Pumpkin Seeds & Pizza

I didn’t eat the aforementioned together, but now that I think about it, roasted pumpkin seeds would be mighty tasty on pizza!  I’ll have to give that a try this week on pizza night & let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, here is my latest pizza love creation.

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There are 2 pre-made crusts that I swear by – Udi’s gluten-free or Kinnikinnick.  This pizza uses Udi’s.  Here is what I did:

  • Udi’s personal pizza crust
  • Prego three cheese marinara
  • mozzarella cheese
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Cabernet sauvignon

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 – 425. 

2.  Heat a saute pan and drizzle a touch of olive oil or spray with Pam.  Add mushrooms & saute over medium – medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  When they are about half done, pour in some Cabernet.  I probably used about an 1/8 – 1/4 cup total.  Allow mushrooms to continue to cook in the wine.  Once the mushrooms are cooked, sprinkle with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

3.  Assemble your pizza.  Sauce, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms & spinach.

4.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until crust has begun to get brown & cheese is melty. 

5.  Enjoy! 

I love the added flavor the sauteed mushrooms add to the pizza.  This meal took me no longer than 30 minutes to make from start to finish.  And yes, I ate it all.  Fortunately no one else in my family likes mushrooms or spinach, so this was all mine! 

Yesterday we carved pumpkins.  I really shouldn’t say “we” because this part of the “we” didn’t do much besides clean the seeds & roast them.  Knives & I don’t get along so well and & I usually come out with a band-aid or 2.  I seem to have issues chopping vegetables, no telling what would happen carving a pumpkin!  If I didn’t have my wonderful husband, I would absolutely carve, but he was there to be my Knight in Shining Armor once more. 



After they were done, I cleaned the seeds off & roasted them.  It was much easier than I remember:

  • Heat oven to 325
  • Rinse seeds*
  • Spray a cookie sheet with Pam
  • Lay seeds on pan & spray them with Pam
  • Sprinkle with sea salt or other preferred seasoning
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, stir, continue baking for 15 min more or so
  • Cool completely & store in an air-tight container

I can’t keep my hands out of that container!  Only this morning did I see another recipe for pumpkin seeds that has me drooling – Balsamic Lime ‘n Avocado Pumpkin Seeds.  After reading that recipe, I have now realized that I have to go buy another pumpkin so that I can make those!  Thanks a lot, Amie! Winking smile 

*I used to think that you had to dry the seeds overnight.  I found out last year that was a huge mistake.  I laid all of my nicely cleaned seeds out on paper towels while I dreamt up ways to season them.  The next day I got up to find that the seeds stuck right to the paper towels.  While I could peel them off, they had bits of paper towel stuck to them.  Major fail.  Hopefully my mistake can keep someone else from making the same one. 

Have a safe & Happy Halloween!  Don’t forget to enter to win a fun package from Pamela’s products. You have until midnight tonight to enter!

Sunday Funday

Time to clean out the basement.  Fun times.  Anyone want to come help?  I didn’t think so.  I am currently procrastinating by slowly sipping my coffee & thinking about what I am going to have for breakfast.  I figured why not add blogging to that list of things to do while I delay the inevitable?  I need to make sure to get my menu plan up, right?  Also on today’s list of things to do: pumpkin carving.  I despise cleaning out the pumpkin, so I delegate that job to Aaron.  He rocks, in case I haven’t mentioned that lately.  I do like to roast the pumpkin seeds, so I am looking forward to that part.

Before I get to the menu plan, have you seen this Party Rock Halloween House on YouTube yet?  Totally worth 4 minutes & 10 seconds of your time, and a great way to procrastinate!

Weekly Menu Plan

Sunday – Chipotle

Monday – Crockpot BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked potatoes & salad after Trick or Treating

Tuesday – Spaghetti & meat sauce, steamed broccoli & salad

Wednesday – Bison burgers, sweet potato puffs, roasted asparagus & salad

Thursday – Breakfast for dinner

Friday – MYOP (make your own pizza ) night with salad

Saturday – Grilled chicken, roasted red skin potatoes & zucchini and salad

Don’t forget to enter to win a fun package from Pamela’s products. You have until Monday night to enter!

