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Pot Roast – AKA Comfort Food City

It has been a long time since I have made a pot roast in this house. When Hannah was little, I would make it all of the time because it was easy to toss into the crock pot and forget about it for the rest of the day. After having it weekly for close to a year, the family grew tired of it and no one, except me, liked the potatoes and carrots cooked along with the roast in the pot.  

I bought a roast on sale to make a pot roast a few weeks back. When the kids and hubby first heard of my plan, they weren’t too pleased, but unless they want to make dinner themselves, they will eat what is served. In hopes of winning them over, I decided to cook only the roast in the crock pot and make mashed potatoes and steamed carrots to go on the side.  

I seasoned my roast with sea salt and pepper and browned on both side in a hot pan with a touch of olive oil.


After the roast is seared on both sides, simply place it in the crock pot into roughly 2 cups of liquid. This time I used Pacific Simply Stock (vegetable) + water, but I have used all water in the past.  


Cover the crock pot with a lid and resist the urge to peek! If you do want to add potatoes, carrots and/or onions, try doing so half way through the cooking time so they don’t get as mushy. Or, if you like them mushy, add right away. Cook for 8+ hours on low.  

This meal turned out just about perfect! Hannah wasn’t overly pleased when she found out what we were having, but she loves mashed potatoes, so I convinced her to dip her roast in the potatoes. She quickly became a fan! I paired my meal with a nice glass of cabernet and took my time savoring every bite. 

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Weekly Menu Plan – January 27, 2013

Welcome to the last week of January. I’d like to thank Mother Nature for reminding us it is winter.  I tolerate cold decently until it gets below 20.  After that, I whine and moan about cold toes and frozen noses. Tomorrow the wind chill is predicted to be -25 to -35  Sounds fun, huh?

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Pretty, but I am ready for some warmer temps.

The menu plan for this week:

Monday – Ribeye, baked potato and steamed broccoli

Tuesday – Pot roast, potatoes and carrots (crock pot)

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Chicken fettuccine Alfredo with salad

Friday – Make your own pizza night and salad

Saturday – Take-out

Week in Review:

GFCO: Recall of sorts on two Boulder Canyon products that contain malt vinegar.  Those products include MALT VINEGAR AND SEA SALT, WAVY POTATO CHIPS , KETTLE COOKED IN 100% AVOCADO OIL and MALT VINEGAR AND SEA SALT KETTLE CHIPS.

Review: Glutino Honey Mustard Pretzels

The Melting Pot – Gluten-Free Review

Chinese New Year recipes


Review: Glutino Honey Mustard Pretzels

Gluten-free pretzels are a staple in our house.  I have always loved pretzels, so when I first started the gluten-free diet, I was bummed that I either couldn’t find gluten-free pretzels or they were ridiculously expensive.

Glutino has several variety of gluten-free pretzels on the market, including Chocolate Covered, Yogurt Covered and Peppermint Yogurt Covered . The newest pretzel variety to join the Glutino family is the Honey Mustard variety.

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I used to love Honey Mustard pretzels and to be honest, I was just happy I could eat pretzels gluten-free, I didn’t think much about missing the Honey Mustard variety until I heard about these.

Glutino graciously sent me a bag to sample and I couldn’t wait to dive in.  They are every bit as good as I remember, if not better!  WOW…these pretzels have such a wonderful honey mustard flavor!

Ingredients: Corn starch, potato starch, rice flour, soluble corn fiber, palm oil, canola oil, honey mustard seasoning (sugar, onion powder, dextrose, salt, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed soy protein, prepared mustard (distilled vinegar, mustard seed, salt, turmeric), dry honey, citric acid, spice, vinegar solids, canola oil, torula yeast, turmeric extractives, tricalcium phosphate, acetic acid, natural flavor), sugar, cellulose gum, soy lecithin, yeast extract, sodium bicarbonate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, salt, citric acid. Contains soy.

These may be my new favorite snack! They are the perfect addition to a deli-style turkey and cheddar sandwich.  Glutino products can be purchased in grocery and health food stores across the US or online.

Have you tried the new Glutino Honey Mustard Pretzels?

*The product reviewed in this blog post was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.  


I’m Back – Again!

This time, I mean it!  I dropped off my HP laptop and MacBook Air to Apple the other day to have the important data transferred to the MacBook.  The HP wasn’t playing nicely, so it took much longer than I thought.  That being said, it is all done now and I hope to get back to some sort of a blogging schedule.  Thank you for your patience, it is greatly appreciated.

