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Feb
03
2014

The Winds of Change

Well as some of you know I have become one of those bloggers. The kind where you come here and the post you see is at least two months old.  Shame on me!  But an apology would seem pretty ridiculous now.

Many of you already know a couple of years ago when I found myself still sick after doing all the things my allergist said to do, a gluten test was the next step. Well lo and behold…go tell it on the mountain!  I was gluten sensitive.  Who knew?  It’s a pain in the butt and initially I gained weight because I bought and ate EVERY SINGLE gluten free cookie, muffin, bread, baked good I could get my hands on.  I wanted to try them all.  I wanted my days as a foodie not to end in a battle with gluten.  I have learned a lot since then.  A. Lot.

But the battle broke my blogging spirit.  I couldn’t feel sorry for myself, gorge myself on processed gluten free baked goods and find the energy and “want” to write for my blog.  I don’t know if I am back there as of yet.  BUT after my plunge into the gluten free world, my daughter found her psoriasis was tremendously better when she removed gluten from her diet.  So there you have it…I had a real reason to learn more, develop and change recipes to suit not just me.  Honestly, it is just too hard to cook another whole meal for one person.  But give me a kid of mine needing a special diet and that is a different story.  OF course I can cook two meals at once. Absolutely.

As I am embarking on this new journey. I am compiling and reworking all our favorite recipes to be gluten and allergy free.  Sound like fun? Naw.  Not to me either. Sounds a lot like work.  But it is necessary and useful and someone out there who finds my blog may actually be able to use some of my findings.

Many of my recipes will be vegetarian as well since I am sensitive/allergic to many meats. Yep, you can be allergic in a dangerous way to meat.  Crazy?  Yep.  I think so too.  But it is so.  And as of late have felt really compelled to cut out all meat. I know, I know, I sound a bit like a bandwagon jumper on-er.  But that really isn’t the case.  I am trying to get well. There won’t be recipes with “meat substitutes” made from soy products because even if I weren’t deathly allergic to soy, I have many other reasons why I wouldn’t eat it.  If you are interested, just google “soy dangers”. You will find stuff on both sides of the argument so you can draw your own conclusions.  But even if I didn’t have my reasons for not eating it and even if it wouldn’t kill me, in my opinion,  it looks and tastes disgusting.

The blog may continue to be boring for a while but I am going to do my best to get back to writing some, sharing some and making things fun around here again.

So NotQuiteJuneCleaver is going GLUTEN FREE. All my old GLUTEN FULL recipes will be archived and available.  Eventually.  Catching up takes way more time that just hitting delete and starting over!

I am going to leave you with a list of my food allergies so you will sort of know what to expect.  And I am  going to try to prove to all of us that it is possible to eat well, make food that tastes great and not kill yourself in the process.  We’ll see how it goes.

How does this happen that a person becomes allergic to so much? My body hates me.  That is my only explanation.  Be prepared to be wowed.


Things that should never pass my lips, in no particular order:

GLUTEN – absolutely NO gluten Period.  The End. Forever.  And Ever. Which makes the listing of grains redundant but I will add them to the list anyway.

  • whole wheat
  • buckwheat
  • rye
  • barley
  • peanuts
  • watermelon
  • soy
  • almonds
  • shellfish
  • cantaloupe (one of the things I miss the most)
  • beef

Things that should be avoided or not combined with other foods that are on the list so as not to pile it all together and cause a reaction.(vegetables on this list are less likely to cause a problem if cooked/nuts – I try to never eat them)

  • green peas
  • lemon
  • orange
  • grapefruit
  • coconut
  • white potatoes
  • tomatoes – fresh
  • sesame seed
  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts
  • celery
  • cottonseed (Crisco)
  • mushrooms
  • yellow squash

And I can have these things but must I watch for reactions – sometimes the first reaction is my ears and face get really red and feel hot – fun fun fun:

  • corn
  • oats (can have gluten free oats – oats processed in a gluten free facility)
  • chicken
  • strawberries (I have noticed a real reaction to these lately)
  • peaches
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes cooked
  • green beans
  • onion
  • garlic
  • cashews
  • sunflower seeds
  • seedless grapes
  • mustard
  • lettuce
  • rice
  • cow milk
  • eggs
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • cabbage

How am I still so round you ask??? I can have all the chocolate my heart desires! And I can also gorge myself on tuna (I hate tuna), pork, apricot, pear, raspberries,  apple, pineapple, black pepper, vanilla, baker’s yeast (if I can find a grain I can eat), coffee (YAY), cinnamon, pecan, turkey (I don’t care for turkey), lamb (not a big fan but a good fresh lamb chop is okay – just okay), avocado, oysters, plums and olives. And by carefully reading labels tons of gluten free baked items.

