Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gluten Free Dinner- Roasted Lemon/Garlic Chicken, Garlic Mashed Pototoes and Carrots with a brown sugar glaze

Who says eating gluten-free has to be boring?! It can be quite delicious actually!

While searching for dinner ideas a while ago, I stumbled upon a GREAT blog- Full Bellies, Happy Kids! Every recipe I have tried from that blog has been absolutely delicious- even the gluten filled ones (duh! lol). I got this chicken recipe from her blog, and adjusted it to our liking.

Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken-
- 1 whole chicken (cut up)
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves (depending how garlic-y you would like it), thinly sliced
- 1 lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 bay leaves

Place cut up whole chicken in a baking dish. Place sliced garlic and slices of butter over chicken. Cut your lemon and squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken pieces. Add salt & pepper to taste, and 2 bay leaves. Cover and let sit (refrigerated) for at least an hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 and bake for 2 hours.

I assure you, your house is going to smell AMAZING and you will be deemed the best cook in town...just not MY town because I'm the best cook here (ok, maybe not, but one can wish, right?!).

Garlic Mashed Potatoes-
- 5 or 6 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed, and boiled until soft (keep in mind, I'm cooking for a family of 7)
-3 tablespoons of butter plus 1 tablespoon for garlic
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk (I never really measure..)
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste

While your potatoes are cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan and add your minced garlic. Only cook for a minute or not over cook your garlic or it will turn bitter to the taste. Set to the side once done. Once your potatoes have boiled and are soft, drain them and place them back into your pot. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter, the cooked garlic, 1/2 cup of milk, and salt/pepper to taste. Blend together with a hand mixer until smooth. You may need to add a little bit more milk if you find that the potatoes are too stiff.

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots-
-7 or 8 carrots, peeled, cut into thin sticks
-1 tablespoon of butter
-1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar

Melt the tablespoon of butter in a frying pan, add your carrots and cook over medium-high heat until they are softened but still a little firm (10 minutes give or take). Once the carrots are the desired softness add your brown sugar and mix until the sugar is melted onto the carrots and remove from heat.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever tried making delicious, mouth watering gluten filled Chocolate Chip Cookies while living a gluten free diet?? It's not easy! Not easy at all! So, I decided to look around for some gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipes that I could make for myself while making the "normal" chocolate chip cookies for everyone else.
Every recipe I saw had ingredients that I didn't have, so I just got creative. To be honest, I was scared to death to try my creation lol The dough didn't look appetizing at all. However, once the baked, they rose so beautifully and tasted AMAZING (especially for being gluten free! lol)

-1/2 cup of nut butter (I used peanut butter, it was not a "knock you down" flavor)  
-2 eggs
-3 tablespoons of butter (softened) 
-3 tablespoons of sugar
-2 tablespoons of soy flour (you can buy this at walmart!)
-1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
-As many chocolate chips as you like!

Blend together the nut butter, eggs and butter. Add the sugar, soy flour and baking soda. Once combined add as many or little chocolate chips as you would like.

Bake in the preheated oven of 350 for 10-12 minutes (less time if you make smaller cookies).

I hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think!    

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gardening is good for your health

Gardening is good for your health! Not just the vegetables and fruit you get out of it, but the actual process of gardening- getting your hands dirty, pulling weeds, picking your vegetables, it's healthy for you! Ever since we started the process of gardening we have just enjoyed it so much. I thought maybe it was just a nice new hobby, getting back to the way God created things to be, but it's obviously been so much more! Anyways, I'm not good at explaining all the technical stuff, so here's an article that does a better job!

Why Gardening is healthy for you

Every morning I walk through my garden and then every evening right before dark. I find that it calms me, and puts me in awe of how God created everything to work and to grow. I just love it so much. I want to invite everyone over to come see my garden but I doubt they'll have the excitement I do about it lol

Lately I've been training my cucumbers to climb up tomato cages instead of spreading out on the ground and taking up so much space. They were stubborn at first, but now they're catching on, climbing up on their own, wrapping the vines around the poles and back to the stem. It's like they have a mind of their own!
I'm going to take this in a slightly different direction for a moment. Yesterday in church we sang "He Loves Us". The verse goes:
"He is jealous for me
Love's like
a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of
His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me."

