Monday, March 23, 2015

GF Confetti Cookies


Sometimes, you just want an easy cookie.

Boom!


I was a little skeptical when the recipe called for only a stick of butter and 1 egg - no liquid. 
And it did mix up a little weird - kind of like when you cream butter and sugar. Starts out dry, but comes together at the end. Same type of thing here.



Jameson was so excited to help me make the dough balls.
(This was a big deal for a kid that's not even supposed to play with play-doh.)



They turned out great, and tasted awesome!
Would not have known they were gluten free if I didn't know they were gluten free. :)



Soft and chewy.



Fun-fetti-ish.



I didn't eat all three of these.
Yes I did.



I highly recommend them!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Poteggos


Does anyone else get just really bored with the same old things in rotation for dinner?

I like to break the monotony once in a while, and took some inspiration from Pinterest this past week and came up with a new creation. The kids and I called them "Baked Poteggos." How fun is that?

They're ridiculously easy, and very affordable! At less than $0.20 for an egg and potato each, this meal is crazy cheap, let's not underestimate it.

First, you bake your potatoes (whole), wrapped in foil at 350 for about an hour, or until a fork goes into them easily.

Then, carefully cut them in half - I used a pot holder to allow me to hold them while they were hot. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside of the potato halves. I saved that scooped potato and Matt made some mashed potatoes out of it for lunch the next day.
Crack an egg in each potato half and pop them back into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your likeness.




Voila - dinner!

Except I thought they looked kind of boring. So I dressed mine up like a taco. Avocado, cheese, salsa, and a bit of sour cream.

Party in my mouth!




If I eat a fried egg, I like my yolk runny so I can dip my toast in it. I would have preferred these yolk a bit runnier, but I guess I baked them too long! Oh well, they were still so good!



Ladies and gentlemen - Baked Poteggos.





What's your best "throw-it-together" food creation?

What's your go-to cheap dinner?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reptile Gardens: Opening Weekend 2015


In conversation with a friend on Saturday, he mentioned that Reptile Gardens had opened up this past weekend. A quick look at their Facebook page confirmed that, so off we went on Sunday morning!
The crowd was small, since it's not yet tourist season, but the weather couldn't have been more PERFECT on Sunday. It was sunny and 80 degrees.




Jameson by the picture of "his" snake.




Monty. The Burmese python. Monty the Python. Get it? Ha.


Prairie Rattlesnake. All over the place out here. I liked this one the best: behind glass (though you can't see it in the picture!).




It was a fun little trip. If you're ever in the Black Hills, Reptile Gardens is definitely a must on your attraction list, whether you have little ones or not!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Clean" Alfredo Sauce

After letting my eating habits go to crap over the last few months, I'm challenging myself to eat "cleaner" for two solid weeks to see if I notice any changes in body composition, but more importantly, the overall way I feel (more energy, less bloat, better mental focus, etc).


My hope is that I DO notice a difference and continue on the path of cleaner eating, allowing myself treats in moderation, and in the process of doing so, I can be in the shape I hope to be for this summer, which hopefully holds a lot of adventure for my family and I.


The reason I put "Clean" in parentheses is because I feel like everyone's definiton of clean is different, and that's perfectly fine. This sauce has cream cheese and cow's milk in it, which I don't really think it considered clean by a lot of people, but it's still much healthier than the junk from a jar.


Another thing to note is that the original recipe calls for all-purpose flour which is not really an option in a celiac household. But no worries. I just substituted the flour with cornstarch.


My husband's favorite meal is chicken alfredo. I love it too, but that sauce from a jar - FULL of preservatives and chemicals, of course. I found this recipe from The Skinny Fork on Pinterest and decided to give it a go.


Wow. The taste of this sauce is flippin' delicious. I'm not even joking. When I make it in the future - because you know I'm going to - I will cook the cauliflower longer, as it had a bit of a grainy texture to it from the cauliflower. But errmahgerrsh. This stuff is bomb.


I took very few pictures because - as usual - I got excited and got ahead of myself.  The picture quality is also less than awesome off of my iphone. I really plan to start using my nice camera this year. Seriously this time. Ha.


