My sweet celiac and youngest, Izzy

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oh to be 15 again...

NOT!:) I cannot think of a single thing that would make me want to return to 15 again except to see all of my grandparents once more. But I am enjoying watching my daughters experience their teen years and yesterday Shelby turned the big 1-5. I remember wanting so much to be a teen, wishing it were Christmas already, wondering if 15, 16, 18 would ever arrive and now I want to stop time, slow down the clock and want to remember every second of my children's childhood and secretly...... I don't want them to ever grow up really;)....every mother has those moments, although I truly am excited to see each stage of their lives and watching them grow and develop their own unique personalities is a blessing.

Shelby and Lana opted for a Halloween birthday theme this year so their party at our house won't be until the end of October but they had their annual sleepover at their dad's house Friday night to kick off the birthday weekend. They had a blast, had an "Amazing Race" sorta of scavenger hunt at the mall in Fayetteville then ice cream cake and stayed up all night. Shelby's actual birthday was yesterday and there was alot I had planned.  Her BFF, Maddie, and her sister, McKenzie and their mom, Isabel all came over for a Harry Potter, Chili and cornbread kinda day.  We refreshed our memories on Harry Potter (ok I REFRESHED my memory), ate, did nails and the moms helped get the teen girls primped for their Tango Cotillion dance.  Off they went and we picked them up for a surprise ending of a late movie at the mall to see the final Harry Potter movie.  WAAAAYYYY passed this momma's bedtime but still I made it and we all had fun.  I had asked Shelby what she wanted for her birthday treat: cake, cupcakes, cookies.....she settled on a cookie cake.  You know, the ones they sell at the American Cookie Company store at all the malls.  SO, I decided to knock her socks off with something on a little larger scale:)

Chocolate chip cookie-rice crispy treat cake:

First thing I did was put plastic wrap on a big pizza pan. Instead of using regular rice crispy cereal I used the Envirokids Organic Koala Krisps Chocolate Flavored and made traditional rice crispy treats with 3 TBSP of butter and a 10 pz bag of mini marshmallows. When you turn the treats out of the bowl, spread it out on the plastic wrap and shape it like the circle of the pan, place another layer of plastic wrap on the top and turn the pan over on the counter and set aside to firm up...
Jeannie (The Art of Gluten Free Baking) modified the Barefoot Contessa's chocolate chip cookie recipe to be gfree and oh how I love her for this!!!! I love Barefoot Contessa's chocolate chip cookie recipe1
I made the batter for the cookies, sprayed my large pizza pan and spread the batter out like a cookie cake would be and put it in the oven on 350 like she says to with the smaller cookies....timing in this one will fluctuate based on your oven and the fact you are making one big cookie.  So keep a close eye on the cookie cake.  Once it has come to a golden brown, take it out and cool completely. 
By now the rice crispy layer has firmed up and you take about 3 TBSP of plain gluten free icing and spread on top of the cookie then place the rice crispy layer directly on top....decorate as you like from there. 
IT WAS FABULOUS!!!! The cookie was super moist and the crunch from the rice crispy made for one heavenly birthday desert...but I will warn you....this is NOT a fat free desert by any means;)!  Of course, who wants a fat free birthday anyway?  Good thing birthdays are only ONCE a year!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Forgot to post the recipe!

1 pd Italian sausage either ground or links, casings removed and broken down like ground...make sure this is gfree!!!!
1 onion peeled and chopped
2 TBSP olive oil
1 apple peeled, cored and chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of apple cider
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 butternut squash from night before roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper

Saute the onion and apple in the olive oil til onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute then add Italian sauage and brown - 10 minutes max.  Add apple cider and bay leaf to saute and season then add butternut squash.  Simmer until flavors meld (about 5 minutes)

Pasta recipe is so easy: just like real pasta but we always use gfree premade or homemade tagliatelle: and extrude through  Kitchenaid pasta maker...boil in salted water til in floats, possibly 3 - 5 minutes....
Add to sauce and stir gently.

