Monday, May 31, 2010

What I Gave Up

When I cleaned out the pantry this was the loot that my mom got. I had to take a picture to remember.

There is canola oit, vegetable oil, all kinds of wheat flour, cornmeal, pasta, orzo, rice mixes, brown sugar, and oh, let's get another view.

Yep, I think that covers it. Goodbye food!! Amazingly, I don't miss you. I just miss your convenience.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gluten Free Bread?

On my gluten free adventure, I haven't had very many options for bread. I picked up a couple of mixes from Chebe. They are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, rice free, pretty much everything free!! I was skeptical.

I made my first mix this weekend. It was for a flat bread. Oh yum!!

I topped it with sauteed onions, garlic and chard. It was so delicious!! I will definitely be making this again. It does require 2 eggs, but I have those!

Even Dave approved. His comment was, "How is this not bread?". Ha! I had to tell him that it is bread, just no gluten.

Bonus: I even messed up on the directions and it worked out! I think that the key to this bread is to knead the dough really well.

I can't wait to try my next mix from Chebe!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Clucking Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Girls!!
I can hardly believe that my girls are a year old! It seems like yesterday they were just eggs. What an adventure they have taken us on and oh, how we love them! We hatched Atta Girl, Daisy, Edith and Jemima. They are such lovely ladies. Live it up today girls. It's all yours.


Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Summertime...

It's Summertime....... (sung by The Flaming Lips) Oh yes, indeed. School is out. No more students dirty looks! I am SO excited. This is the first summer break that I am going to have a break! What are my plans? you ask. Relaxation, vacation, and catching up.

I can't wait to sleep in. That means 7am to me. It is much later than 5am. We are going to Savannah to visit some friends and relax this weekend. I am so excited! We always have a good time down there.

I have checked out tons of books from the library on whole foods cooking, raw recipes and a gluten free diet. I have so many recipes that I want to try. Soon I will have the time. Flax seed crackers, gluten-free cupcakes and sprouted seeds and beans, I am quite enthusiastic about trying you.

On Tuesdays I am leading a graduating senior girls book club/ Bible study at my house. Bible study sounded too daunting for them. I am so excited about this!! A chance to finally go deeper in God with some students. I have been waiting three long years. They graduated Saturday. So crazy. Such a big day for them now. I wonder how big it will seem in ten years. Hopefully we'll still be in touch so that I can find out!

Oh, and with all of my lack of energy, I hope to have enough to do some projects around the house. You know, repaint a room or two, tidy up in the yard, plant a tree, work in the garden. I will have time to do these things, I just need the energy to go along with it. Come on energy!

I also want to visit some friends that I don't often see. It has been so long since I have had time for road trips to see my bestest girlfriends that have moved away. I am going to see what I can fit in. Look out road!I might be driving down you.

And on any given day, you might find me with a book or by my sister's pool basking in the sun. Hooray for summertime!!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Since starting on my healthy eating plan I haven't had very many snacks. If you know me you know that I l-o-v-e salty snacks. Corn chips, popcorn and roasted seeds and nuts were always within reach. Well, all of those have left the building. So what is a girl to do? Make kale chips. A friend recommended them. I googled it and here is how I ended up making them.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Take about a half of a bunch of kale and cut out them stems. Cut it into strips and wash it, then put it trough the salad spinner to get extra water off. I let it sit for a few minutes to make sure that it was good and dry. Next place the kale in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over them. Toss them to coat and sprinkle salt and red pepper flakes pretty generously, giving them another toss.

Lay them out on a baking sheet flat and not touching. Bake for around 10 minutes. It depends on your oven. They will start to bubble a bit and just turn brown. I could smell that they were done.

Carefully remove the kale chips from the pan and enjoy!!

I tried two different kinds of kale. Red Russian kale cooked up flat. Regular curly kale cooked up a bit more crispy. Both were delicious. I think they taste kind of like a zesty roasted pumpkin seed. However, I found that they did not store well. I had read that in an airtight container they would store ok. Not so here. Oh well.