I’ll leave you with a picture for “Wordless Wednesday”.

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Review: Gigi’s Cupcakes

It was just last week that I learned about Gigi’s Cupcakes offering gluten-free cupcakes on Fridays. I quickly placed an order so that I would be able to pick them up on Friday and continue my birthday celebration.

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There are three different varieties of gluten-free cupcakes offered:

  • White Hot Chocolate
  • Birthday Surprise
  • Wedding Cake

When I went to pick up my cupcakes I was told that they could make any variety they had in the case gluten-free as long as that variety didn’t contain cookie dough or alcohol.

The cupcakes came packaged in this super-cute box:

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Both Jon and I quickly fell in love with these cupcakes! Aside from having more frosting than I like on my cupcakes, they were perfect in every other way. The cakes were moist, icing had a great flavor and no one would be the wiser if you didn’t tell them these were gluten-free.

Gigi’s Cupcakes has locations around the US. Gluten-free orders can be placed online or over the phone. Each Gigi’s location is individually owned, so if you have specific questions about the location closest to you, give them a call. Each gluten-free cupcake costs $3.25, which is the same price as the non-gluten-free cupcake.

Have you tried Gigi’s Cupcakes?  It is so nice to have this option right up the street from our house.


I’m Back!!!

I promise I didn’t fall off the face of the earth.  The kids had an extended winter break thanks to Mother Nature and my computer has a mind of its own and only stays on for a short period of time, so I wasn’t able to blog like I would have liked to.  The kids are now back in school and I got a brand new MacBook (made the switch from PC…finally!), so things should be much better from here on out. 

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The reason the kids were out of school an extra couple of days.  BRR!  I never thought I would be happy to see the 20 and 30 degree temps return!

Today is my birthday (I share it with my Mom!), so I have been thinking about what kind of cake or treat I want to celebrate with.  I ordered a few cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes, but can’t pick them up until tomorrow.  In the meantime, I may have to pick up a piece of flourless chocolate cake from Hyde Park.  If I wanted to take the time, I would make this Carrot Cake, but I am just not in the baking mood today. 

The NFCA has launched a new campaign for the new year called, “Take the Pledge”.  Please join me and educate, empower and advocate for Celiac Disease

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End of the Year Thoughts

With the New Year right around the corner, I figured it was a good time for this post.  As many of you know, I have suffered on and off with anorexia for many years.  I believe that I am in a better place in my recovery now than I have ever been before.  I may have looked “well”, but we all know that appearances aren’t everything, right?  I had this feeling deep down that I wasn’t enough.  Enough what?

  • Fit enough
  • Skinny enough
  • Fast enough (running)
  • Organized enough
  • Clean enough (housework)
  • Mom enough (to my kids)
  • Wife enough (to my husband)

When I had those feelings, I always felt like I was scrambling.  Scrambling around to find the magic.  The magic that would make me enough.  The thing is…there is no magic.

I have worked for the past year with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders and with a dear friend who taught me how to separate the lies from the truth.  Those lies come from a couple of sources.  ED (name for that eating disorder voice) and Miss Perfectionist (the voice that is never satisfied).  Those voices spew lies and draw the focus away from what really matters…loving myself just the way I am, for who I am.  I know those voices will always been present, but today they are much quieter than they have ever been.

Everyone has a different trigger that gets those voices riled up.  For many, including me, it begins with changes that include rules, numbers and omission.  New Year’s Day brings all kinds of new goals, changes, ideas and how to finally be “enough”.  Thank goodness for that, right?  No, not right.  When I impose “rules” on myself I feel like I am being punished, like I did something wrong.  When that negative feeling rises up, it often knocks my confidence down a notch or two and allows those voices to get stronger.  The lies become plentiful, which opens the door for feeling like I am not enough.  I now know enough to put the brakes on before I get too far into that downward spiral.  I counter the lie with statements like, “I am enough” and “I am exactly who I am supposed to be”.  Saying those statements out loud, or to a dear friend is so liberating.

When it comes to food, ED likes to put his two cents in on a regular basis with lies like,  “This is too many calories” or “You shouldn’t be eating something like this”.  Those lies get louder if I omit a food or drink from my repertoire.  Sue Markovitch (dear friend, author and founder of Clear Rock Fitness) suggests adding as opposed to taking away (omitting).  Again, taking away feels like punishment, like I have done something wrong.  Adding something in…healthy choices like fresh fruits/veggies, water, a long walk, meditation, etc makes me feel so much better.  We all deserve to feel loved, so why continue treating ourselves like we aren’t good enough?