Lovely fall recipe and so yummy.....did this with apple crisp for desert:


Love you all

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A special new friend….

I picked my “blog name” for a few reasons…Living without for this family means living without a sick heart, living without gluten and peanuts, living without a beach close by, living without a good grocery storeJ,  living without regret, living without family and friends close by and a myriad of other things….it also means sometimes living without normalcy.  I will not pretend that all families don’t go through their fair share of craziness but man this one does not know normal in the sense most people think of it.  That’s not always a bad thing…..

I can think of very few times in my life that I wished for something more “normal” and it is usually in the midst of a crisis I wish we weren’t in.  I love having my big crazy family and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. 

Sometimes though, there is a need for something more normal in a crazy sea of complexity….even if it’s something simple.  Lana wanted to have a job like her friends were getting, most of all her BFF was applying for a job at an ice cream shop.  With the upcoming flu season and being in contact with all those people and handling all that money, it just wasn’t a good idea.  I hate to tell her no since she’s been through so much in her short life but this one I had to push back on.  It just wasn’t a good idea to expose her to all that in the first year of her transplant, although most areas of her life went back on schedule already.  It was upsetting, I think on a couple of different levels but prompted a good talk and some mother daughter bonding;). 

Ironically this fall when I was looking to sign Isabelle up for ballet class I had a neighbor tell me I needed to meet this wonderful owner and dance teacher in town. Come to find out, Laine, has a son born with the exact same heart condition as Lana.  It is rare to meet someone outside of a hospital setting that has her exact same condition (hypo-plastic left heart syndrome) and required a heart transplant much sooner than Lana did.  They ended up having heart transplants in the same hospital.  He is 3 years old and has been through so much.  Hypo-plast babies are very unique, when Lana was born the statistics were one in every million children were born with it….the oldest child surviving at the time was 15.  These kids are special.  Some of you are new to this blog and do not know what hypo-plastic left heart syndrome is, basically the left ventricle of the heart is non existant or severely underdeveloped.  The left side of the heart is your pumping chamber so if it is not there……. you understand the severity of the situation.  We were given three options at birth for her, let nature take it’s course and she would have passed away within a week or less, a heart transplant or a 3 staged surgery to be completed by 2 that essentially rerouted everything through the right side.  We chose the surgeries with a fall back plan of the transplant.  She had a 40% chance of survival and has defied every odd I know of to this date.  There were women who found out in-utero of the condition and were given the option of aborting the pregnancy because the quality of life was so unsure.  THIS is why I say these kids are really special and they are. 

Laine and I have become fast friends and Isabelle is LOVING her as a dance teacher and Noah is now in her hip hop class!  Well, long story short – hahahaha – Lana’s new job will be babysitting sweet Leighton.  He and Isabelle are almost the exact same age so Lana will be quite used to the babysitting aspect but he requires a little more than Izzy does.  This is different though, they share a bond that is amazing to say the least.  They will be linked for a lifetime and will share things that not many people in this world can.  They will help each other in a lot of ways but today, it helps this family be “normal” – whatever that is;).

Farmer's Market Vegetable Soup

As I spent the day contemplating all the recipes that I could incorporate all of these amazing apples we picked, I went in a different direction for dinner tonight - HAHA!  Instead I remembered that Lana had asked me to make my grandmother's homemade vegetable soup but I was out of some of the ingredients and had others I wanted to incorporate.  The outcome was a success so as I try to do as often as possible, I wanted to share the recipe with all of you!

