Wednesday, February 24, 2010

gluten free marinades

When I started my gluten free diet it was last spring/summer, 2009. We do a lot of BBQ all year long but we really pick it up in the summer. I especially like shish-kabobs. The problem is that a lot of marinades are not gluten free or if they are they are expensive. I found a recipe I used a lot on my meat.

Here is the recipe for a teriyaki marinade:
2 garlic cloves, minced
pineapple juice
soy sauce
brown sugar
and some people add sesame seeds, I do not

I am not giving measurements because we all have different tastes. I use about the same measurements so 1/2 cup juice, 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup b. sugar.

I also used a brand San-J for other marinades or sauces. They taste good and have quite a few gluten free choices.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I am in planning mode. I am planning a 2 week Yellowstone/Mt Rushmore trip and I am planning summer school for July and August. I love planning. I love researching online and finding really cool ideas to do with the kids or places we need to visit. I am also excited to show my hubby wrong!

Last summer I only completed about 1 month of summer school before I stopped. I did not have lesson plans done for the next month and did not have clear goals for each day and therefor I became lazy. So I am way ahead of where I was last year. I have about 6 weeks planned with things to do and learn every day. Ben doesn't believe I will follow through the whole summer. So I am determined. It is so fun to find crafts to go with what I want to teach. To find books that the kids will love and go well with my "curriculum." To find great websites to help me.

I have used some neat sites online that have helped me with lodging desicions. I love finding the best priced lodging for our family. Weighing the price against amenities offered. I am blessed that Ben is able to take off for 2 weeks, it will eat all of 2010 time off, but I wish I could have 3 weeks. There is so much to see. God has made some beautiful places and it is hard to decide which things we get to see and what has to be marked off the list. But so far we have planned to go through caves, try our hands at gold mining, dig up dinosaur bones, swim in hot mineral baths, see geysers, visit ghost towns, eat buffalo, spend time with family, go hiking, and the list goes on.

In 4 months I will get to see the fruit of my hard work. Until then I get to enjoy the planning and continue to find amazing sites on the wide world web.

Friday, February 19, 2010

33 years ago


appy Birthday Becky Adams. I love you and am blessed to call you friend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010



So the first tests came back negative for Celiac. Not really a surprise because really everything I have read has said I should have been on gluten 14-60 days (gosh some articles have said as many as 6 months!)for an accurate test result. So I will schedule another doctors appointment for about a month from now. BLAAAA, who likes going to a doctor?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

JCpenney code

There is a code floating around and I have bought 4 times now from JCPenneys. So I thought I would share. It is $10.00 off of $10.00. TEN4YOU. I buy something for about 12 get the 10 off and then pay 5.95 shipping. I am getting with 4 different orders, 3 shirts for myself, 1 bermuda short for Alicia and jeans for Ethan all for $41.24. Not bad!!! That makes each item about 8 bucks! Plus I pent no time or gas money going in to find these things.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

need your creative ideas

I am looking for 3 baskets to put class baskets together for the auction. If you have seen any good deals on baskets please let me know where. These are not things I normally buy so I don't even know where to start. I don't want Dollar Tree quality but also don't want to spend a lot.
The themes are beach, family night, and chocolate fondue so if you have any other ideas on how to wrap these up I am open to those as well.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

check this out

I found this incredible skirt on this amazing site today:

This skirt is adorable. I want to, almost, learn to sew so I can make this for Alicia. She would love this skirt. Hint, Hint. Mom, Martha, Danette? Anyone?

She would like brown/pink OR red/black OR blues OR the same colors as above. I would even buy the pattern and the material

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The last week

I love the Olympics. LOVE THEM. I love the stories behind every athlete. I love watching their bodies do Amazing things. I love that every nation is so proud of their own country. It is so moving. I don't think I am going to get much sleep for the next 2 weeks.

I wasn't sure about posting any of the below because it isn't my story but it has really hit me and I know some of you have noticed.
So life has been upset this last week. My mother-in-law had stroke like symptoms starting Sunday night. Ben and all her other children went to the Stayton ER and were there until late. She went home and then was back at the Salem ER on Monday. They did not find anything and so she has been home all week having these symptoms off and on without any known reason. Next week she may have an appointment and then she sees another doctor in MARCH! They couldn't get her in until then! It has really scared me. She is amazingly calm and steady though. Some of you may not know that she had brain cancer 15 years ago. She was given months and has lived 15 years more because God healed her. Of course, when we first heard it was stroke like symptoms, we all thought it must be cancer. Her MRI's and CT's have come back clean. So that is great news. We would love your prayers as we all travel through this.

In the midst of this I have been back on gluten. It seems so small in the light of my Mother-in-laws story to be sharing this but I figured ya'll would want to know. After reading a post by a former college classmate I decided I needed to step up and actually be tested for Celiac. I know I can't eat gluten, there is no doubt about that, but I have never been tested. So I went back on gluten and called my doctor. They ran the test Thursday and I hope to have tests back next week. The bummer thing is that I had only been on about a week and a half and technically they like 6 weeks. So if they don't come back positive for Celiac Disease I will do the test again in 4 weeks. I just want to get off the gluten as soon as possible. I feel so crappy. I cannot believe I used to live like this. What was I thinking? That was not normal. I have been trying to eat foods I missed through the last 8 months but I find that I almost dread eating them! This may be a good thing for me when I go back on a gluten-free diet. Hopefully I can remember that they were not as good as I remembered and that they made me feel emotionally and physically gross.

