Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hello all two of you. ;)

I've finally made the move to wordpress and am blogging at Aspiring Mama. I don't think I'll be stopping back by here again, so please hop on over and say hello!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why Berries is going (Slightly) less crazy

Life in Pauline-land is unusually crazy right now. I've got family drama up the booty, a husband who is working so many hours I may as well be single, and no maid, nanny, ghost-writer, or clone to pick up any of the slack.

In fact, I'm sitting here at 9:45 p.m. wondering why the hell I am blogging instead of sweeping, swiffering, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, folding the laundry, or making the hubby his lunch for work tomorrow.

That's right, folks...when Buttercup goes to bed, Mommy clocks in.

But back to the reason I actually stopped trying to make my house look like less of a nightmare and decided to log in: Deadlines and Diapers, Berrie Sweet Picks, and The Celiac Kid will (hopefully soon) be no longer. Now, don't freak out! I know you need a daily dose of me to stay sane (riiiight!).

I'm not going anywhere...I'm just in the process of getting a new domain, switching over to wordpress, and combining all three blogs. Trying to keep up with three with any kind of regularity is a nightmare, and it just makes more sense to be able to sit down at one place and cover it all. Contest, reviews, life as a mommy to a Celiac Kid and wife to Celiac Dad, and everything else...


I feel so much better now that I have officially made the decision to stop going crazy!

So please be patient! I will try to keep posting on all blogs until the process is complete. Stay tuned for the new blog name!

(I'm also in the process of starting an entirely NEW and separate blog...but that is a new topic, a separate post, and just one more reason why I am a permanent resident in the mental ward.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

So I was stuck in a time warp (and other excuses)

It's been FOREVER since I posted here.


I had not realized how long until I logged back in! But here I am, now living in Arizona with The Celiac Dad and my little Celiac Kid, a.k.a "Buttercup." We moved here about 2 months ago from Michigan, and truth be told, organizing the cross-country move was pretty much the sole reason all of my blogs suffered (and you forgot I existed!)

Yes, we are still fighting the good fight against gluten-containing foods and products. Yes, I'm currently trying to figure out how big of a birthday cake to order for the kiddos who want an extra side of gluten with their breakfast while figuring out of Buttercup gets a whole G-free cake or cupcake for her big 0-2.

I'm also in the process of reorganizing my other blogs, so as usual, I'm kissing crazy like I always do.

But I'm back. And hopefully you will be, too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Go Crackers with Mary!

Thanks to author cook book author Jennifer Carden for her first contribution to The Celiac Kid!

I love Mary’s Crackers, they are seedy and not in a bad way in a delicious crispy way.

If you are gluten free and have a hankering for a cracker these may satisfy you and your kids. They are a great company they even donated a crackers for my book release party and we were so happy to have an alternative snack!

“Mary's Gone Crackers, Inc. is committed to manufacturing the best tasting wheat-free and gluten-free baked goods using the highest quality, organically grown ingredients. Mary developed the recipes for her delicious gluten-free products beginning in 1994 when both she and her son were discovered to have a gluten intolerance.”

Her crackers are made with organic brown rice, organic quinoa, organic flax seeds and organic sesame seeds. They come in 5 flavors: Original, Caraway, Herb, Black Pepper, and Onion. For kids the original flavor seem to be the hit, it is mild enough for kids but just flavorful enough for grownups.

Mary’s just came out with some new shapes and flavors called Sticks and Twigs. They have the same ingredients as the original crackers but new flavors have arrived.

The new flavors are Chipotle Tomato, Sea Salt, and Curry. Soon to be released is Cinnamon for the sweet tooth. The crackers are packed with Omega-3s, and healthy, seeds and grains. These are a great alternative to chips or bland GF crackers.

We kid tested the new Sticks and Twigs her was our result:

Sea Salt: has a nice salty flavor without being overly salty.

Kid comment: “Yum!”

great curry flavor, a bit spicy for little mouths. I have to say the curry flavor dose not resemble a stick or a twig, we will just leave it at that. You can see for yourselves…

Kid Comment: “Yum! I need some water…these are too spicy mama!”

Chipotle Tomato: Really flavorful, nice spice smoky, a bit different. Nice with Hummus.

Kid comment: I did not have my daughter try these they are much too spicy for little kids.

I’d love to see BBQ, or Pizza flavors next.

When your diet is restricted, options can be tough but these crackers come in handy to go packs so you can have something on hand. All in all we love them!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Celiac Kid welcomes its first contributor!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I am back with some great news for The Celiac Kid and hope you'll be just as excited as I am!

Jennifer Carden, author of my favorite kids recipe book, The Toddler Cafe, has agreed to become a regular contributor. How cool is that?

I met Jennifer on Twitter (she's @chefjen) after I got her book in the mail. Pure coincidence, and I am so happy for the opportunity to get to know such a creative soul.

Jennifer also blogs at The Toddler Cafe, which offers parents fast and healthy options for even the pickiest of eaters. Check it out!

Stay tuned, because Jennifer will be posting soon with her first review. And I'll be back with more about my Gluten-free Adventures with Buttercup!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Yeast free what?

Oh boy, it's been a while, huh? And around this time of year, I guess it's to be expected. I mean, when I'm dealing with the holiday craziness a la Mexican-style (and with all the bilingual craziness that comes with it) I'm happy to come out on the other side of Christmas still standing.