I think that you should try them. Even Dave approved of this new snack! Woohoo!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Have I mentioned that changing everything about how you eat is hard? The pantry shelves have been cleaned out. So has the refrigerator and my baking containers. Flour is out, beans are in. Rice, buckwheat and lentils sure do look nice on the shelf! But it is a lot of work. There is not much besides a salad that comes together quickly!

Not only do I have to cook all of the time, but there really aren't many good options for eating out. I am doing my research, believe me! And parties or get togethers~ very difficult places to be. Sugar, corn and wheat are everywhere!! I am learning to pack things or bring things for myself. It is an adjustment. Some advice for folks who don't have food issues: when you do throw a shin dig or have a get together always have a veggie tray and fruit tray. It isn't much work, it is good for you and people will eat it!

Oh yeah, and have I mentioned that my body feels like it has been put through the ringer? I have been terribly exhausted. Detoxing the body is hard work on itself. I have had small spurts of energy, but I can't wait for some sustained energy. In the detox process my skin is freaking out. I think that I have broken out all over my face, scalp, neck, arms, back and now hands and legs. Good grief!! It can be incredibly itchy and quite unattractive, God help me. Hopefully this phase will pass quickly. I guess I should be thankful that my breaking out just looks like a rash of tiny blisters and not big ugly things.

I know that this will be worth it. I am hanging in there. Any other people who have suffered through and made it have words of encouragement? I could use some.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


So, you might be wondering how my new healthy eating plan is going. I was scolded for calling it a diet. I only use the word diet to refer to all of the food that I eat. I think that it is going well. This, however, was my second clue. The other morning I wanted this for breakfast.
 This would be a poached egg with sauteed bok choy and rice. 

I know that this sounds odd, but is actually a pretty common breakfast in many parts of the world. I thought that I was crazy for wanting this at first, but it was SO satisfying. I just needed to think outside of the box. Why do we limit ourselves foods that we are used to for breakfast? I think that we are just conditioned that way. 

I encourage you~think outside of your food box! That could be literally!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Comfort Food

Sometimes you just want a handful of french fries, you know? Well, that is out for me now on this new diet. At least fast food fries. I can still have potatoes. One of my favorite dishes is oven cooked potatoes. They are super delicious and I didn't have to change my recipe! This one will knock your socks off and bring you back for more. That is, if you love potatoes. The spice blend makes the recipe. I was tired of spice blends at the store. You had no clue what was really in them and no control over the salt. I like this because I can use sea salt or real salt.

You will need:
some potatoes of your choice
real salt or sea salt
dried dill
cayenne pepper powder
garlic powder
onion powder
dried mustard
high heat oil

Step one: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Start with the potatoes of your choice. I have used small red potatoes, yukon gold, baking potatoes. All work well. I like mine cut up in to fairly small bite size pieces. Try to cut them so that they are pretty uniform in size. Now cover them in water then dry them off. Yes, you heard me right. This keeps them from sticking to the pan something awful. Weird huh?

Step two: Coat the potatoes with an oil that can take high heat. I prefer grape seed oil for this. It is light and browns food beautifully.

Step three: Make the seasoning blend. I like to do this in a tiny bowl. You can make this for a big batch or a small batch. I usually make enough for about 3-4 helpings of potatoes.
1tblsp sea salt or real salt
2 tsp dill
2 dashes of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard.
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder

More cayenne will give you more kick. I wouldn't leave it out though. It is just enough to add some flavor. Mix together well. Sprinkle on potatoes covered in oil and stir.

Step four: Spread on a baking sheet with a lip. Trust me. You don't want oil spilling into the bottom of your oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes then turn the potatoes carefully. Some may be stuck to the pan. Scrape up the good stuck on stuff. That is the best! Then cook then them for another 10 minutes or so, until desired brownness.