So this week try to give your family hugs, remember that life is uncertain and we need those we love to feel loved. And watch you some Olympics, it does a heart good.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


So I didn't do a gluten free Wednesday post yesterday. Life has been weird around here and I just haven't felt like posting. I will catch you all up sooner or later. Promise.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

grocery budget/meal planning

Sometimes when I am feeling very responsible I make a meal plan for the paycheck month. Our month starts the 10th. So Thursday I plan to go grocery shopping with 20 meals planned out. I do not plan meals for every weekend, only an occasional Saturday. I also have a few nights that we will not be home for dinner and I don't plan a dinner that night and Wednesdays Ben doesn't make it home in time for dinner and the kids leave at 5:30ish so we do breakfast items.
I do so much better staying on track with my monthly grocery budget, knowing that I have meals planned. I can look ahead the night before and see what meat I need to take out of the freezer and what I may need to get at the store. If I do this then I don't find myself at 3 o'clock wondering what to have, not feeling like cooking and then going out to eat.

So just in case any of you need a little inspiration, uhhm, Janci, I am going to list my meal plan out for you all. And even though it isn't stated most meals have a bread or roll of some sort.

Day 1 scrambled eggs and hashbrowns
Day 3 Friday Night Pizza Night
Day 4 Crockpot bean soup
Day 5 Blueberry french toast bake for Valentines morning and sausage
Day 6 Rio Grande Quesadilla's
Day 8 oatmeal and fruit
Day 9 Friday Night Pizza Night
Day 10 potato soup (((THIS IS IN MY FREEZER ALREADY)))
Day 11 Oriental Stir Fry over rice
Day 12 Meatloaf and twice baked potatoes (((I PLAN TO FREEZE EXTRA TWICE BAKED POTATOES)))
Day 13 chicken pockets
Day 14 steak and Margy's Best Potatoes
Day 15 Friday Night Pizza Night
Day 16 beef stroganoff and corn
Day 17 spaghetti & meatballs and salad
Day 18 blueberry pancakes
Day 19 tamale pie and cornbread
Day 20 Friday Night Pizza Night

I would like to try to stay under budget so I can put aside some grocery money every month up until our Yellowstone vacation. Then I can buy those yummys that we normally don't buy and cost extra but are so fun on vacation.

PS. I somehow threw away my calendar!! So I am so glad I wrote it all out here or I would be back to the beginning.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Raffle Tickets

We are getting close to our kids schools annual auction. They are selling raffle tickets for 7 nights in Kauai, Hawaii. The winner wins 7 nights in Lihue,Kauai and $1000.00 to use towards airfare. If you are interested in buying a ticket they are $20.00 and need to be bought by March 7. Thanks

On the flip side if your kid is selling girl scout cookies I would love to buy some. Please send them my way.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Can you name these?

When I went to Campus Life events on Wednesday nights as a teenager we would have this game where we had to sing jingles until teams started to drop out becase they couldn't think of anymore. I found a corporate logo game that kind of reminds me of it. I didn't do so good though, I only got 28/36 logos correct. I recognized some but couldn't place them and some I had just never seen. Maybe if I drank beer I would have done better. Try it and let me know your score.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gluten Free Wednesday

Let's say you have to bring a dessert somewhere. What do you bring that is gluten free? I posted the Monster Cookie recipe, last September, that is my go to cookie recipe and there is always Betty Crocker gluten free brownies, cake mixes and cookie mix that came out in 2009. Those are good but I like something that looks like I worked hard, tastes good and, best of all, is gluten free.

Here is a Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe I use. It is Very rich. I read the reviews before making it and they said it was rich but I was skeptical. I like chocolate. I like rich food. I like big helpings. But this cake is rich. So cut small pieces.

3 10-ounce packages frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
1 cup freshly brewed espresso or 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup water
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
8 large eggs, beaten to blend

Fresh raspberries
whipping cream (real, fresh whipping cream)

Working in batches, puree raspberries and syrup in processor. Strain puree into medium bowl. Chill. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line bottom of 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with parchment. Place all chocolate in large bowl. Bring butter, espresso and sugar to boil in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add to chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk in eggs.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake until center of cake is set and tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour. Remove pan from water. Chill cake overnight.

Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Using oven mitts as aid, hold pan bottom over low heat for 15 seconds, warming slightly to release cake. Place platter over pan. Hold pan and platter together tightly and invert. Lift off cake pan; peel off parchment.

Serve with sauce and fresh berries and whipping cream. The whipping cream helps lighten it up a bit.

P.S. I got this recipe from

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do you know what today is?

Nope, not Groundhog Day. Who cares about a shadow! In the Willamette Valley we ALWAYS have 6 more weeks of winter. We don't need a furry animal to tell us that.
Nope, tonight is the first night of the last season of LOST!!!! I am so excited. I went to the store and bought junk food and special cream sodas in glass bottles!! That is how excited I am. Please don't call me from 8-11. I will not answer. I am going to be in television land.

I am amending the first part of my post. The weatherman is saying he is calling for an early spring this year in Oregon. Do I believe a weatherman? I sure want to.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I am faced with a dilemma. I have mentioned it before. It isn't a real pressing dilemma, and really not that important, but I think about it nonetheless. I would like to buy an electronic reader. I can't decide if I want a kindle, nook, sony reader or if I should hold out for the ipad, in a few years, when the price is better and the kinks are worked out.

I think I want a kindle but my biggest concern is that it won't allow me to download books from my library. Other electronic readers will. BUT other electronic readers do not get as good of reviews. And believe me, I have read MANY reviews. They just make me more confused.

So you, my readers, please chime in. If you have any of these readers PLEASE leave a comment. I need to know. I have been saving money and hope to buy one before our two week roadtrip this summer. I just can't decide!