard.  His dragon also decided that he was only allowed to eat chocolate and broccoli.  That one was a little difficult!  His imagination has matured as he has...he now draws robots and creates lego master pieces.  He plays with his voice, creating a new sound every 5 minutes.  This may not actually be a love...most of them are high pitched & squeaky!


5) "Oh I'm a pepper He's a pepper She's a pepper We're a pepper Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too!"  I am a HUGE Diet Dr. Pepper Drinker...I probably have more DDP in my blood stream than actual blood.  Yes, I drink that much...

REFORMED as of a week ago (2/13), I have not had a drop of DDP...I went through detox & everything!!

6) Cracking open a new book and falling in love.  I LOVE to read.  I love learn about the characters and picture them in my head.  I really do not like watching a movie before I've read the book.  If left a lone, I could sit and read an entire book cover to cover, in an afternoon.

7) Watching my children grow.  I always hated when people would say, "You'll understand when you're a mother", but, here I am saying it...They is just no way to put into words the exact emotion that comes from watching your child grow.  It is joy, love, fear, sadness, excitement, and so much more all rolled into one...I love it!

8) Winter.  I love Winter...but I have to explain...I live in South Texas, we have 9 months of sweltering 100 degree summer, and 3 months of bipolar winter.  I say bipolar winter, because Mother Nature just can't decide what to do...
Here is an actual weather forecast
  • Monday 50 & Foggy
  • Tuesday 87 & Humid
  • Wednesday 70 & Foggy
  • Thursday 60 & Drizzle
  • Friday 50 & Rain
  • Saturday 90 & Humid
And we all wonder why we keep getting sick.  It is wet, then dry, then hot, and then cold...
I would love to live in a climate that had all 4 seasons, with trees that changed colors and you actually needed to own a winter coat. 

9) My Husband and Children...they are my everything.  I love them more than anything else.  Without them none of the above would matter at all.  We are a small little family, but we are strong and solid.  We laugh at each other and with each other, we help when help is needed and we support without being asked.  We love with our whole hearts and we do our best to always share our true feelings.


To learn all there is about me visit the Who are We page.
You can also read about my 10 Secrets here. 












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February 21, 2012

Avery's Design Board {Room Make Over}

3 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 1:36 PM

There is so much to do in Avery's room.

Her furniture is tattered and trashed looking compared to the crisp pretty new walls

I browsed Craigslist last night and there wasn't a single item under $50.  I don't know where all these DIY crafters live that get all these hideous pieces of furniture and then turns them into masterpieces...I even keep my eye out for any dumpster dive worthy furniture...nothing!!  Maybe I need to go drive around a different town...lol

I have pinned a few pictures of inspiration.  Most everything is bright and crisp...Not sure what Avery will say.  I know she wants Bright Pink, Light Orange, and Green, like a jade green color....she wants a bright cheery room!!

 
source

source
source
source
no longer available on etsy :(




Please tell me what you think!!  Any tips on where I could find CHEAP furniture??

Have a great day!!


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Avery's Extreme Room Make Over {part 1}

5 Words of Wisdom Run ons & all by: Alisha Goinggfree at 3:55 AM
We have been very busy this weekend!!  

FYI...This is a long post...

Currently the entire Contents of Avery's room is spread out in the hall, our bedroom, and the living room.  
Her room has been gutted and stripped bare down to the concrete floors....

Non of this was really in the plans for this weekend.  It has been in the talks, but it was always a distant future that we would tackle the kids rooms...

We purchased our home in 2000.  It is a very basic starter home, no frills, bells, or whistles.  When we moved in, we were young, poor and too scared to touch anything.  We left everything contractor white until 6 months into my pregnancy with Avery.   Bed rest be damned, I was determined to paint a mural on those walls!  I think I finally stopped adding stuff to it when she was 3.  It would have been sooner but I had to go paint a boys mural too...

So, then Avery, my very artistic and wise WAY beyond her years started adding to the mural as well.  I painted a sky with clouds, flowers and luvbugs.  She decided there needed to be a tree with a beehive and bees.  Also birds, birds of every color that Sharpie makes...I searched all 50 million files for a picture of her room and this was all I could find...





About two years ago, I just couldn't take it anymore and started talking about painting her room.  She said she wanted Pink.  So I went to Lowes and bought 4 different paint samples of Pinks that I approved of...We all agreed on one and a few days later my husband comes home with a gallon of paint.  He and Avery lock themselves in her room and emerge a few hours later looking like a bottle of Pepto Bismol exploded on them...I swear!!  Avery is jumping with joy, Bob is grimacing, and I am laughing.  It was the worst color I'd ever seen.  The paint it's self was the worst quality I'd ever seen...It was bad all the way around...We left it because we were in the middle of replacing flooring in half our house.  p.s....Bob, forgot to take the paint sample with him and just picked a pink at random...

So now, here we are, Avery was just re-diagnosed with Asthma.  Our carpet is horrible...I mean really really horrible.  We have replaced the carpet in the front half of the house with wood flooring and we were eventually going to get to the bedrooms, but it was low on our priority list.  Well, thanks to a peeing dog, Avery's room got bumped up to doin it now. 

Saturday we moved everything out of her room. My house already looked like a train wreck now it looks even worse...


The boys ripped out her carpet and cleaned up the floors...

Sunday Avery and I spent the day at Lowes picking out paint...all her choice, my only input was a no on that really dark one in the top right corner.

Today we painted, we painted, and painted...and then painted some more!!  Guess what...we need more paint to paint more!!












Stay tuned for part 2!!  I have to put it all back together and seriously need to refinish a dresser!!

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About my Recipes

We are a gluten free family. All of our main meals are Gluten Free. When posting a recipe, I do not think it is necessary for me to write out Gluten Free for each ingredient. It should be assumed.

I double check ALL labels and packaging before I purchase anything. If you are going to safely provide a GF environment for yourself or your family, double even triple checking each product must become a standard for you as well.

Also, when I am cooking a meal that I have 'created' or cook often, I do not measure. If you have any questions about exact amounts, please leave a comment and I will try my best to answer.

If I am posting a recipe that has gluten in it I will then explain that...I do still purchase a few gluten items for my son and husband's lunches and snacks. However, gluten recipes will be very very rare.
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