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Springtime in Vancouver

Connie, Dougie No Comments

We were so excited to be able to get out to Vancouver to visit Scott’s parents. It is a lot easier now that it’s just an hour flight!!

The weather wasn’t ideal, but we found some great inside things to do.

Grandma picked up some gluten-free cookie mix and Dougie, Daddy and Grandma all made cookies one afternoon.

Gathering around getting things going

Watching the mixer

Adding more mix

Almost ready for the next step

A few rolling instructions from Grandma and Dougie was off

“Okay, I’ve got this”

Daddy and Grandma step in to apply a bit of pressure

Taste testing before we start cutting

More direction from Grandma on the next steps

And Dougie can do it almost on his own

Let’s just be sure it still tastes good

Sprinkle on some sugar

Trying some different sprinkles

Our visit wasn’t only about sprinkles and cookies though. Connie got some good quality time with her grandparents. She’s changed a lot since the last time they saw her so it was fun for everyone to get to know each other again.


Dougie taught Aunt Judy about Thomas trains.


We had a great time! We took a lot more pictures but unfortunately, we dropped our camera while we were there and it broke the lens and the remaining pictures didn’t come out at all.

The Holy Grail – Gluten Free Bread

Dougie 1 Comment

As those who have lived gluten free for any length of time understand, the holy grail really is bread. We’ve been lucky to find a palatable bread after only trying a few brands. Though the bread “works” it really has to be toasted and at almost $7 for a half loaf – well, we felt there had to be another option. So, we decided that we would trying baking our own bread. We found a fabulous recipe and gave it a whirl.

Testing the water temperature for the yeast

Stirring the yeast so it can proof

Prepare the dry ingredients


Stir stir stir

This is NOT what properly proofed yeast looks like (more on that later)

Pushing Daddy Away, “Dougie’s turn!”

Dough – we could have shaped this better

The final product

The first shot at the bread was a tad disappointing. It was VERY yeasty tasting.

We tried again, this time, we got the yeast proofing right.


Still too yeasty.

We read online that sometimes the yeast isn’t given enough of a chance to rise so we thought we’d try to use the bread machine to make it (allowing it to do part of the stirring)… still too yeasty.

Anyone have a tip on what to try next? Everyone raves at how great the bread is but it just isn’t working for us.

Menu Planning Monday

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We have been meal planners for a while. I don’t tend to do well at 4:00 when I’m suddenly faced with deciding what to have for dinner. What’s worse is we never seem to have the ingredients to make something interesting. So, we turned to meal planning to help. We end up eating better and shopping better. Since we know a few folks doing the gluten free thing as well, we thought we’d share what we’re eating this week. We’re also sharing with the nice folks over at OrgJunkie for their Menu Planning Monday.

Monday – Shepherd’s Pie
TuesdaySlow Cooker Orange Chicken and Rice
Wednesday – Pork Fancy Pants (Herb roasted pork and veggies)
Thursday – Chicken Tikka Masala (from a jar) and Rice
FridayPulled Pork and Baked Potatoes
SaturdayPeppered Beef Filet, Rosti Potatoes, Broccoli
Sunday – Cabbage Rolls

We didn’t have links for a few of those recipes but if anyone would like me to post them, drop me a comment.

Adventures in Gluten Free Cooking

Dougie No Comments

This weekend, we decided to try gluten free baking. I knew we had to get there but I was more than a little intimidated because all the flours were so different from what I was used to. It happened that we decided to participate in a Breakfast Challenge to “Stop the Boring Breakfasts” as well so we decided to mix the two goals and made banana bread (the fact that we had a bunch of aging bananas help in this decision as well).

I am not quite ready to adjust our existing recipes so Grandma Cajka’s banana bread will have to wait. We found a new banana bread recipe instead: Gluten Free Banana Bread. Admittedly, it wasn’t nearly as good as Grandma Cajka’s but it fit the bill.

Dougie mashes the bananas

Adding more ingredients

More stirring

The batter was VERY liquidy. We also made a small adjustment based on the recipe reviews to add an extra teaspoon of baking powder. It definitely helped the bread not fall too much once it was out of the oven.

Finished bread

All in all, I would call this a success. Our baking powder was a bit old and didn’t get mixed in as well as it should have but otherwise, I’d make this again.

Building Traditions

Dougie 1 Comment

Those who have known me for a while know that I’m not very big into pranks. I’m sure you can work out from that what my feelings on April Fools day are. Don’t get me wrong, I always look forward to see what sort of prank Google is going to pull. They are always clever and down right funny, unlike most pranks.

But, it isn’t every day that I get called “clever” (thanks Sharold!) so I felt inspired to do something special and perhaps start a little family tradition. Enter, the meatloaf cupcakes.


Okay, not my best icing job. I left all the icing bags in Dallas and had to improvise. I think it looks cupcake-like though, right?

These are actually gluten-free meatloaf topped with garlic mashed potatoes. They weren’t too bad.

Dougie was excited about the idea of cupcakes for dinner though quickly worked out that it wasn’t cake and suddenly wasn’t so interested.


He did poke at it a bit and then, something magical happened.





Our boy ate a kernel of corn. Then, he ate another. All in all, he likely ate about 25 kernels. Obviously, this isn’t enough to sustain him, but we are so thrilled that he voluntarily ate some!! I don’t want to call this a trend yet, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

One Week Gluten Free

Dougie 2 Comments

After a lot of research and some discussion with our doctor, we have decided to switch Dougie to a gluten free diet for a test run. There has been quite a bit of research on the benefits of a gluten free diets on children with autism. Though Dougie is not autistic, there have been some early studies that indicate that a similar diet can help children with apraxia. So, yes, we decided to take the pickiest eater in the world and limit his food options.


So far, we’ve been doing pretty well. We’re a week in and have found suitable substitutes for many of the foods that Dougie loves. We are going to have to start baking more though because gluten free foods are going to lead us quickly into financial ruin. Fortunately, several people have been very helpful providing recipes and suggestions.


The jury is still out on the results. We didn’t expect to see an instant improvement so we’re still going to give it time. We have noticed that Dougie is starting to use substantially more complicated sentences. It could be a coincidence but we’re hoping it’s the beginning sign of success. We’re going to give this diet a 2 month run and see what changes, if any, Dougie has and then evaluate