At least I was thinking sort of about The Celiac Kid while I was away on my little crazy-land vacation from blogging. And maybe because of the constant running around lately and my hurried grilled cheese sandwiches or gluten-free mac and cheese lunches for Buttercup as of late, I decided to be a good Celiac Mommy and actually make he a real dinner last week.

I know. I should be up for a Mother of the Year award.

So, I cracked open my Cooking Light: 5 Ingredient, 15 Minute Cookbook and got to work on a gluten-free version of this deep-dish casserole pizza.

The ingredients called for:

*1 pound of ground round
* 1 (15-ounce) can chunky Italian-style tomato sauce
* Cooking spray
* 1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
* 6 (1-ounce) slices part skim mozzarella cheese (divided)

According to the directions:

*Cook the meat in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Drain, if necessary, and return to skillet. Add tomato sauce and cook until hot.
*While meat cooks, coat a 13X9X2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza dough and pres into bottom and halfway up sides of baking dish. Line bottom of pizza dough crust with 3 slices mozzarella cheese. top with meat mixture.
*Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Top with remaining 3 cheese slices, and bake 5 additional minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Now, I've made this recipe before and I LOVED it. (And it helps that the carb count is below 30 grams per serving.) But that was in our pre-Celiac days, and I haven't had the chance to make it since The Celiac Dad was diagnosed. I ran to Kroger with my shopping list in hand and came home with French Bread & Pizza Mix from The Gluten Free Pantry and got to work on the dough while the organic ground sirloin I substituted for the ground round was cooking on the stove.

If you decide to try this one for yourself, don't forget to check the ingredients on your cooking spray, as many contain gluten. To save myself the hassle of reading yet another label, I just substitute olive oil in a Misto sprayer.

Sure, making the dough itself basically took all 15 of the minutes this recipe was supposed to take me to complete before popping it into the oven, but what's a little extra effort every now and then?

The dough was downright paste-like, but I eventually got it all together and out of the oven.

And while I was letting this slice cool so I could cut off a little chunk for Buttercup's dinner...

...I noticed the packet of yeast I left behind my mixing bowl while I prepared the dough.
Yeah, I rolled my eyes, too. Buttercup, however, has no complaints. She loves it and is happy whenever I take an individually frozen piece out to thaw for her meal, which makes me happy my time, effort, and money wasn't wasted.
And that brings me to the money. Usually, it's much cheaper to cook at home than to get take-out. For the $25 you spend on pizza, pop, bread sticks, and salad, you most likely could have fed your family a few meals you prepared yourself.
Not so with Celiac Disease. The pizza mix from The Gluten Free Pantry was about $6 alone, and then I added to the cost by going organic with my meat choice. So that rang up at $5 for 1 pound of ground sirloin. By the time I was done with the cheese and the tomato sauce, I was looking at about $20 for one family dinner cooked at home.
Yeah, I know. Welcome to Glutenfreeville.
And I get to do it all over again when we run our of our freezer stash. And hopefully remembering to add the yeast will make it a meal we both enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What do we do now? (Or: The joy of reading labels)

I remember the moment the doctor called with The Celiac Dad's diagnosis. We were standing in the kitchen and while he was on the phone repeating the doctor's orders for what to avoid, I was reaching into our refridgerator and pantry throwing each and every offending box of macaroni and cheese, cracker, and pasta box in a garbage bag that I delivered to my mother's house that night.

That was five years ago. And even though I thought we were in the clear once I emptied the "poison" from our home, we have since learned that with Celiac Disease, the learning never ends.
I thought it was tough with my husband, but compared to the egg-shell walk I negotiate daily in trying to feed Buttercup a balanced and gluten-free diet, dealing with The Celiac Dad was a piece of cake.

He, at least, understands what he can and cannot have. He is also literate and very motivated to stay on course and avoid the effects of eating gluten-containing foods. Buttercup, on the other hand, is far too innocent to understand why I'm always saying things like, "No, baby, you can't eat that. Why not try this instead!"

For clarification, Buttercup has not been diagnosed as having Celiac disease. But we know that there is a possibility that she may one day test positive. And on the advice of some very respected doctors, we have decided to keep her gluten-free until she is at least three to four years old. At that point we will test, and based on the results, possibly introduce gluten into her diet.

So what do we do until then? The same thing you should be doing if your child was just diagnosed.

Learn what foods are safe, what foods must be avoided, and read every single label on every single food item before allowing them to eat it. Assuming is a dangeous game when it comes to Celiac Disease, so please don't take anything for granted.

We learned the hard way that many cooking sprays contain gluten when the Celiac Dad kept getting sick even though we were both sure that we had checked everything again and again. And when we finally realized what the offending ingredient was, we immediately bought an olive oil mister, and have banned cooking sprays from the house.

Another time, The Celiac Dad was offered peanuts at work. Thankfully, label reading is now second nature to him, and he saved himself from a very bad afternoon. Turns out that the package listed "wheat flour" as a main ingredient.

But again, he's an adult. He gets it. My little Celiac Kid doesn't, and it's my job to make sure she stays safe.

And if that means playing the part of "that mom" who drives the rest of the world crazy with her
"let-me-just-take-a-look-at-that's," well then so be it.