{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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!




Friday Photos: a week with my best buddies

Welcome to Friday Photos, a weekly feature here on Celiac in the City — you can read how it all started by clicking HERE.

Gooooooooood morning!

I have about 13 minutes before one of these two cutie pies comes into the kitchen and says, “I’m hungwee” or “Where are we going today?”

So I’ll type as fast as I possibly can and then I’ll catch up with you guys when I have a few more minutes to breathe.

I’ll preface the photos by saying we have had THE best week together — I sometimes look at them and feel like there is no possible way I could love them any more than I do at that moment… and then they say something funny, shoot me a smile from across the room at Discovery World, or snuggle up during movie night, and I know my heart can expand even more.

I can’t wait to be a mama someday.

I’ll also say it has been a special week for them — filled with more treats than we’re used to, (we had pizza three times — what the what!?) trying foods they didn’t think they’d like, (mmm… dates ARE good in cookies and make-you-own Larabars) and staying up waaaaaay past bedtime for a good campfire s’more. (sorry, mom)

Okay, we’re down to 11 minutes, so here it is, our week in photos. (and food)

We learned the flip. We picnicked. We introduced Chef Carter to Jungle Jim’s (gluten-free style) up north — and then we had ice cream on the way home. 🙂

North Ave Grill rocked our gluten-free world. They closed down the place Tuesday night for our GF Get Together dinner — rave reviews from everyone, including Tayden telling them that they had THE best gluten-free buns he’s ever tasted (they’re from Molly’s GF Bakery) and Carter chiming in with, “you have GOT to try this (burger) you would never believe it is gluten-free!”

Pizza at The Bar in Wausau, on the way to the cottage. Pizza at Pizzeria Piccola, with their bread knots — Carter is still talking about them. And pizza at VIA. (and a beer for Auntie Sarah) Oh, and there was plenty of fruit this week, don’t worry, we just don’t take as many pictures of that. 😉

We’ve also been eating like dinosaurs this week thanks to Paleo Parents’ book, Eat Like a Dinosaur — more photos to come, but I’ll leave you with our late night baking adventure from last night… chocolate chip cookies. (I had to hide them in the freezer to keep little hands out)

Like I said on Facebook, don’t wait for my review — the bottom line is, this book is worth clicking over and buying right now. Seriously. The boys have absolutely loved it… the photos of each recipe, the easy to follow ingredients, the tasty treats they made, all of it!

We’re off on another road trip today — sadly our week has come to an end and we’re taking the boys back to MN this weekend. And then it’s off to Denver for me next week, flying straight out from MN to CO… and sister Laura already has a new GF place she wants to try out!

Before I go, I have to give a shout out to ALL the mamas out there — I honestly have no idea how you do it… those mamas that stay at home (which in my opinion is more than a full time job) or the ones who juggle work and time with your little ones, I have nothing but respect for you. I learned this week that planning is key — you can’t just wing it for lunch or dinner when you have kids, you need to have something planned and the groceries purchased BEFORE there is a hungry kiddo.

Live and learn.

Do you cook with your kiddos? Or is the kitchen off limits? How do you get your kids interested in trying new foods — and are you a fibber when it comes to the actual ingredients in a recipe? My little Chef Carter wants nothing to do with spices or little pieces of anything in his food… yesterday I fibbed and told him that the pieces of peach skin in his banana-peach smoothie were really pieces of apple skin (because he “doesn’t like” peaches) and he loved the smoothie. Tell me you do this too.

Jungle Jim’s- Silver Cliff, WI

I don’t spend all of my time up at the cottage baking and sipping beermosas in the hot tub. We allow plenty of time to hop around to our favorite bar/restaurants too. At the top of our list is Jungle Jim’s in Silver Cliff, just a few minutes from our place. Before going gluten free, we would eat there on every trip up north. The food is delish. But it’s not just typical bar food, their sandwich menu is extensive and their nacho plates are enough to feed a group! The Voo Doo was my default sandwich until I was diagnosed, check it out on the menu. We have started making it ourselves at home on gluten free bread, it’s just as good!

After finding out I have Celiac, Jungle Jim’s food was on hold for a while. I figured it was like every other bar type restaurant, full of fryers and cross contamination. (Don’t worry, we still went there for beverages with the crowd. They have several Smirnoff vodka flavors, which are made from corn,  and gf) In August, we were on our Harley trip and ended up at the cottage for a few days. We stopped in to visit one afternoon and Sharon was working. We started chatting about Celiac and the gf diet, and then next thing you know, we’re back in the kitchen reading labels to figure out what I CAN have! Prior to this day, Allan did whip me up a juicy steak and baked potato combo, but we were hoping for another option. I ended up with The Safari (minus the bread) and potato salad. I was in heaven!

And it gets better. Last month while we were up there, we stopped in for a drink. I had ordered my regular passion fruit Smirnoff with 7 and took a spot at the bar to chat it up with the locals. Guess how excited I was to look over and see a sign featuring this:

GLUTEN FREE BEER AT JUNGLE JIM’S!!! I was ecstatic! I quickly finished my drink and ordered a beer. And it started showing up just because I had asked for it. How great are they?!? Now I can go in and order a beer. Just a beer. Not a long explanation. Just a beer. In one of their tiny beer glasses. It makes the beer taste better.

Thank you to Allan and Carole for doing what you do and to Sharon for taking the time to make sure there is food for me in the kitchen. Stop in to see them when you are up in the Northwoods. Good food. Good company. Great beer.

Snow day…

means Jungle Jim’s for lunch and the Packer game.

It was The Safari with a baked potato. I was too hungry for pictures when it arrived. But it was good.