What’s Up?

So.

I’ve been gone again.

Busy.

Life happened.

I’ve been working.

Doing school.

Helping at home.

Catering my cousin’s bridal shower. (Loose use of the word “catering.”)

Attending my first birth.

Photographing my first birth.

Taking the knife to my closet.  (The old ugly stuff has to go!)

So.

First things first.  I am working at a fun little salon in town two days a week, four hours a day, as a receptionist, and cleaning.  Actually, this is the first week I have worked two days.  Which I am really excited about.  I like it.

School and life it pretty much normal, so not a whole lot to say about that, except that I’m loving school, as usual.

The shower went well.  It was great to see everybody up north.  For the dessert at the shower, I made mint chocolate brownie bites, lemon poppy seed cake, and Mom made coffee punch.  Yum.

Last night, my good friend had her sweet baby, and I was blessed to have been invited to the birth, and it pleased God to have all the circumstances happen exactly right so I could go!  I am so blessed to have gotten to be there, and it was wonderful.  She had asked me and another young lady to take some photos during the birth, which I found quite enjoyable.  What a blessing to record that special moment!

My closet has been getting too full. Not just that, but after doing the Botkin ladies’ beauty webinar, I have really been thinking about what I am wearing, and trying to look nice.  To be honest, some of my old clothes aren’t really nice.  So I have decided to start paring down my closet, then filling it with things that look nice and that will look good on me.  I emptied a whole bunch yesterday morning, which made me surprisingly slightly apprehensive?  anxious?  teary? not quite sure which.  But the first cut is the deepest, right?

So, that’s what’s been going on.  I’ll be hoping to post a full post about the shower tomorrow when I process the pictures, or at least in the very near future.  So look for that.  In the meantime, here are some photos of the closet-cleaning!

 

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The first pile to go

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One side of my closet, after the first clean-out (hopefully not the last)

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Fun new hairstyle I tried, and wore all day, and it didn’t give me a headache!  Which made me SO HAPPY!  (I usually get a headache when I where my hair pulled back, usually at the base or near the base of my head.)  What do you think?

What I Want to Eat When it’s February (and More!)

Hi!

It’s me, Allison!

(It feels like so long since I have been on here that feel like I need to reintroduce myself.)

I’m still here.

Really.

What’s up?

Not a whole lot exciting or new here.  Just school.  And my midwifery course.  It has been so wonderful!  I love it.  I am wrapping up (or should be – but I am blogging :)) the first nutrition module, and enjoying it heartily.  It’s been great.

A few days ago I came down with a little bit of a cold (this is starting to sound like the story of my life, isn’t it?  It really isn’t, though).  I have a little sore throat and a little congestion, and a LOT of tired.  So this afternoon I ended up taking a nap.  Hopefully it will help me feel better faster.

When I woke up, I glanced at the clock, and it was time to start dinner!  Still rather groggy, I got up to head to the kitchen.

Then Mom came in.  And she basically said, “We have all these leftovers.  I would be so much happier (and I think it would be better) if you didn’t make dinner and we just ate those.”

So I am not making dinner.  Which makes me really happy, since I am still a little groggy.

So I thought I would post.

 

I have been thinking.  (Again, I try to do this once in a while.)  About what I want to eat when I am back to eating “normal-ish” things.  After I introduce the things I haven’t been eating slowly.  And these are some of the things I have been craving/wanting/thinking about.

1.  Brownies.  A whole pan (NOT!).  There is an AWESOME looking recipe in Practical Paleo.  I really want to try it (both making and eating!)

2. Baconaise.  Again, another recipe that is in Practical Paleo.  We went to a friend’s home, and they made an AWESOME broccoli salad with it.  And I want it again.  And it might be fun to try some other things with baconaise. (Tuna salad?  Egg salad? Any suggestions?  It has to be grain-free.)

3.  Egg casserole.  And quiche.  Something different for breakfast.  I’m getting a little tired of leftover meat.

4. Cheese.  Cheese sticks.  I miss it.

5.  Sun-dried tomatoes.  I have a jar in the fridge, and I think they would be good on a salad.

6.  A faux-Chipotle meal.  Keep thinking about it.  And I really want to try to imitate their steak.  I will say it again:  I LOVE CHIPOTLE!  Especially the cheese.  Don’t ask.