Step five: Enjoy! These are even good as left overs.

Maybe this will inspire you to make your own seasoning blend with spices that you love. If you do, please share!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I am making some changes in my life. They are life altering and kind of scary. Don't worry, it only deals with food!

Some of you know but some of you don't know the story of why I am making these changes. My whole life I have had one illness, affliction or something stressing my physical health. I was a miracle baby that the Doctor said shouldn't be here. I am so glad that Mom and Dad took the risk to have me! Anyway, that being said, I have had a long road with many doctors. The last decade or so has been pretty uneventful health wise. I has been a nice break, but I have never taken my health for granted.

The past few months have been rough. It started out with nausea. No, I am not, nor was I pregnant. I could manage through the day and could eat fine. But it was annoying. A month or two into it, fatigue set in and refused to leave. My doctors ran a jillion tests. Everything came back saying that all was in good working order.

Well, after a couple of days of debilitating fatigue I found another doctor. Within five minutes of looking at me he told me that my adrenal glands are shot. I had suspected this, but no other doctor was willing to go there. I asked him if we should run any tests. He said that would cost a lot of money and would only tell him what he already knows. Did I mention that he is an M.D. that also studied Chinese medicine? I am so glad to have someone on this road with me! He said I have probably had adrenal issues my whole life. Wow! And I have other issues going on, but we start with the adrenals.

So, what do we do about it? He gave me some homeopathic remedies, a list of stretches/movements to do, an order to do NO exercise and a strict diet. And I mean strict! No gluten, corn, sugar, yeast, table salt, soda, brown rice, no tap water, tea, coffee, alcohol and limited other things. So, I started this diet last week and am seeing results already. Swelling, which I have always had in my extremities, is going down. I ate some foods on my "naughty" list the other day to say my goodbyes. My histamines were of control! You would have thought that I walked through a pollen storm. Not to mention that my favorite "do not eat" foods don't taste like favorites should anymore. It is so strange, but it will help me stay my course.

Here is a list of what I am eating a lot of right now. You could call it an elimination diet:
Basmati or Jasmine rice
sugar snap peas
raw walnuts
raw sunflower seeds
raw almonds
raw pumpkin seeds
poached eggs

Like I said, limited. It does have plenty of variety. Thank God that I have free range chickens so that I have free range eggs. I can not eat store bought eggs poached. No way! Free range are a totally different experience. Thank you chickens.

Ok, I am sure that I have bored you enough. I just wanted to let you know what is going around here. I will probably be posting a bit more frequently about food. I will have to be doing all of my cooking. Eating out really isn't an option. I might find some pretty cool products and recipes along the way or places where I can eat, other than my kitchen! Oh, and I will try to post on why some of these foods have been eliminated or are allowed or encouraged.

Thanks for taking this journey with me!! I am hoping for great results. Like a Kara full of energy in a year or so. I can't even imagine it!! And so the great experiment begins...

Monday, May 3, 2010

More Chicken Photos

Above: Pickle, her usual curious self.

Right: Edith being her usual uncooperative self with the camera. Atta Girl is in the background.

This is Lydia's new laying spot, a bushel basket on the back porch. She found it and claimed it even though it was full of my small garden shovels and gloves. Silly chicken!!
She cracked me up hiding under the towel hanging from the hand rail. Now she lays here regularly. Dave cleared out the basket and put some straw in there for her. The other girls are curious about the basket. Now they take turns laying their eggs there.It is fun to look out the back door and see a chicken laying your breakfast!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day

I love spring!! I love the plants that bloom in my yard and how they brighten up my world.

Here is an old fashioned azalea.
Above: another azalea

To the right: star of bethlehem

Below: flowering quince

Below right: flowering dogwood
Above top: azalea

Above right: pink lady apple blossom

Above: zinnia

Right: strawberry blooms and small fruits
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