Chicken Fra Diavolo with Zoodles

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My husband and I have been participating in a whole 30 and just trying to eat healthier. In the whole 30 you can’t eat any dairy, grains, or added sugar for 30 days so I have had to be creative with our veggies. I LOVE pasta and didn’t think I could find a healthy substitute that would taste delicious but than I tried zoodles and boy was I wrong. Zoodles are noodles made from peeled zucchini and if you haven’t tried them you are missing out. I made some fra diavolo sauce the night before with this recipe http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fra-diavolo-sauce-with-pasta/. I made a couple changes to the recipe by using fresh roma tomatoes, adding a little basil and oregeno, and blending the sauce.

Zoodle recipe:
4 zucchinis
2tbs ghee( can use butter if not on whole 30)
1.5 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the skin off the zucchinis and than use the peeler to slice noodles. Saute in a large pan with ghee and garlic till hot. Take off the heat and salt and pepper. Top with Fra Diavolo sauce and grilled chicken.

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Blush and Gold

the tulle skirt is inspired by Carrie Bradshaw and I love the gold and blush that is trending right now. Sigh… Any volunteers that want to give me money so I can actually put this on my body???…anyone..buehler….. buehler….
Darn oh well I hope you all love this as much as I do

Blush and Gold

Gluten Free Pizza

The thoughts of eating gluten free food has made me a bit depressed. I thought giving up gluten would mean that I was going to be stuck eating dry brick like food that had no real taste. Well with one of my first gluten free pizza’s I can say I was sooo wrong and glad I was. This pizza was delicious!! It is a thinner crust and you can even fold it. In fact I think I like it better than most of the pizza crust I have ever had. I got this recipe from the minimalist baker. Thanks a bunch!! pizza

Pizza Crust
INGREDIENTS
3 cups gluten free flour blend* (1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup white rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar, divided
1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine yeast and 3/4 cup warm water – about 110 degrees. Too hot and it will kill the yeast! Let set for 5 minutes to activate. Sprinkle in 1 Tbsp of the sugar a few minutes in.
In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour blend, salt, baking powder and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add the olive oil and additional 1/2 cup warm water before stirring. Then stir it all together until well combined, using a wooden spoon (see photo).
Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with non-stick spray and plop your dough down. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge (see pictures). You want it to be pretty thin – less than 1/4 inch.
Put the pizza in the oven to pre-bake for roughly 25-30 minutes, or until it begins to look dry. Cracks may appear, but that’s normal and totally OK.
Remove from oven and spread generously with your favorite pizza sauce, cheese and desired toppings. We went with Daiya to keep ours dairy-free. Pop back in oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until the crust edge looks golden brown and the toppings are warm and bubbly.
Cut immediately and serve. Reheats well the next day in the oven or microwave.

Goodbye Gluten

Ever since I was a little girl I have had stomach problems. I can remember being little and rushing to the emergency room with stomach pain so intense I could hardly move or breathe. I’ve seen many doctors over the years and they have each had different theories. Some have believed it was in my head, others have thought I had IBS, most have been confused and haven’t been able to come up with an answer. When I was 18 I had a doctor that finally tested my gallbladder and found out it wasn’t working. I had it removed and for a while some of the stomach pain, nausea, and fatigue went away. Over the years, though, it has returned and my symptoms seem to be getting worse. I feel tired all the time, my stomach hurts everyday, I am nauseous, and I’m having a difficult time remembering things. I don’t know for sure if I have developed an intolerance to gluten but I am going to try an elimination diet for a few months to see if I can notice a difference. I am really praying this helps but I am also nervous to start this journey. I am a baker and I will have to learn new ways to bake all of my recipes. Also, saying goodbye to pasta and pizza is going to be difficult. I am a little nervous because gluten is in the majority of my diet, but I am hopeful that this will help me to finally feel healthy and resolve some of the issues I have been having. I will keep this blog updated about how it is going and post recipes that I like as I find them. Wish me luck!!!

DIY Pallet Herb Garden

I love to cook and have wanted my own little herb garden since getting married; however, we have no yard. For the last few months I have been searching pinterest and google to find ideas on how to still have a small garden. After seeing one on pinterest I decided to make my own from pallets. I think it turned out pretty cute so I thought I would give directions on how to make them.

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Things you will need

  • pallet (I found mine on Craigslist for free)
  • sander
  • wood conditioner(I made mine from 3/4 cups oil and 1/4cup vinegar)
  • wood stain (I used a chesnut color)*optional
  • paint brush *optional
  • gloss *optional
  • weed barried fabric
  • scissors
  • staple gun or nails and hammer
  • white paint
  • potting soil
  • herbs

1.) sand the pallet- I used sand paper which was a mistake. Seriously go get a cheap sander because it will make your life so much easier.