Butternut squash oh how I love thee, but I sure do hate all the prep work to get to the good stuff!  In this recipe I did all the peeling, cleaning and chopping for tonight AND tomorrow nights dinner.  Half of an average sized butternut squash went into the soup and half I roasted in the oven to a yummy carmelized ingredient for tomorrow nights apple, sausage and butternut squash pasta with sage.  I'll post that recipe for tomorrow's dinner later tonight or tomorrow:

Farmer's Market Vegetable Soup

3 medium leeks (dark green part discarded, cut remaining in half then slice thin and put in a bowl with cold water and swirl with your hand - leeks are very sandy and need to be cleaned more so than onions or other root vegetables, then drain)
3 TBSP unsalted butter or butter substitute
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
pinch of sugar
3 tender inner stalks of celery, thinkly slices
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
half of a medium butternut squash,peeled; cleaned; cubed (about a cup and a half)
2 riped tomatoes, cored and seeded and chopped (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
3 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 TBSP fresh chopped Italian parsley
(option for a creamy soup is add 1/4 C heavy cream or half and half or slightly more to taste)

Melt butter in heavy pot, add the leeks, carrots and dash of sugar.  Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Stir in celery, potatoes, tomatoes and butternut squash to coat and add vegetable stock and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer until veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.  Using a potato masher, crush the vegies some so the soup thickens some.  If you are using the option of cream, remove the bay leaf and add cream, taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.  Stir in parsley.

We don't use the cream since Izzy is sensitive but I have a friend that prefers creamier soups and adds this. 

SHAR makes a very good parbaked baguette that you cook for 10 minutes and adds a nice crunch or you can cut into crostini slices and bake in over at 350 for 10 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and you have a great dipping treat.

Lana's check up and our Apple picking fun in St. Louis

What a whirlwind week/weekend we had!  I thought driving to St. Louis for our apple picking extraveganza was a perfect idea, so what if it's a little drive? I was determined it would be so much fun (don't get me wrong, it was alot of fun).  You know it couldn't be that easy, right?  Somehow in my perfect planning for a weekend of fun, I forgot that Lana had her appointment in Little Rock that Thursday before so what would have been a weekend trip away with a couple hour car drive turned into 16 hours in the car total over a 5 day stent.....Ummmm good planning there Jenn:)

3 hours in the car Wednesday, two squirmy wormy toddlers, a restaurant experience like no other and we were ready for bed.  Up early and to the children's hospital. Normally these appointments last 2 1/2 to 3 hours but no, The God's were testing me.  5 1/2 hours after arriving at the hospital, we were so graciously allowed to leave for the 3 hour car ride home.  Oh joy!  BUT Lana had a fantastic appointment and is doing really well.  The doctor made the comment that if he was complaining she wasn't getting enough physical exercise then you know she's doing good because he's NOT telling us anything is wrong.  I'll take it and run after this last year!

Friday was a day of unpacking and speed repacking then, we headed out after school let out and were ready for our adventure.  All four kids were excited about a weekend away and apple picking.  Apparently my love for fall and things you cannot do in  FL has made us all a little neurotic.  Now the 5 hour drive to St. Louis was a little more questionable than the drive to Little Rock but I think it had to do with less than 24 hours after being in the hospital half the day and the car the second half of the day, I was again shoving my 3 and 4 year old back into their carseats.  I'm not sure all the activities and movies in the world would have made that any more of a pleasant experience than it was.  Stopping half way to have dinner in a sit down restaurant was probably just theicing on the cake for us all.  We made it though and the fun we had Saturday made it all worth while.  The farm we went to was amazing, they had a whole little "fair" set up with rides and all sorts of stuff for the kids to play on and in; the orchards were amazing and all the kids got into the apple picking spirit; they had a country store loaded with all kinds of goodies and a custard shop and restaurant plus live music outside.  We started early and ended a little after lunchtime and EVERYONE went back to the hotel to nap....well sorta....All the GIRLS went back to nap, Noah had other plans and eventually won when Jason got up and took him off so the rest of us could sleep.  That night we ventured into the downtown/riverfront area of St. Louis, saw the arch; did a horse and buggy ride; ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory that had.....wait for it....wait for it....their own Gluten Free Pasta menu.  Can you hear the heavens singing?:)  It was nice to know I could order a normal meal for Isabelle and not have to worry she would be sick.  The food was decent, I had built it up to be some sort of idolistic sort of place and when we saw the line of people waiting sometimes up to an hour for a table I knew I had made the right decision....I'm not sure they could have really lived up to my expectations and we had a 3 year old with us. You know that 3 is the new 2, right?  Yeah, well, it is.  We have been having temper tantrum issues just when I thought I had ONE kid that I escaped that lovliness with.  I should know better by now!  Yep, you heard it right, I AM WRONG sometimes.:) One major meltdown and screaming fit later, one 4 year old who napped through the entire dinner AND then add that my little celiac didn't even eat her dinner-I wanted to cry.  Oh well, best intentions and all. 