With Halloween tomorrow, I am sure that many will be scrambling, like me, to check on the gluten-free status of some candy.  I have a list posted here, but it has not been updated this year.  Please exercise caution when referencing this list.  For more recent lists, visit Glutenfreeville or Sure Foods Living.

Edited to add the NFCA 2011 Candy List.



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Miscellaneous Friday Treats

No tricks here, only treats.  I thought I would share a few tidbits with you guys before the weekend.  Lots of little things floating around my head & computer that I want to share, but not enough to justify a post of their own. 

Halloween is Monday, as is our trick or treat night.  We have had plenty of candy.  I should know by now that it won’t last in our house & shouldn’t even bother to bring it home until the day of trick or treat.  Aaron brought candy home from work that we all have been in; I bought a couple of bags to fill some treat bags to “Boo” our neighbors and most of that has disappeared, too.  For those looking for gluten-free candy lists, I have been using the following:

Sure Food Living – Alison put together a wonderful list this year

Glutenfreeville – A larger list – great for referencing after the kids trick or treat

My new favorite cup – Tervis Tumbler. 

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I have this fancy one that was sent to me as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program with Tervis Tumbler and I have another one that is larger with a peace symbol on it.  Aside from being dishwasher safe (a must), they don’t sweat.  I drink a ton of water and when I don’t use these cups, I always find my cups dripping on tables & other surfaces.  They also keep hot drinks hot (COFFEE!) for an extended period of time. 

Jon’s current favorite food combo.


Yep, baked beans + Trader Joe’s gluten-free macaroni & cheese.  Not bad – I remember doing this as a kid, too!

Aaron took to the kitchen to bake some goodies with Jon the other day.  They made some Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies and muffins.  The muffins were made from Pamela’s Pancake & Baking Mix, with a little modification.  They were lemon muffins sprinkled with powdered sugar.  I asked him what he did so that I could share here with you all, so here goes:

Pamela’s Muffins

*Recipe from the side of the bag, modifications made by Aaron

  • 1 1/4 cup Pamela’s Mix
  • 1/4 cup water (Aaron used mostly lemon juice & a splash of water)
  • 1/3 cup honey or 1/4 cup sugar (Aaron used sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Powdered sugar (to sprinkle over the top)

1.  Mix all ingredients together and spoon into greased muffin pan, 2/3 full. (Aaron used cupcake liners)

2.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 18-20 minutes.  Makes 6 muffins. (Aaron doubled)

3.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar once they have cooled slightly

Jon ate these for breakfast throughout the week.  They stayed nicely on the counter and he warmed them slightly & topped with butter before eating each morning. 

Don’t forget to enter to win a fun package from Pamela’s products. 


Pamela’s Whenever Bars Giveaway

Have you had a chance to try Pamela’s Whenever Bars yet?  If not, you are really should soon.  These bars make a great after school snack, pre-workout snack or even dessert!  Check out my full review of the bars on Celiac-Disease.com.

There are 4 varieties of bars:

  • Oat Blueberry Lemon
  • Oat Cranberry Almond
  • Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut
  • Oat Raisin Walnut Spice

My favorites are the oat raisin walnut spice & the chocolate chip coconut.

Now for the fun part!  Pamela’s has offered to send 3 lucky readers each a package that will include the following:

·Oat Blueberry Lemon

·Oat Cranberry Almond

·Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut

·Oat Raisin Walnut Spice

·Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix, the brand’s most iconic and popular product

In the meantime, if you are interested in trying the Whenever bars, head over to Pamela’s Facebook page and “Like” it to receive a $1.00 off coupon and a 15% off code to use on Amazon.com.

Follow the instructions below to enter the giveaway.

***The products in this giveaway were/are being provided by Pamela’s Products.  The opinions stated here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

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Better Late Than Never, Right?

Do you remember this post from late August?  You know, the one where I shared my organized chaos in my office/loft?  I admit that things got a bit off track in early September – Hannah had her appendix out & I became her nursemaid, then hockey started, yada, yada, yada. 