Here's the recipe, directly from The Skinny Fork:
2 C. Cauliflower, Cooked
1 1/4 C. Fat Free Milk
3 oz.. Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp. Flour
1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Light Butter
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 C. 2% Milk Italian Cheese Blend, Shredded





So the first step is to cook your cauliflower. When it's all said and done, you want two cups of cooked cauliflower. The recipe did not state how finely to chop the cauliflower, but I just cut off the florets similar to broccoli size. I was going to boil them, but we have an electric stove that takes 8 months to boil water (I can't WAIT to have a gas stove again!), so I stuck the cauli in a glass bowl with a little bit of water and microwaved it for a total of ten minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes to try and evenly cook the cauli.


While you're cooking the cauliflower, you melt your butter in a saucepan and sautee your minced garlic in it until the garlic becomes translucent and tender. This is about the time your kitchen stops smelling like cooked cauliflower and starts smelling like butter and garlic. Yum.





When the cauliflower is cooked, you put it in your food processor with the cream cheese, milk, and salt and blend it up. Then, pour that mixture into the pan with the butter and garlic. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Once it's thickened, pour in the Italian cheese, stir, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.
You'll have something looking like this:





I spend at least a couple hours each Sunday prepping healthy food for the week, so I already had some grilled chicken cubed up in the fridge. While I was working on my clean alfredo, I boiled up some gluten free pasta, warmed up the chicken, and then put it all together.











You want some, don'tcha?



If you're skeptical about the taste of alfredo sauce made with a base of cooked cauliflower, I can't say that I blame you. But I encourage you to give this a try if you're looking to clean up your diet a bit.

If you have leftovers and warm this sauce up, you might need to add some liquid (I added skim milk). And I also learned that Great Value GF pasta - while delicious the first time - does NOT warm up well. But...know I know. :)

Let me know what you think if you try this!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Will You Challenge Yourself With Me?

This week, I'm issuing a challenge to myself and I'm inviting you to join me. 

This week, I'm challenging myself to PUT.THE.PHONE.DOWN.

I say all the time how technology and social media have become the downfall of society, yet I don't live it. 

This week, I make that effort, and I encourage you to do the same. 

When your kids talk to you, look them in the eye and listen immediately, rather than when you're done reading that article or status. 

Instead of checking Facebook 29 times a day, put that effort into your work, your home, your goals, whatever needs your attention. 

With that, I'm peacing out for the evening, because there are 2 boys that I chose to bring into this world, who are playing, using their imaginations, and giggling hysterically, yet I sit here glued to this stupid 4-inch screen. Later. 

Who's with me? 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hiking....In the Backyard.

Hi! Remember me? My hiatus from the blog world has not been intentional, though I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately as to why I blog and what my future with blogging is.
Anyway, in true Metz fashion, a lot has been going on. We moved. Long story made short – the owner of the house we were renting passed away, and finding an heir/next of kin was proving to be difficult, so instead of being faced with having to be out of the house in a matter of days, we started a search and found a rental at the mouth of a canyon. The house is unique, but it functions well for us and it’s in a really pretty setting. We like it.
I went from working my office job last summer to working part time for a local entrepreneur, to working two jobs, to now only working one, but it’s a full time office job that I’m really enjoying so far. The company is Terracon Consultants, Inc. It’s a geological and environmental engineering firm that also does construction materials testing. I am the office coordinator/admin assistant, and I really enjoy it. Matt’s still buying and selling produce, and there’s a lot going on in that industry, as usual! We’re keeping quite busy.
These kids of mine are just growing up right before my eyes. We’re thinking ahead to kindergarten round up here in a few weeks – yikes! Hendrix is reading and writing and Jameson is learning his letters and numbers also. They’re so much fun to converse and giggle with.
My grandpa (my dad’s dad) passed away in November, so I was back in Illinois and Indiana for a few short, but crazy busy days, in early December. It was so nice to spend some much needed time with loved ones. I’ll miss my grandpa, but he lived a full and happy life, and he’s doing much better now than he was previously. We take comfort in that. J
Matt’s mom got married and moved back to Indiana from South Dakota! I’m super happy for her, and she’s doing much better back near her other two boys, and with her new husband. Matt’s middle brother and his wife are expecting baby number 2 in August! We are working on a fund to travel home in either November or December this year to celebrate the holidays with our immediate family and meet this new niece or nephew of ours.
We have plans to do a whole lot of camping and being outdoors this summer, and I just cannot wait for more hours of sunshine, warm temps, campfires, star gazing, swimming, and grilling. It can’t get here quickly enough!
We’ve been having a super mild winter here in Rapid City (I hope we don’t pay for this in the next couple of months). A few weekends ago, we were having one of our mild days, so we decided to get out and explore our new yard, which is basically a hill straight up into the air. We hiked that thing.