Sunday was a new day and we contemplated several options: going back to the orchard to pick some more and then heading to the zoo won out.  Well, that was until we looked outside. So we had breakfast and packed the car and ran by the grocery store thinking maybe it would hold off til we got through with another round at the farm.  As I was having MAJOR grocery store envy (those of you who DON'T know, we live in a small town in NW Arkansas known as the new "Stepford" called Walmartville, where the homeoffice and ONLY grocery store in town is WALMART, go ahead..let me hear it...waiting for the pitty party to start anytime now, please send condolences to:  So here we were at this amazing local store called Dierberg's, wandering the isles of gluten free items and frozen food options, yes I did say isles- as in plural, as well as an amazing organic and produce area AND a selection of beer, wine and liquor that rivals Costco (oh and yes, in this new "Stepford" I live in, it's also a dry county....go ahead, I am waiting for the influx of emails to start pouring in now) it started.  Now when I say it was raining, its not quite an accurate description of what ensued as we left this heavenly store.  I would say it was more like God throwing golf balls down on us as we ran to the car and people scattered everywhere.  So much for going back to the farm, or the zoo, or anything else we had thought of.  Instead we had one more back up plan other than heading the 5 hours home early.  I had researched several things to do, aside from the Arch and found this fun little children's museum just outside the city that was laid out in an old Victorian Mansion.  The Magic House was exactly as it's name says and there was nothing "little" about it.  As a matter of fact, not only did all 4 kids (teens included) have a great time, we only made it to HALF of the museum!  It was a cross between MOSH on steroids and the Hands on Children's Museum times a thousand!  It was huge, fun and I think all the kids enjoyed the victorian mansion and city that were inside the actual mansion best: there was the house with all it's rooms, a market, a bank, an electric company, a children's hospital and a pizzeria along with a fishing pond that you magnetize your fish that is in real water to your pole and carry it to the pond entrance and let it go, where you can then watch your fish go all the way upstream through the glass floor and make it's way back to the pond you caught it in....Just AMAZING! 
The ride home was uneventful, other than the storms I drove through and I am now the proud owner of more apples than you've ever seen in your life and trying to figure out what to do with them all.:)  Life could be SO much worse!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stephanie's birthday present

I just had to share this amazing video with all of my followers and friends.  Stephanie Green, lost her fight with cancer a week after Lana went into the hospital and her amazing friends, including her best friend Dana put together a wonderful video of the 3 day Chicago walk that Lana and I are doing next year in honor of her.  I just wanted to share with you how amazingly special she was....Thank you, Faye Gordon, for putting this together!

Birthday blessings:

I am in awe some days when I think that my 4 most amazing kids are all in school (well sorta) but you know what I mean. I think back to the day Lana was born, almost 16 years ago and it feels like it was yesterday.  I remember what I was doing, wearing, reading and feeling that week she was born and that day and the next several months following her birth were the most excrutiatingly scary.  And now she is preparing for her 16th birthday and has received the most amazing gift she could ever receive, her new heart.  It seems so surreal to me that she has now recovered and started the 10th grade along with the rest of her class mates as if she never skipped a beat. She has never complained about any of it and has handled this much like she has everything in her life, with incomparable grace.
Then there is Shelby, getting ready for her 15th birthday, starting high school with all AP classes and recouping from a foot injury and working towards starting her 12th year of gymnastics.  There are so many amazing things I could say about Shelby but those of you who know her would point out her ability to fit into any situation, easy to make friends, is the first person to start a conversation with someone who looks like they are left out and just generally the bright spot that fills up the room.  That is in fact, how she entered this world...the bright spot after two open heart surgeries with Lana and 9 months of stressing and worrying about her health and if she would be ok and the doctors telling me I would never be able to get pregnant or carry another baby to full term after 5:30 am on September 24th after having scheduled her c-section and my hair appointment the day previous she announced that she was ready to get here regardless of the timeline the doctors or I had for her.  I can remember thinking, boy if this is a clue as to what she will be like, I'm in trouble!  I was too, she demanded her presence be known immediately following her glorious birth and it just keeps getting better and better. 
I remember when they started preschool and then Kindergarden.  It's all flying by so fast. 
Then, there are the other two precious angels who arrived in a little different style yet all of the milestones they've achieved already still amazes me.  I thought I had more time before it flew by but I should have known better....
Noah turned 4 in August, beginning what we like to call our "birthday season" and his arrival was a little more thought out yet equally as amazing.  We had been waiting for a little boy for so long, made our decision to go the adoption route after a Memorial Day party with friends and what ended up being one of his saviors, our attorney and friend.  She told us what it entailed and we began the process right after.  We took classes, had back ground checks, went to water safety classes and CPR classes, had a homestudy and painted/decorated and equipped a nursery.  What is funny is the whole process until we got the phone call from placement that they had a little 7 month old healthy boy ready for adoption, took about 9 months or less.  That in itself makes me want to laugh out loud when I think about it.  The caseworker pulled into our driveway and the anticipation was killing us all...we were hovering by the window waiting for her to get him out of the car so we could start our lives together.  Finally we saw her getting out of the car and we met her in the driveway, where he was fast asleep in his infant carrier.  We set him on the couch and all stared at him while we received our packets and information and all the while not taking our eyes off of him.....the minute he opened his eyes you couldn't help but laugh hysterically out loud.  He was looking around like (please excuse the saying before I say it but there is no other way to describe it) "Where the hell am I and why are all these white people staring at me?"  I still to this day giggle like crazy when I think of that expression on his face. Then all too soon it was time to plan his first birthday and as I was decorating his cake he started walking on his own, right in front of me....Miracles happen in small doses around here as well as big ones.  I love each and every kind.  His personality has transformed so much and it's just so hard to believe that he is 4 and getting ready to start playing sports and go to Kindergarden!  It is bittersweet, he is a total boy, a Daddy's boy at that- not a cuddle bug at all but every now and then he will look at me and say,"Mommy I love you" and it makes everything worth while.
And finally Miss Isabelle, the one I really am not ready to see grow up since she's the baby!  I think it's comical how she has so much of Lana and Shelby in her personality.  I can remember calling her by the girls names for the first month we had her (and sometimes still do:)) but she just reminded me so much of them when they were little.  September 11th 2008 I was getting ready to load Noah up in the car and head to do afternoon pick up when the phone rang and as I recognized the number immediately my heart jumped to my throat.  We had been talking about putting our name in the hat one more time but had thought we would not even consider adopting another until January or February of 2009.  We were just enjoying having Noah and getting used to having a little one in the house again.  I answered the phone and it WAS placement.  What I have learned through this amazing phase in my life is just because I have a plan or someone tells me it can't be done and God has another plan for me.....He always wins:).  The lady on the other end of the phone said "Hi Mrs. Stringfellow, this is placement calling. We have a 3 day old baby at the hospital in need of a home and 10 other families have turned her down, are you interested?" I remember much like with Lana and Shelby's births and Noah's homecoming exactly where I was standing in the house, what I was wearing, my thoughts, feelings and excitement.  I hung up the phone and knew in my heart, we were going to have another baby joing our already amazing family.  Everything else was just......details.  Just like that, the next morning I got into the car with my husband and my sister, with my mom at my house keeping Noah, and we drove to the hospital, walked into NICU (she was there for security and observation) and we dressed her and I held her in my arms and thought....this is one of those that when you look in that amazing angels eyes you know that God has given you a present, a glimpse into how much He truly loves us.  I am the luckiest mom - I got 4 presents, each one different and each one just as amazingly special.
Isabelle, through all of her struggles with food allergies, a staph infection at 4 weeks, asthma and overcoming having cocaine in her system at birth has a larger than life personality that is so sweet and loving and caring.  She has more empathy in her little pinky than most people do in their whole bodies and she is a fighter, strong and true- was born to be a leader, a kind leader with compassion and grace.
So as I sit here with a quiet house reflecting about each one of them and how much I love them- it makes me heartsick that they are growing up so quickly yet I am so excited to see the amazing women and man they all will become.   But MAN time is going by in the blink of an eye!  I am so thankful and blessed for this birthday season.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Love having leftovers from Sunday night dinner on Mondays!