AND – big news – my thyroid has turned it’s back on me now.  Could explain some of the weigh but not all of it I am quite sure. Oh yeah, and I was spayed a few years back and that certainly hasn’t helped matters.  Add to ALL of that fibromyalgia and RA and that is a cocktail of obstacles to weight loss that is hard to swallow.


For someone who loves food as much as I do, it is very difficult not to eat whatever I want that won’t actually kill me. But I always pay and swear I will never eat it again – just ask my kids! It’s a sort of joke…”There she goes. Watch, in 30 minutes she will swear she will never eat that again.” LOL


Okay, enough about me – I have to get busy.  I promise you though, with all my might, I will try to make this a fun place to visit again and again and again.  Just give me a little time to get it together.  Keeping it together may be a bigger task but I will do my best.


Namaste!

Susan

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Dec
05
2011

And she’s back!

I took a bit more of a hiatus than I planned to but it was needed.  But here I sit this rainy, RAINY morning planning another Christmas shopping trip, attending Sam’s school Christmas play where he is a snowman <3 and future blog posts.  And happy news about MORE giveaways here at NotQuiteJuneCleaver.com!  I will be giving away not one but TWO beautiful new Gooseberry Patch Books this month and posting some lovely recipes and reviews for you.  My review of  101 Soup, Salad and Sandwich Recipes. And as usual having trouble paring down my list of recipes to review!  But you may look forward to at least two delicious recipes by Friday of this week.  And Sunday a drawing for a copy of :

m668csYAY!!! The first recipe I review will be a soup recipe – and if this isn’t soup weather, I don’t know what is!!!

So you know the drill by now on how to enter this Early Bird Review and Giveaway:  All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of each post pertaining to this giveaway and Early Bird Review and consider yourself entered.  I will be posting at least  4 amazing recipes from this book over the next couple weeks and then on Monday December 12,  I will draw a name from the trusty mason jar and announce the winner.  You have at a couple chances to get your name in the drawing!  And of course it would be nice of you to tell your friends if you have facebook or a blog of your  own.

Find even MORE from Gooseberry Patch online!
www.gooseberrypatch.typepad.com
www.facebook.com/gooseberrypatch
www.twitter.com/gooseberrypatch
www.youtube.com/gooseberrypatchcom
www.scribd.com/gooseberrypatch

And if you like what you find here at my blog you can check out the right hand column and subscribe to my feed and follow me on twitter and facebook.

Alrighty, I wonder what all of you have been up to!? I have been busy as usual but thought I would share a few photos with you. See you Wednesday with recipes and review!  So please come back.  And thanks for your time.  It’s good to be back to sharing with you all!

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There you go.  Just a few things I have been up to.  More later.  Let me put on my hip waders and go shopping!  See you soon and we will cook up a little something from Gooseberry Patch!  Happy HAPPY Monday and I really and truly am happy to be back to blogging.  I have a lot to catch you up on so I hope you will stop by again!

Jan
01
2011

Welcome 2011! Let’s get this party started!

If you are reading this you are in for a treat my friend!  I have been sitting on an amazing bit of bloggery goodness for a couple of months and am so happy to invite you to join me in the fun! Back in October I got the most amazing email from a sweetie pie named Jennifer at Gooseberry Patch asking if I was interested in being an Early Bird Reviewer for Gooseberry Patch.

foryourblog

Ummmm…interested?  INTERESTED? Was she serious? OH I was interested alright!  Interested!  Excited! Delighted! I quickly zipped an email back to her saying YES YES YES and waited patiently (ha) to hear back that I had made the list of lucky bloggers.  Since about 5 long hours had passed since I received the invitation until I found out I was an Early Bird Reviewer, I was a giddy girl!