 

Hendrix thought the burrs were hilarious.

 

The view from the top.

 

Not a great picture, but this is our house.
 
It was fun to get out and get some fresh January air while not freezing our tails off!
 
I'll be back again soon with another post. I'll do my best not to make it three months between posts this time, deal?
 
Have an awesome day!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two Years...

Today marks the two year anniversary of Jameson's Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis.  There are times where it still feels new and scary.  But more often than not now, we sit in disbelief that it's only been two years ago, because it feels like forever.  

Once you have children, you forget what it was like before you had them.  Being a Type 1 Family works in much the same way.  I forget what it was like to just give Jameson something to eat and be done with it - not that I was able to do that for long anyway, with diagnosis coming at 16 months old.

It's hard for me to remember what it was like to go somewhere without making sure we had something sugary with us, as well as the glucagon, the meter, test strips, alcohol swabs, etc. I suppose that's similar to the diaper bag situation. :)

Anyway, I'm so proud of this boy.  He just takes it all in stride, and recently, he has really shown interest in wanting to take control of his disease.  

He checks his own blood sugar now.  How awesome is that?  Check it out. (The blood sugar in this particular video is VERY high.  This happens.  It's not worth freaking out about, and never worth blaming Jameson for.  As always, you just treat the number and move on.)

A couple of weeks ago, I had given him his breakfast, and he called to me from the table, "Mom, did you bolus me for my cereal?" I stood in the kitchen and just chuckled.  Never hurts to have another set of eyes on diabetes!

Yesterday, I watched this video on YouTube. ((Please watch it if you have 12 minutes to spare.)) Might have been a mistake to watch, seeing as how the first few days of November make me an emotional time bomb as it is.  :) Anyway, I was obviously in tears very shortly into it.  It got me thinking about Jameson's diagnosis.


Trick-or-Treating 2012.  On the way home, I thought he was just tired.  I had no idea what was really going on inside his little body.


Thinking about my baby - not even a year and a half old, un-responsive in his carseat as I drove him to the ER, I got angry. The tears were streaming down my face, not going to lie.  I fail to understand how this disease continues to go un-diagnosed and children continue to die from it in America, in 2014.

His blood sugar was only 382 (that's actually low for typical diagnosis BG's), but he was in severe DKA. Approximately 28 hours before I drove him to the ER, I had taken him to the pediatrician.  I presented this doctor with the classic symptoms: soaked diapers, extreme thirst, lethargy, vomiting.  She sent us home.  She sent us home!!!!! We got our diagnosis the next night.




I'm not one to get dramatic, so I hate to even say this.  But I'm not stretching the story or exaggerating in any way - we are lucky we didn't lose Jameson 2 years ago. We're also extremely lucky he didn't suffer any brain damage from the severe state of DKA and dehydration he was in. I remember listening to the doctor tell us that brain damage is not uncommon after such a blow to that little body and developing brain.


In the emergency room in Bowling Green, OH.  Not long after this was taken, we were life-flighted to Toledo, OH.

BUT, as the story goes, and as you all know, we have our sweet, silly goofball with us today and I could not be more thankful. I know God gave him his goofy and sarcastic personality for a reason, and that he's going to take every challenge and set-back in stride and continue to be the little superhero that he is.





Burnout is very real with this disease, since it permeates every second of every day of your life.  But giving up is never an option. I'll never give up, and I'll never lose hope for a cure.

You're so awesome, little man.  Never stop being my hero.