Well, of all days to complete the task, I did it today!  I say that because I may have had one too many glasses of wine last night and didn’t sleep well after that.  Perhaps trying to sleep in my grandmother’s reclining chair was not the smartest of choices.  I believe I got up & moved at 4 AM when my hip was numb.  It was all worth it, though, as we were in Cleveland to celebrate her 90th birthday!  I can only pray that I look this good & get around this great when I am her age.

Four generations of women.


Happy 90th b-day, Grandma!

Now, back to my desk.  Check this out:


I am not proud of how long this took, but I am proud that it is done.  I even left a plastic tote underneath for the schoolwork that the kids bring home.  It will often get placed on my desk and once one pile starts, it is all downhill from there.  Almost 2 months from the original post, I did it.  I did work on this in parts, so I didn’t just leave that disaster for that long & attack it all today.  I just finally took the time to put in that last half hour or so today. 

Now I might not feel so guilty when Siri arrives this week and I spend lots of time messing around with my new iPhone.  Maybe she can get me organized?  Hmmmm…….


I also wanted to share a photo that I saw on Facebook yesterday on a friend’s status.  Sara is an amazing woman and she couldn’t have posted this at a better time.  Since many of you echoed what I wrote about with my battle against the scale, I thought you may benefit from this, too.


I do believe that I may be printing this out & hanging it on my bathroom mirror right alongside a picture of my family.



Pumpkin Pie Breakfast

No, I did not really eat pie for breakfast, though it did taste a bit reminiscent of pumpkin pie.  Check out my find from grocery shopping this week:

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Grocery shopping is a lot like treasure hunting, isn’t it? 

Pumpkin spice Philadelphia cream cheese.  You know that once I checked the label & confirmed it was gluten-free, there was no leaving that in the store, right?  It did help that it was on sale, but I doubt if $.30 would have stopped me. 

Not only have I enjoyed this on Food for Life English muffins, but Van’s waffles, too!  I am not even sure that putting this on something is necessary – it is fantastic on its own, though that is probably not the healthiest way to eat it.  It is like having pumpkin pie & cheesecake for breakfast.  I added raisins on top of my waffles for some extra flavor today – really don’t see this lasting long in this house. 

What is your favorite flavor of cream cheese?  Are you a sucker for pumpkin like I am?

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!  Any fun plans? 


Update on Me: The Battle with the Scale

A couple of weeks back I asked Aaron to hide our scale.  I knew that it would only hurt me (mentally and possibly physically) to continue to weigh myself daily at that point in my training.  Now that my race is over (and I met my goal) I have been pondering whether or not I want that piece of metal back in my life.  Initially I told Aaron not to give it back to me until after October 16, 2011.  I haven’t asked for it back, and I don’t know that I want to. 

There are days when I get up and feel the need to know.  I want to step on that piece of metal so that it can register a number.  Give me some kind of validation.  I My brain then takes that number and uses it to dictate how my day proceeds.  Do I need that in my life?  No.  Do I want that in my life?  Maybe, on some days.  I know some of you may think I am nuts to say that, but it is part of my illness.  It is an obsession to know these numbers.  In some sick & crazy way, that number comforts me, though much more so when it is where “I think” it should be. 

Where do I come up with the number I think I should weigh?  I am asking this not only of myself, but of anyone else out there who knows what I am going through.  What if my scale only read weight in kilograms?  I would be lost and have no clue, which may be better for me.  Who says that I have to weigh ___lbs?  Do I feel any different when I weigh 5 lbs more?  5 lbs less?  Other than that initial mental jolt of excitement or disappointment?  Unfortunately the disappointment from seeing a gain carries on through the day & may dictate my food choices.  Do my friends “unfriend” me because I gain weight?  What am I so scared of? 

That is the million dollar question:  What am I so scared of?  I am healthy.  I just ran the race of my life and obviously my body had what it needed to perform.  If I were to base my daily food and/or calorie intake on what the scale said in the morning, I may be jeopardizing that.  So why do I feel that pull?  Why can’t I shake that? 

