Friday, March 25, 2011

Cute Lunchbox Love Notes

I found these adorable printables on Tip Junkie I thought it might be fun to add some of these to our lunches and I may use them for my Hubby too.  When Lane started Kindergarten I put a family photo in his lunchbox on the first day of school, it was a fun way for me to let him know I loved him and missed him.  I'm such a baby when it comes to letting my boys out of my sight, so Lane had hardly been away from me when he went to school.  Of course HE didn't even give me a little backward glance or shed even one tear when I LEFT HIM with a STRANGER...aka his teacher.  Okay need to move on, obviously I have a obsession little issue with my kids.  Back to lunches now. 

Since Lane is unable to eat school lunch, and we always pack a lunch for him. He is such a funny boy when it comes to his lunches...PB&J suit him just fine almost everyday.  That just sounds terrible to me, the same lunch everyday.  I try to mix it up a little.  One of the best ideas I've had was to get a copy of the schools lunch menu, I can copy some of the lunches pretty easily or just get ideas.  Lane LOVES for me to bring him a copy of the days hot lunch.  It is just a simple thing to make him feel like he fits into the lunchroom crowd.  I'm lucky he feels different when he does eat gluten it sure does make it easier for him to want to avoid it. 

Our favorite packed lunches are:
  1. PB&J (on Udi's Gluten free bread)
  2. Tuna fish with mayo & relish on chips or crackers (BBQ chips are really good)
  3. Lunch meat, cheese, and Gluten free crackers (we roll it or cube it kind of like the lunchables idea)
  4. Leftover Pizza (when we have pizza I always make enough for him to take some to lunch the next day)
  5. Turkey sandwich (on Udi's Gluten free bread of course)
  6. Soup (we really like homemade chicken noodle soup)
I've tried leftovers in cute little boxes and he just isn't having it.  Now Levi is a completely different kid when it comes to his lunches...he's like me LOTS of variety.  I'm not sure how I'll manage when I have to make him lunches.  At least that isn't for a few more years...

What do you do to make you kids' lunches special?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh Soo Good Candy Carrots

Levi renamed these carrots, I just called them candied carrots.  But after trying one he said they were "Oh so good candy carrots!"  So I think I'll call them that.  Greg and I had eatten out a while ago and Greg had these.  He has been asking me to find a recipe for them.  All the recipes had different things in them so I just simplified them to make this one.

1 1b. baby carrots
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/8 t. salt

I like using the smallest baby carrots they seem to be a  little sweeter, I cut them in half them put them in a sauce pan with about an inch of water when it starts to boil put lid on and simmer for 8-9 min.  Drain water off carrots and set them aside.  Using the same pan combine the rest of the ingredients.  Once the butter has melted put carrots back in pan and cook on medium heat until carrots are tender and sauce has thickened about 5 min.  It makes about 4-servings.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!   I didn't get photo before the boys devoured them.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

                                                      Photo from A Year of Slow Cooking

I found the BEST blog for crockpot cooking and as an added bonus she does it gluten-free.  I am a true fan of Stephanie over at A Year of Slow Cooking.  I love to use my crockpot for busy days.  What's better than coming home after being gone all day to have a wonderful home cooked dinner waiting for you?  The only downfall to crockpot cooking is being at home all day while it makes me really hungry!   For dinner yesterday we had Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Lasagna and the whole family said it is a keeper.  The first thing Greg said was I need a BIGGER crockpot, now that is a compliment if I ever heard one.  On a side note it is really good as leftovers...that's what I'm doing right now eating leftovers for lunch, so good.  I used to ask the question if everyone liked dinner and then I would make it again and they weren't happy about it.  So to avoid that confusion I now ask the question "would you want me to make this again?"  It has saved me more times than I would like to admit.  So now this goes into my list of dinner options...I love a good list!  Of course I did have to modify the recipe since I'm the only one that will eat peppers and Bleu cheese...thanks but I'll pass.  So this is how I made ours

uncooked traditional lasagna noodles (I used Tinkyada brand)
--4 cups cooked/shredded/frozen chicken

--jar of Prego pasta sauce
--1/4 cup Frank's buffalo wing sauce
----tub of ricotta cheese (15 oz)
--2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella)
----1/4 cup of water (add at very end)

Mix the chicken, pasta sauce, and buffalo wing sauce in a bowl.  Put a little in the bottom of your crockpot, next layer noodles, ricotta, and shredded cheese, repeat until it's all gone I was able to get 3 layers.  Add the water to your pasta sauce jar and sloosh around, pour over the top of the lasagna.  Put lid on and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours.  Take lid off and let set for about 20 min. 
I made some garlic bread out of Ener-G Foods light tapioca loaf by toasting the bread then adding some butter and a little garlic powder, we use McCormick, and then just pop it in the oven for about 5 min. at 350. 
I was a little worried about it being too spicy but it wasn't.  Have you tried making Lasagna in the crockpot?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Amazon Subscribe and Save

I LOVE!!  And no I'm not being paid to say so!  They have the best deals on lots of Gluten-free products, we buy anyway.  And to have it shipped for free to my front steps is even better.  I am signed up for their Subscribe & Save program.  Some of my favorites are.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Quick Cooking Oats, 32-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4)here

by Bob's Red Mill
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Price:$22.28 ($0.17 / oz) & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details
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Save an extra 15% with Subscribe & Save: Sign up to have this item delivered at a regular interval of your choice, and the current price drops to $18.94 ($0.15 / oz) . Shipping is always free. No fees, no risks, no obligations. See details  

This is what I make our homemade Instant Oatmeal out of.  The cost is sooo much cheaper than the store bought, plus I know what the ingredients are.  And as an added bonus I can make lots of different flavors for Lane! 