I suppose you would like for me to get to the part that involves you and your chance to win a copy of the newest Gooseberry Patch Cookbook! This month is especially special (does that sound redundant??) because you have a chance at two new Gooseberry Patch books!!! These two amazing books will be available in stores this month and I have to tell you they are wonderful!  Just as I expected!  I have quite a collection of Gooseberry Patch books and I have to say I have never been anything less than thrilled!  These two absolutely live up to my expectations and then some!

I want you to enjoy the anticipation of winning! So this lovely first day of 2011 I want to introduce you to 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes and tell you how you can win a copy and when!

101cupcake

Over the next 10 days I am going to share three recipes from 101 Cupcake, Cookie & Brownie Recipes plus more about this beautiful cookbook.

How you enter to win is super simple.  After every recipe review you can leave a comment so there will be three chances for you to get your name in.  Sound good so far?  Yeah, I thought so :) I love this little gem! When I signed on as an Early Bird Reviewer I agreed to test 2-3 recipes from each book.  Well that proved harder than I thought!  How was I going to pick JUST 2-3??? But I managed and you will love them.  They passed my recipe trial with flying colors AND the taste test of my panel of experts! Then on January 11, 2011 I will pick a winner!  YAY!

Now calm down :)   I am not going to give you everything all at once.  You will be happy to hear there will be another Gooseberry Patch Early Bird Review of another NEW book on January 15th! WILD huh???!!! And of course another three amazing recipes and three chances to win that book! Squeeeeee!

Okay let me get to it.  The first wonderful (and might I add super easy?) recipe is for Pistachio Thumbprints. It was a little hard to pick just one but I needed another cookie to add to a friend’s box of Christmas goodies.  If you followed my crazy Christmas cookie marathon, you realize time was a factor and I knew a Gooseberry Patch recipe wouldn’t fail me.  A pretty Christmas collection of goodies was very important so daintiness and color were considerations.  In a nutshell the new cookie had to be special.  And it was perfect!  You will think so too ~ so give them a try.  Gluten free notes included :)

Pistachio Thumbprints

(this recipe is credited to Shawna Green from Dumas, TX)

  • 1 cup margarine, softened*
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3.4 oz pkg instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp shortening

Blend margarine*, powdered sugar, egg and extracts.  Stir in flour and dry pudding mix.  Form dough into one inch balls.  Roll in pecans.  Place on greased (or parchment lined) baking sheets; gently press a thumbprint  into each.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes; let cool.  Spoon (I piped) vanilla filling into thumbprints.  In a plastic zipping bag, microwave remaining ingredients until melted, one to 2 minutes, stirring (I kneaded the sealed bag) ever 15 seconds.  Snip off tip of one corner and drizzle over cookies. Makes 3 dozen.

Vanilla Filling:

  • 2 TBSP margarine*, softened
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP milk

Combine all ingredients: mix well.

PistachioCookies

*I used butter.

GLUTEN FREE NOTES:

As you might already know, I am gluten free as of November 2010. And frankly in the short time since I eliminated gluten from my diet, I have found you CAN still enjoy lots of goodies with a little research and tweaking of recipes. And am VERY happy to report Jello Brand Pudding Mixes are gluten free and these cookies are delicious made with your favorite gluten free all purpose baking mix! I will be posting my thoughts on different brands of gluten free flours and baking mixes. For all my gluten free cookies this holiday season I used all purpose baking mix from Authentic Foods and I LOVE IT.

I know I don’t have to say this of course but you know to be sure your chocolate and shortening are also gluten free.  If you are gluten free you will agree, label reading becomes as natural as breathing after a short period of time.

AND one more thing I have found to be relevant to successful gluten free cookie recipe adaptations is weighing the substitute flour mix instead of measuring cup for cup.  I use 4.5 ounces per cup of all purpose flour as my standard of measure. So let’s all do the happy gluten free dance!

Happy Baking Peeps! And best of luck – I wish you could all win!  However since that’s not possible, as soon as we all congratulate the winner on January 11, and if you are not that lucky duck, zip over to Gooseberry Patch and get yourself a copy of 101 Cookie, Cupcake & Brownie Recipes.  Oh heck ~ go ahead and order several – they make great gifts for all your foodie friends!  Now leave me a comment and get your name in!

More great places to find Gooseberry Patch:

Blog:  www.gooseberrypatch.typepad.com
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/gooseberrypatch

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/gooseberrypatch

Video Channel:  www.youtube.com/user/gooseberrypatchcom

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