To be honest, I've heard that song so much that it was on my "overplayed" list, but this sunday is really spoke to my heart. This past week the Lord has really been showing me how He'll meet me where I am. I'm pregnant, and when I'm pregnant I'm grumpy, tired and irritable. All I want to do is rest. I don't want to get up and read the Bible. I don't want to get up and do anything. When we sang this song the Lord brought to my mind my garden blowing with the breeze. I often times will let the kids play outside and I'll just sit back and admire the garden. How the leaves sway in the breeze, how the bee's jump blossom to blossom, and I just take delight in it. Well with the image of the garden in my mind, that was me...I was swaying to the wind of his mercy and just like I take such delight in my garden, even more so He delights in me, His child.

This big big powerful mighty God delights in me. He sets His affections on ME, this grumpy mean pregnant woman. I don't even like myself half the time.....but He still does. He loves me so much that He'll meet me where I am, He'll speak to me through the garden, He speaks "my language" because He delights in me. 

He'll meet you where you are too, just take a step out. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Garden Update

I don't really have much to talk about today. Life seems to the be same most days, and I'm good with that! We get a little variety of change from time to time like this week we're dealing with a yucky stomach virus.
The biggest news around here, well, at least for me, is to see the garden growing! Being that it's my first "real" garden I'm anxious to see it start producing fruit and veggies! We have a few things growing!

We had our first strawberry not long ago, infact, we had a second one shortly after that the kids were excited to share with their Mimi.

We have a few tomato's growing as well. Not sure how they're going to do though since the plant doesn't seem to be doing very well. These are from two of my potted tomato plants and I just don't think they were getting what they needed from the pot. I transplanted them to the ground. I'm hoping it's not too late to save them.

We also have a cute little roma tomato growing. The squash look like they're going to blossom with flower any day now! Just waiting!

Just because I love to see progression pictures, here's what the garden looked like when we planted everything at first:

and now 3 weeks later:

It's not the BEST picture in the world, but you can see how much bigger the plants are. I should go through row by row and take pictures. Yeah, I'm pretty nerdy and into my garden like that lol.

Well, that's all I have for now! Happy gardening!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hello blog world that I've completely neglected!

I decided that our progress of gardening may be a good place to start up again!

For the longest time I've felt a need to be more self sufficient. We're not anywhere near "tin foil hat" people, or doomsday, but we think it's wise and even healthy to be able to grow our own food.

We recently had gotten our yard fenced in and I (had my husband) immediately went right to work tilling the ground. That evening after tilling a good friend told us about this place called Back to Eden. They have a video about how he gardens and how he brings it back to the natural way of doing things. Google it, it's really an amazing watch! It totally changed our perspective on how we were going to garden. It was a God-send!

Anyways, here are some picture of our progress:

Right after the land was tilled:

We raked out the grass (this used to be completely filled with grass) and then tilled a second time and raked out the grass again. It was really a lot of work getting all the grass out, and to be honest, there's still some there that we're removing as we plant.

We then went on our quest of fresh mulch around our town. No one mulchs their stuff! They just send it to the dump! I was able to call a place about 45 minutes from us and they had a compost/mulch/fertilizer/top soil mixture that was only $15 a truck load. So we recruited our neighbor to drive up there with my husband to pick some up.

Here's my smokin-hot husband shoveling the smelly stuff off the truck:

Next we spread it out over the garden and raked it in just a little (this is a crappy cell picture, sorry, but you get the idea):

We then put up a fence to keep the kids and puppies out and started planting our garden. We are SO far from being finished, however, this is where we are at this current moment:

These 3 mini rows are watermelon. We would have made longer rows but found out that particular part is clay and clay is like solid rock to dig through, so we have called that part our "dead zone" and have figured that putting our potted plants there is a good alternative since the kids and puppies have loved messing with them.

Our tomato's, and there's a dirt row right next to it where hopefully green beans will start growing (seeds):

On the other side of the tomato's and green beans is our row of strawberries:

I'm out of mulch (the redish stuff around the plants), so I'll plant more stuff tonight once we get more mulch. 

I'll update more as we go. Let me know what you think. Be easy on us, it's our first garden.