I did what I set out to do – I ran a half marathon in under 2 hours.  Why can’t that be good enough?  My brain automatically begins to move on to the next challenge – what can we do to get better?  I am thrilled with my results, don’t get me wrong, I am just being brutally honest about how my brain is functioning. 

So, as it stands now, there is no scale.  I am going to try to listen to my body, eat a healthy, balanced diet, train smartly, go by how my clothes fit and live life.  I will win this war, even if I lose a few battles along the way. 

Review: Simply Potatoes

Potatoes are my friend.  I love them in most forms.  When Foodbuzz & Simply Potatoes joined forces to send out coupons to review their potatoes & create recipes, I jumped all over it!  Breakfast for dinner is usually on our menu at least once per week and the hash browns would be the perfect addition. 

The first thing I noticed about the Simply Potatoes packaging was the clear labeling:

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There was no deciphering labels – they said “gluten-free” right on the back.   I immediately began to brainstorm what our dinner would include.  Eggs, these hash browns, turkey bacon and some fruit. 

Jon prefers his eggs scrambled with cheese.  He also likes cheese on his potatoes, so I topped the hash browns with shredded cheddar once they were cooked.

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Hannah likes her eggs once over easy, so I played short order cook and that is what she got.  She is also a huge fan of cheese, so her hash browns received a generous portion of cheddar, too.

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After preparing the kids meals, I was looking for something simple for me.  I piled my hash browns in a bowl and topped with chopped turkey bacon, red kidney beans (leftover that I needed to use up) and a fried egg.  Now that I see this I realize I should have added some avocado!  Darn! 

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The potatoes cooked quickly & simply (just like the name suggests).  I followed the directions on the package which suggested adding a tablespoon of oil to the pan and then cooking on each side for 6-8 minutes.  While I prefer to cook with whole foods, this would be a nice shortcut if I were in a hurry.  We all enjoyed these potatoes – breakfast is always a hit on our house!

We also sampled the Garlic Mashed Potatoes with our rotisserie chicken.  The potatoes were good, but nothing can top Aaron’s garlic mash!  Again, nice (and gluten-free) if you are in a hurry. 

All of the potato products are gluten-free.  The mac & cheese side dish is not gluten-free.  Per the website:

Are your products gluten free?

All Simply Potatoes® mashed and cut varieties have been confirmed to be gluten free. Our new side dish,Simply Macaroni & Cheese®, however, is not gluten free.

Have you tried any of the products from Simply Potatoes?  What did you think?

There are many other gluten-free products offered by Simply Potatoes.  Interested in winning a years supply of Simply Potatoes?  Simply (hehe) become a member of Simply Potatoes (free) and you are entered to win!

**This post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Simply Potatoes.

Review: Marzetti Simply Dressed

We all know how much I like my salads.  My day is not complete unless I have a salad for lunch & dinner.  Seriously, I feel off without them.  It is a sure way to guarantee I get my veggies in, too!  I like to vary my salad dressings (and toppings) so that I don’t get bored.  So when I heard the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program was offering samples of Marzetti Simply Dressed, I signed up. 


There are 10 different varieties in the Simply Dressed line and all but 1 of them are gluten-free.  Steer clear of the Ginger Sesame.  The rest are labeled “gluten-free” on the back.  I love when life is simple like this.  I sampled the Pomegranate and fell in love with it.  It adds a wonderful flavor to my mixed greens salad.  I love to toss some berries on my salad, along with pine nuts & goat cheese, and this dressing really complimented that combination.  I can see buying a lot more of this in the future!


More about the Marzetti Simply Dressed:

Marzetti® Simply Dressed® is our newest line of salad dressings. Made with a minimal number of all-natural, simple ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, canola oil and sea salt, Simply Dressed offers 10 tasty varieties to complement any salad, any day.

For recipe inspiration, visit the links below (That beet & toasted walnut salad is calling my name!):

To find Simple Dressed dressings in a store near you, click here.  If you would like a $1.00 off coupon, click here and look on the right side of the page. 

Have you tried any of Marzetti’s Simple Dressed dressings?  What did you think?

***This post is part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Marzetti Simply Dressed.

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