Ener-G Foods Light Tapioca Loaf, 8-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6) here 

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List Price:$22.32
Price:$13.48 ($0.28 / oz) & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details
You Save:$8.84 (40%)
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Save an extra 15% with Subscribe & Save: Sign up to have this item delivered at a regular interval of your choice, and the current price drops to $11.46 ($0.24 / oz) . Shipping is always free. No fees, no risks, no obligations. See details  

This is the bread we eat most often.  It is not the best for sandwiches, that would be Udi's sandwich bread.  This is very good if it is toasted or as french toast.  But compared to Udi's at $5.49 a loaf and this is less than $2.00 a loaf delivered to our front door, this is what we eat most of the time.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trade your unused stuff

I recently heard about a group of women that hold a monthly trade session.  How it works is everyone gets together once a month and hold a kind of trading session.  It's kind of like a donation/yard sale/swap meet event.  How we work the trades are determined by the group.  The group that I saw simply brought what they didn't want and anyone could take the stuff that the other people brought.  Any items not wanted, the hostess took and donated to a local charity.  I thought this sounded kind of neat.  The items ranged from clothing to household appliances to toys and anything else your household no longer has a use for. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well...our well stopped working!



In the middle of putting in a load of laundry yesterday the water turned off, and now 24 hours later we still don't have water.  Greg called the well guy and they are out there as we speak putting in a new pump.  So unfortunately I've had to put a delay on the kitchen, it's hard to clean a room with no water.  But I plan on starting it tomarrow, since we should have water in a few hours.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Playdough

Levi all of a sudden decided he wanted to play with playdough, I have luckily been able to avoid it since going Gluten-free but yesterday he saw our box of playdough stuff and repeatedly asked to play with it.  I really felt bad having to tell him no it's not gluten-free.  He kept asking for gluten-free playdough, so I though maybe I could find something I could make.  Then I saw this and thought I actually have all these things already, no going to the store to find outrageously priced gluten-free flours.  If you can't have nuts you can substitute sunbutter, you may have to adjust the powdered sugar, but it is super easy to play around with.  Have lots of fun!

Peanut Butter Playdough
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cups powdered sugar

Mix ingredients in a bowl and you’re done!

Store in an airtight container or plastic baggie with air sucked out of the bag.

(Quick tip: Spray your 1/2 cup with oil before measuring your honey and the honey will pour much easier.)

 Recipe found on Make and Takes

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Post Cereal Certified Gluten-free

Post just announced it is making Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles Gluten-free.  Lane LOVES Cocoa Pebbles, he used to eat it a lot but we haven't since going gluten-free.  He will be so happy!!

To find out more go Here

Thanks The Gluten-free Homemaker

My goals for 2011

The reasons for starting this blog are:
  1. To better my health.  Over the years I have struggled with my health, not only with the aspect of my weight but with just feeling plain lousy.  So my goal is to be able to complete the annual Women's Fitness Celebration 5k in September.  And continue learning about being Gluten-free!
  2. To be a better Wife.  I love my husband and for the most part we have a great marriage.  I could be a better listener...I don't listen to him much and then end up, after my way fails, do it his way!  I am a good wife in the sense that I will say I was wrong and you were right, why didn't I listen to you in the first place!  I want him to be happy, I know I will be happier and the kids would be happier if he was happier, so that's what I plan to do.
  3. To be a better Mother.  I LOVE being a mother that said I lose my temper and get annoyed way to easily with the kids.  I want to spend more quality time with my kids just being in the moment with them.  I know time is fleeting and it won't be long before, my time with them in our home is up.
  4. To be a better Homemaker.  I want a clean, well organized, and beautiful home.  I don't keep the house in the order I want it in, and then I get irritated when it is in shambles.  So my goal is to put it in order and keep it that way...boy I have a lot of work ahead of me.  I also want to make healthier meals for my family, not only will this help get me in shape but it will also help with us being gluten-free.
  5. To be a more frugal shopper.  I already shop sales and stock up using coupons but...I seem to not be able to pass up a good deal.  My husband has told me many times "how many good deals can we afford", again with the not listening.  I know I need to make a budget and stick to it, no matter what the good deals are!
So I hope know that I can accomplish this list as long as I put my mind to it!  So here's looking at a great 2011!!

About Us

My name is Racheal and I want to make my life better!!   I married my best-friend Greg in 1999.  I want to be a better wife mostly because I want to stay married and I think you need to always work on a marriage or it will fall apart.  I am a stay-at-home Mom with a 2-year-old son Levi, a 7-year-old son Lane, a 17-year-old step-son Cody, and  19-year-old step-daughter Becky.  I LOVE being a Mother, we struggled with infertility for several years before we finally had our Lane.   I want my kids to remember the fun stuff and that I was a good mother.  We live on 3 acres in a small town in Idaho, my husband is a “cowboy”…I’m not!  We recently have discovered a need to be Gluten-free so that is a big part of our life now.  I’m trying to navigate through life and food all the while making sure my little boys and I don’t get sick!  I’ve tried lots of different recipes and I’m still learning my way around a gluten-free kitchen.   I wish my home was always clean and organized, as you will see it’s not!  I enjoy a good deal…that’s not really true, I get so excited I shake while I’m checking out.  Yes, after a year of using coupons I still get that!  So here I am in all my glory…well not quite all my glory I wouldn’t want that posted on the internet!  I want to use this blog as a way to not only improve myself but my family’s well-being as well.  So lets toast to a new and better ME!