7.  Zucchini linguine noodles with tomato sauce.  And cheese!

8.  Cake.  Not sure where this craving is coming from, because I usually am not that big on cake.  Maybe because I want a baked good?

9.  Paleo French toast, like I made 2 days before I started this.  It was good.

10.  Chocolate chip cookies.  Need I say more?

11.  Peanut butter cookies.  Maybe with chocolate chips added in.

12.  A peanut butter spoon.

13.  A large peanut butter spoon with chocolate chips.

14.  Quinoa.  I want it again.  This has been even longer – several months since I had it last.

15.  Cookies, in general.  I haven’t made that many grain-free cookies.  And I need some.  (Yes, I do know the difference between “want” and “need.”  This IS a need.)

16.  Some sort of really good bar thing with a bunch of ooey-gooey toppings.  With caramel.

Well, that is it for right now.

If you have ANY suggestions of things that I should make (and eat!) when I get off this diet, I would LOVE to hear!

Well, off to work on that nutrition module.

Love,

Allison

Brownies

After seeing this post on Pioneer Woman’s site, I knew I had to try to make these little deliciousnesses.  I was planning to work on them soon, but when I offered to make them for a wedding shower, I had to get going.

So on Thursday I found a few grain-free brownie recipes online.  I decided to try this recipe.  The only things I changed was to substitute a little peppermint extract for some of the vanilla, and I only made a half batch.  I was not impressed.  At all.  They turned out rather cake-y.  I was looking for a fudge-y brownie.  And the flavor was o.k.  I didn’t really like the mint flavor, either.  I decided to give up on making them mint-flavored brownie.  No one really liked that.

After that brownie failure, I felt rather discouraged.  What if I couldn’t find (or make) a decent grain-free brownie?  Oh my.  This would make my life rather difficult.  I’m not sure if I could make it without a decent brownie.   I couldn’t really decide which of the other gluten-free recipes I should try. 

Then I was thinking. (I do that every once in a while.  I know, a rather dangerous occupation.)  Why don’t I start with a recipe that I know will work, then change it to being grain-free?  I figured that, even if it didn’t quite work out, at least I would know that it would taste good.  But I had never done that before.  How do I substitute almond and coconut flour for regular white flour?  Equal parts?  I thought that if I just substituted almond flour, it would crumble.  I had also heard that coconut flour expands a bit when you add it to a batter.  I decided to use both together.

I didn’t decide on the amount of flour before I started.  I decided that I would add mostly almond flour with a smaller amount of coconut flour.  I would add the flour a little bit at a time, feeling it as I went.

It went phenomenally.  I ended up using 3/4 c. almond flour and 1/4 c. coconut flour instead of the one cup white flour.  Next time I will probably use a little less coconut flour, as it adds a bit of texture.

But, THEY WERE BROWNIES!!!!!!! Unlike my first attempted, which turned out as cake wannabes.  The few that I made as brownie bites were a bit over baked, but when I covered them with mint chocolate, they were VERY GOOD.  (I made the mint chocolate by melting dark chocolate chips and adding some peppermint extract, until it tasted minty.)

I will definitely be making them again!

A funny thing that happened today – When Meiling and I were talking earlier, I decided to tell her a few jokes.  I started with “Pinshoo (pinch you) and Pinshme (pinch me – I was trying to obscure the names) had a race…” you know how it goes.  Well, she fell for that the first time.  But that is one that you can only get them to fall for once.  So I tried the next one.

“Pete and Repeat were on a boat.  Pete fell off.  Who was left?”  I queried.

“Repeat,” Meiling answered.

“Pete and Repeat were on a boat. Pete fell off. Who was left?”

“Repeat”

And on. And on.  We probably did this at least 25 times, if not more.

Suddenly Meiling exclaimed, “I get it!”

It was cute.  🙂

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My first attempt at grain-free brownies

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My second try…

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…is definitely a success!