So, today the preschoolers are not in school yet I am finding time to write despite the fact neither of them took naps...........hmmmmmm.......does this mean my life is starting to get easier?  I doubt it, just a Monday day of bliss instead of the nightmare that it could have been:).  Could also be our fall weather we've had recently, my absolute excitement of this coming weekends events, who knows but this Monday is coming along pretty nicely! Best part of today?  I did not spend the entire day in the kitchen!  For those of you with gluten free or celiacs or children in general you understand this all too well.  Last night we had Sunday weekly dinner with our good, dear and close friends and fellow celiac, Henrietta who also coincidentally is my partner in crime in this lovely culinary and life adventure here in this vey interesting part of the country....not really the south, not really the midwest.....somewhre we are caught in between and totally out of our element:).  So, this week I made Tyler Florence's meatloaf with tomato relish and mushroom risotto and peas and she made the salad and the most amazing pound cake ever for desert!  All of these gluten free twists I will post but the best part is the fact that we had a real homemade yummified dinner for 8 as various other family members were off doing other things and we all had enough leftovers for dinner tonight!  Is there really any better Monday night dinner? 

Here is the recipe for the meatloaf and tomato relish: BUT I did do two parts ground beef and one part ground pork as well as using a sheet tray versus a loaf pan and I used the gfree bread crumbs already prepared this time but have taken three slices of gfree bread, toasted it and ground it in the food processor as well................SO YUMMY!

Risotto is a funny thing, it takes time and love and is naturally gluten free depending on the ingredients you add to it but it makes a fanatastic Sunday night dinner sidekick for most anything or as a stand alone dish!

This is my favorite recipe and does not go far off of my own recipe and makes fantastic leftovers as well...risotto leftovers you say?  Oh yes, you add a little more chicken stock and heat through and it is as good, if not better than last nights!

Not sure Henrietta will give even me the recipe for the poundcake much less the availability to share but everyone can throw their favorite salad together:) hehehe.

If you want the honest truth that poundcake was so yummy we actually ate some for breakfast as well:) it was truly delicious and miost and positively sinful but so simple!

Today I spent ordering of all my flours and ingredients to make breads and everything else I need after our apple picking adventure that will happen this weekend.......add that to Lana's check up this'a gonna be a busy week....all sorts of thing going through my mind about what I will make next week.

Here are a few things I did with end of summr fruits and veggies though: blueberry jam, peach preserves, strawberry jam, homemade marinara, pickles and pickled okra!  Using up the end of summer adventures from the Farmer's market is so exciting and fun!  Now we are moving into fall and I am equally as excited! Fall is my favorite time of year but it not always easy to come up with easy substant classics of our favs that are also gfree....enjoy this next series of posts and see what we can come up with and where life takes us this fall! 

St. Louis here we come!!!!1

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Better Late than Never.....sorry it's been so long!