2.) Wipe off any dust and than apply the wood conditioner for 15 minutes before applying the stain. Let dry for a few hours and than flip it over and repeat.

3.) From that point I let it dry overnight and than applied the gloss. I let that dry a few hours and than in white paint I painted the names of the herbs where I planned to have them. For the dots I used an old cookie cutter and stamped it on the wood.

4.) I used newspaper to make a pattern for the fabric weed barrier and than cut out six pieces of the fabric.

5.) I used nails and a hammer and nailed the fabric to the pallets( you could also use a  staple gun) making kind of a pocket

6.) I put the herbs into the fabric pocket and than put in the potting soil

Frozen and Anxiety

I recently read a post on a woman’s blog that talked about Frozen promoting gay advocacy. I feel like it was a very far-fetched article and it was not at all what I got out of the movie. So I thought I would share my own thoughts.

Like most little girls growing up, I loved Disney movies. In my mind, the princesses were perfect. They were stunning girls who were the fairest in all the land. They sang like angels and they always married their Prince Charming. I idolized them growing up and dreamed of growing up to be a Disney princess. They were magical. Growing up, I came to realize that life does not work like most Disney movies portray and, although I may have tried, I was never perfect. I have had pretty strong anxiety since I was a little girl and I still struggle with it. It has caused me stress and has strained my health at times. Despite the fact that I know so many others that go through it, I have still tried to mask my own feelings and have felt shame when unable to control my feelings. For that reason, even though I am 21, Frozen was amazing to me. I related to it because I felt like Elsa had anxiety. I think the whole movie has many more great things that young girls can learn and/or relate to.

What I learned from Elsa:

From the time that Elsa was young, she felt that she couldn’t expose who she really was and had a hard time controlling her powers. She was terrified that the people around her would find out she wasn’t perfect. I know so many people who suffer from mental illness that feel like they are close to breaking, or terrified of what might happen if they lose control. Eventually she does lose control and she pushes everyone who loves her away. She runs away and sings an amazing ballad of letting go and accepting that “[the] perfect girl’s no more.” She accepts her own flaws and realizes that it’s part of who she is. By the end of the song, she has an amazing transformation. I know some people didn’t like the transformation and saw it as her transforming from a good girl to a bit of a bad girl… but that is not how I saw it. I thought it was amazing to see her transform, accept her flaws, and realize that they helped make her more beautiful and made her who she really was. I also think her running away was a good lesson for girls. I think that so many times we are tempted to push people away and isolate ourselves, all the while thinking that our loved ones will be better off. However, like Elsa, we usually cause damage to those we love when we push them away. In the end, she realizes the people that love her will be there and keep loving her, despite her powers.

What I hope little girls will learn from Anna:

So many little girls grow up thinking that they will fall in love with their first real boyfriend and live happily ever after. I am married and I often refer to my husband as my Prince Charming. We were childhood sweethearts, but our families both moved and lost contact. We didn’t see each other until the summer before my senior year of high school. My first high school boyfriend’s name was Michael. I was 16 and had never been kissed, nor had what I considered (at the time) to be a real boyfriend. It was something that my friends pointed out often. Michael had spiky, blonde hair at the time. I thought that was oh, so cool (insert eye roll here at how ridiculous 16-year-old-me was). Despite the fact that we had never had a real conversation, I thought he was the bees’ knees and apparently he thought I was, too. We started chatting through Facebook and later decided to date and be boyfriend and girlfriend. We would hang out, but it was always super awkward since we were both shy. He was my first kiss and the first boy to say that he loved me. In hindsight, I don’t think either of us knew what real love was. A few weeks later, he broke up with me. I felt devastated and didn’t understand how he could have broken up with me if he loved me. Now in Frozen, Anna immediately thinks she loves Hans and even though he is her first love, he ends up being the bad guy! Keep in mind that Michael was in no way a bad guy… he just wasn’t the right one for me. I think it is important for young girls to know that: just because a guy in high school likes them doesn’t mean he is the one; some guys may not have good intentions; and sometimes it takes a while for the real Prince Charming to get there. I feel very lucky that I found my husband. He is my absolute best friend.  I love also that Frozen shows: true love isn’t always that of a prince and princess; your family loves you more than anything; and the people you should be closest to are your family.

 

Overall, I think this movie is brilliant and that it teaches young kids many important lessons.

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