I focus on turning my negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I treat myself the way I would treat a close friend.  I would never be so critical or judgmental of someone else, so why is it okay for me to talk to myself that way?  I lived for years believing that I had to weigh a certain number of pounds.  Don’t ask me where I got that number, I can’t tell you, but it was THE number.  I refuse to let a number rule my life or be my worth.  Letting go of the rules, the measurements and omissions takes away the power of ED and Miss Perfectionist.  It is harder for them to speak up when there is nothing to compare anything to.  I am who I am.

These past few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have been the proof to me that I am in a different (better) place.  In years past I would have been fretting and scrambling to the point of misery with all of the things I had to do, but hadn’t done yet.  This year was different.  Yes, there was still much to be done, but it didn’t affect me the same way.  I did what I could and accepted that it was my personal best.  You know what?  It was fine.  Actually, it was more than fine, it was glorious!  It turns out that I (ED and Miss Perfectionist) was the only one placing those unrealistic expectations on myself.  Going into 2014 I will continue to be kind to myself…I am worth it.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and holiday season.  Take the time to enjoy and cherish those things in life that really matter. 

Last Christmas minute tips and a recipe!

Review: NuGo Stronger Protein Bars

I am a big fan of NuGo protein bars, so when I heard they debuted a new bar, I was excited to try it. The new bar, NuGo Stronger, is a higher protein bar with no soy ingredients.


The NuGo Stronger bars come in four different varieties:

More about the bars:

  • Hormone-free whey protein
  • 25-27g of quality protein
  • No soy protein
  • Lower sugar (no maltitol)
  • Non-GMO
  • Certified Gluten-Free
  • High fiber (12g)

Of course I quickly fell in love with these bars.  The Caramel Pretzel is my favorite…the perfect combination of sweet and salty. What a perfect way to refuel after a tough workout!  NuGo Nutrition products can be purchased online or in stores across the US and Canada.  Look for NuGO STRONGER to hit stores in early Spring 2014.   More about NuGo Nutrition:

Our mission at NuGo is pretty simple:

To help people make better snack choices without compromising on flavor. We never use hydrogenated oils or trans fats in our products and, unlike our competitors, we never use waxy vegetable fat compounds in place of real, delicious chocolate. We use only all natural, top quality ingredients like real milk chocolate and antioxidant-rich real dark chocolate to make our bars the best tasting, healthiest options available.

NuGo is an independent food company dedicated to producing the finest, healthiest, most delicious products.  NuGo is the fastest growing Lifestyle Brand in the Natural Foods category.

Today NuGo makes 7 different kinds of bars. We continually respond to our customers’ requests for new and improved nutritional products with exceptional flavor and taste. Healthier choices from the nutrition-conscious folks at NuGo will be at a store near you soon with more products debuting each year.

Our headquarters are in Pittsburgh, PA with additional offices in San Francisco and New York.

Have you tried the new NuGo Stronger bars?  What about any of the other NuGo Nutrition bars?

*The products mentioned in this blog post were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Ian’s Review & Giveaway

Ian’s Natural Foods is one brand I know that we can count on to bring us quality gluten-free products. Not only do they offer gluten-free products, but those products are also often free of many of the other top allergens. In addition to offering a wide variety of foods in mainstream grocery stores, Ian’s also has a product line that meets all nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program.

We recently had the opportunity to sample some of the newer products in the Ian’s line-up.

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Ian’s Pancrepes are a unique breakfast idea sure to put a smile on your face.  It’s won’t be hard to be a morning person after you try these!  My heart lies with the Blueberry Pancrepes, while Jon prefers the Sausage Pancrepes.  In addition to being gluten-free the Pancrepes are also free of milk/casein, nuts and soy.

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Ian’s Parmesan Garlic Panko Breadcrumbs are free of gluten, eggs and nuts.  They are great for adding a great crunch to chicken fingers without frying, making them a much healthier option!

Ian’s products can be found in grocery stores across the US.

Have you tried these new products from Ian’s?  Do you have a favorite Ian’s product?  Leave a comment below and I’ll pick one lucky reader to receive a free product coupon from Ian’s Natural Foods.  *Comments will be open until 12:01 AM EST on December 17, 2013. 

*The products mentioned in this post and free product were supplied courtesy of Ian’s Natural Foods for review purposes.  The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

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