{my week in photos: the view from here}



It’s funny how we rush through our days, anxious to get to the next event, take another call, send a follow up email. So rare that we take a moment to just BE. I was in the exact opposite position driving home from the cottage — I wanted time to stand still, rewind actually. Have another week up north where there is no phone ringing, reception is iffy to even check your email, and the biggest plan of the day is deciding what to cook and which movie to watch.

I want to go (back) to there.

photo 2

We did all kinds of crazy spring cleaning over the weekend, including cleaning the carpets and “shoveling” the roof. You would not believe the snow we had up there.

photo 5

The kind of snow that is too deep for the ATV to handle. (he had to dig himself out)

photo 3

The kind of snow that is perfect for snowshoeing — if only I had dug these out BEFORE trekking out to fill the bird feeder.

photo 4



photo 5

Old Fashioneds, however, can cure any and all sore muscle issues. 😉

photo 3

The only downside was that when we arrived late Friday night (after dinner and drinks at Jungle Jim’s — where they stock GF beer, cider, and cook for me safely every single time) we had NO HEAT. It was 43 degrees inside and the snow was coming down outside. Brrr!

So we camped out by the fire and made the most of it with a Band of Brothers marathon. 🙂

photo 2


After a weekend of cleaning, we celebrated the wee bit of Irish in us with another trip to Jungle Jim’s to hang with the locals and have another Voo Doo unwich. Before heading out, we toasted to a clean cottage in the Irish mugs from Mamasita. (we had no green beer, but Mark loves Brussels sprouts, so we got a little green in there) photo 1


Our Monday morning “commute” through the National Forest, just for fun.

photo 3






We eased back into real life doing Taco Thursday with the in-laws. Mamasita’s salsa was a hit as usual and we wowed them with both regular and venison tacos in a marinade that had my mother-in-law believing it was just steak. If you aren’t sure about venison, try marinading it or serving it with a sauce — my first encounters with it weren’t my favorite, but now I have become a big fan and look forward to it every year. photo 5

For dessert: angel food cake with strawberry sauce and real whipped cream.

photo 1

I had been holding on to a gift card from my mama for Andrea’s Gluten-Free Bakery in MO — one of the first places I fell in love with at the GF Expo in Chicago over five years ago. They are now moving on to bigger and better things with a larger facility, but will only be selling their products in grocery stores, including Hy-Vee, so be sure to ask for their products if you have one in your area. (hint, hint to my celiac sista) So I splurged on a sweet treat and stocked up on soft dinner rolls for Easter — which I am over the moon excited for because my sister and all the boys are coming!

Want an easy way to make a fancy dessert? Cut the cake, bars, cookies, whatever you are serving, into cubes and coat it with strawberry or chocolate sauce. For this, I had some strawberries with sugar frozen and just heated them in a sauce pan to thicken it up, cooled slightly and poured over the cake. Then impress them with real whipped cream — just heavy whipping cream, a little sweetener of your choice, and a few drops of vanilla. Then mix at high speed with the whisk attachment until thick and creamy. Dollop on top. Serve and enjoy the moments of silence while they soak in the sweet goodness.

photo 5

(I saved the other cake for when my best buddies come.)

photo 2

I used to think the only way to have flowers in the house was to have someone give them to you — and Mark does from time to time, but why not just pick them out myself? Then I get my favorite color every time.

photo 3

Isn’t she pretty? It’s my brand new bread machine, one of the top prizes for my 3rd place finish in the GF Cookie Swap contest. photo 4

I decided to go basic (I haven’t used a bread machine in years!) and adapt Gluten-Free Girl’s bread recipe to the bread machine. We have been wanting to make her crusty boule  again, it went over well with “Team GF” a couple of years ago for Christmas, so I figured it couldn’t be that hard to convert it over. And it just so happened that Autumn Makes and Does thought the same thing — so between Shauna’s recipe, Autumn’s notes, tips from around the web, and the user manual, I made something happen.

photo 5





It’s cooling as I type. The aroma in here between that bread and tonight’s dinner is making my mouth water. If when it turns out perfectly and we slice it up for beef sammies later, I’ll be back with the recipe. Cross your fingers and stay tuned. (and if you are already a whiz with the bread machine — can you tell me your secrets?)

Have a JOYful weekend!