Life Begins on Opening Day!

Cubs Twins Caps

Another Opening Day of the Baseball Season means a renewed sense of hope and possibility.  On this day, everyone starts at the same place.  On this day, everyone has a chance for a perfect record, a winning season, going to the playoffs, taking the World Series away from those teams that always win (Cardinals, Yankees).

I’ve got the Cubs/Pirates game on the internet radio.  My picnic lunch is almost ready: GF hot dog buns baked, coleslaw made and chilling, baked beans in the oven.  Later this afternoon the Twins will play the White Sox.

So who cares if outside my window there are still huge piles of snow?  Eventually, they will melt.  It’s a long season and you’ve got to trust it.




Resilience . . .

  • The action or an act of rebounding or springing back; rebound, recoil. Obs.
  • The quality or fact of being able to recover quickly or easily from, or resist being affected by, a misfortune, shock, illness, etc.; robustness; adaptability.

I keep encountering the concept of resilience . . . in reading, in a sermon, online.  After reading a number of stories about people “springing back” after trauma, I was starting to believe that I just didn’t have any, or that it had been drilled out of me at a young age.  There are certainly many areas of my life in which I give up after the smallest failure or set back.

Just when I was sure that resiliency was either something one had or something one didn’t have (and that I just didn’t have it), I had the following “Aha!” experience:

I baked what must be at least my 30th loaf of gluten-free bread.  Like many loaves before it (though not all), it was a mess:

GF Vegan Sandwich BreadGF Vegan Sandwich Bread

I did what I could with it, and the result was this:

GF Vegan Sandwich BreadGF Vegan Sandwich Bread

Probably edible, I don’t know yet.

What I realized was that one area where I DO seem to have resilience is in cooking and baking.  I try and fail and modify and try again . . . and most of the time even the “failures” are edible.  Perhaps “resilience” isn’t a personality trait so much as a type of sign.  Perhaps the trick is to identify those areas in our lives in which we are willing to try and try again, even in the face of failure.  And perhaps, lack of resilience in a particular area is a sign that it really isn’t what we are meant to be doing . . .

I’ll be chewing on this thought some more . . . 🙂

Opening definitions from: “resilience, n.”. OED Online. March 2013. Oxford University Press. 30 April 2013 <>.

P.S.  I find it interesting that the definition of resilience now considered “obsolete” included the notion of “recoiling” . . . a reminder of the more mechanical and physical aspects of the term and a hint that it can be protective (as in recoiling from a dangerous thing) . . .


Testing Slideshow with Two Months of Baking

Two months since my last post!  Sorry about that.  It’s not that I haven’t been baking, working on sorting out my food allergies, etc.  I just haven’t had the time or energy to write about it . . . Here’s a slideshow of some of my baking efforts.  I will try to add a few posts to summarize the highlights.


And a second slideshow of non-baking efforts:


Too Hot for Cooking!

Apologies for the long break between posts.  The summer heat wave (and my non-air-conditioned kitchen) have brought my GFDFCF cooking experiments to a halt.

I’ve been eating lots of salads . . . green salads, quinoa salads, etc.

My most recent improvised creation was quinoa, zucchini, radishes, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, scallions, and some chunks of turkey . . . all coated with an oil and vinegar dressing.

Even my green smoothie adventure was halted when my blender broke! (Good news the replacement part arrived recently, so I can resume with the smoothies. 🙂  )

Today is cool enough that I’m considering making a batch of GFDF Chocolate Chip Cookies (using Annalise Roberts’ recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics).

In other news, I attended my first “webinar” a few weeks ago.  The topic was “Post-Exertion Relapse/Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM)” (a common problem/symptom for CFS sufferers).  If you’re interested, you can check it out at the Research 1st website.

Unfortunately, the panel selected for the discussion seemed to have all their eggs in one basket (heart-rate monitoring) and failed to present any evidence that following their recommendations had led to significant improvement in the lives of CFS sufferers.  Still, the talk was interesting and I’m considering purchasing a heart-rate monitor to test out their theory on myself.

Enough for now . . . more recipes soon!

Update:  Did manage to bake the cookies! Yummo!!

GFDF Chocolate Chip Cookies


Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse!!!

“Try for the next 24 [hours] to say yes to whatever lessons life is handing you.”
Today’s “Little Bird” message from the Brave Girls Club

Well, this morning (before even reading the BGC message) I finally said “YES” to the “Green Smoothie”.

Green Smoothie in Glass

I apologize for not posting in quite a while . . . some projects I’ve been putting off finally needed to be tackled, some health issues came up that I’m not yet ready to blog about, my few attempts at new GFDF recipes were frustrating failures that didn’t seem worth sharing . . . BUT, for the past week or so I’ve been “cleansing” on many levels and am starting to feel a bit better.

SO, this morning I decided . . . “time to try that Spring Green Smoothie you’ve been resisting”.

I used the Spring Green Smoothie recipe found here. (BTW, The Whole Life Nutrition® Kitchen site has LOTS of good info about cleansing and elimination diets . . . plus recipes!)

Also looked at this Parsley Juice introduction to “Hero Foods” after seeing Seamus Mullen on the Rachael Ray Show yesterday.

I don’t have a VitaMix, just a rather wimpy blender, so I halved the original Spring Green Smoothie recipe:

  • 1 pear
  • 1 apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1″ piece of ginger
  • several handfuls of spring mix greens
  • water
  • dash of honey

I peeled the fruit, then cored and diced it.  I know the “smoothie gurus” would say to leave the peels on, but (1) the fruit I had wasn’t organic, so peeling makes me think I’m removing some of the pesticides, and (2) even the organic fruit is usually coated with “corn-based vegetable spray” (I have a corn allergy) . . . SO, I peel my fruit.

I peeled the ginger and cut it into four small pieces.

The fruit goes into the blender first . . . wasn’t sure this  blender was going to handle it, but eventually it worked.  Once the fruit was blended I added the greens and some water . . . and with a little patience and occasional mashing down . . . I ended up with this:

Green Smoothie in Blender

Had a small glass and was rather pleasantly surprised . . . The green slime didn’t feel as slimy as it looks . . . and though it tasted rather like grass clippings (no, I’ve never eaten grass clippings, but you know what I mean) . . . it was rather refreshing!

And I know, mine didn’t turn out the “Spring Green” color of the smoothie on the recipe page . . . probably because my Spring Mix contained some red/purple lettuce and I decided not to bother separating it out in order to use only “greens”.

Still not convinced it wouldn’t be easier to just eat a big bowl of salad  . . . but can see how making a big pitcher of this stuff and then drinking it throughout the day will be cleansing.

My “Life Cleansing Inspirational Quotation” is:

In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is acquired.
In pursuit of wisdom, every day something is dropped.
—Lao Tzu