Ok, for some of you that have been following my blog from the beginning there are some repeats on this informational post as I am helping some friends out who are just going gfree or are having some issues.  Here are some really important first time analysis information of the initial information you need when you are feeling super overwhelmed.  I know I have not updated in some time but ALL of the kiddos are back in school!  OMG yes, I did just say that....two high schooler’s going strong and loving the new year and doing great (and yes that includes Lana!) Then the babies are now in Mother’s Day Out two full days a week (started this passed Tuesday!)  so that means for 2 days a week from now on I have more time to write and catch you up on our lives and all my research, recipes and updates!!!! WOOHOO!!!:)

First remember that because they use wheat and/or gluten in so many things, you need to double check your lotions, sunscreens, hand sanitizers, hair products and toothpaste as well.  I would make the rule of thumb if you put it in or on your body you need to check the labels! Aveeno lotion and sunscreen (some versions) have some derivative of wheat and they didn't used to.......You also need to be aware of what things other than wheat that contain gluten: wheat obviously is the most popular but: rye, barley, spelt, faro, farina, malt do as well: here's a celiac guide

 that should help some in identifying hidden things.  I have another link I will post later with other hidden gluten things as well.....
Alternative flours  I like: Pamela's products- she has a baking mix and bread mix and both are great ESP in a pinch; c4c from Williams-Sonoma; then the flour blend in (I make this in huge batches and store in commercial air tight containers so I don't have to make a batch each time) and she has a whole grain version of her flour blend I love too. I've even made pizza crust out of that as well.  All 3 of these flours have recipes related and I order both Pamela's mix (both) and the ingredients to make the art of gluten free baking blend online on amazon because around here it's cheaper and you get more: plus if you are a prime member shipping is free and gets to you in two days and it's tax free (usually works out much better in the end).
Other common intolerances are yeast, corn, xanthan gum-so remember to eat minimal amounts of this unless you know you can handle these things without issue.

Magazines with helpful recipes and tips as well as articles are: Delight, Living Without, Gluten free living- most have apps or digital copies as well as regular subscriptions.

Other things I order online: has awesome gfree dried pastas, breads, crackers, crispbreads; I order gfree pita, tortillas and oatmeal (rolled oats are controversial and Izzy did not have a reaction to oatmeal but I switched over to gluten freeda's gfree oatmeal either from amazon or I can sometimes find it in our natural food.

The healthy eating is still the best, shop the perimeter of the store or from your local farmer’s market- lots of fresh fruits and veggies and meats.

Best thing I do and love is to get another friend who is celiac or gfree if you can, take one day you devote to baking/ cooking everything you need for a month or at least two weeks and make a loaf or two of bread, put one in the freezer and one in the fridge, make a pizza crust and either stick it in the fridge or freezer for a quick easy meal and make a healthy pizza margarita on a Friday night when you don't feel like cooking: I even made them into mini pizzas for appetizers for Izzy's birthday dinner; I have the pasta attachment for my Kitchen-aid mixer so I make a thing of pasta dough and stick it in the fridge for fresh pasta ( we don't eat alot of breads and pizza/pasta but typically when you go gfree you crave those things; I will typically make a shepards pie and lasagna and stick them in the freezer for a night I don't want to cook also or if there are two of you - you can make lasagna roll ups with gfree lasagna noodles, spinach, ricotta and parmesan and put them in individual bags to use as you want/need and if  you want-make small shepards pies in muffin tins or small pot pie throw away tins and you are set.

Other great grains I love are quinoa, amaranth....these are in grain form, as well as flours and pastas....they are ancient grains and gluten free naturally.  Give these a try for variety.

Also, Facebook pages with recipes and tips: celiac diva, gluten free girl and the chef (they live in Italy and she is gluten free- highly recommend her). One other thing, you can duplicate almost any gluten recipe sometimes it just takes practice.... Rule of thumb is if it is 1 cup or less of flour you can sub one of my recommended flour blends; you can also remember if you need to sub a starch (like tapioca) you can use another starch ( like potato); try to use a moderate amount of white rice flour as it turns to sugar in your system and alot of celiacs fight with diabetes because of the unknown or hidden sugars in our replacement flours; and lastly flours like amaranth or almond are heavier flours and produce denser products. With that said, my final note: go invest in a food weighing scale ( I got a digital one from Target for like 20 bucks) and when the recipe gives you a weight versus a measurement - use the weight because our flours weigh differently - 1 cup of regular gluten all purpose flour weighs 125 grams so remember that if the recipe doesn't give you weights:)

This is my update for now.....WAY more to come in the coming weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!