Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Feeling Experimental!!

So, I have been on a search for a GOOD GF bread. Either in a recipe form or pre-made in stores.
Here is what I have found so far:

GF Pantry Best Sandwich Bread: I made this recipe, and to be honest...threw the loaf out. The "wet" texture made me gag! It was cooked all the way through, but even when I toasted it to the point of charred, it still was moist in the middle.

GF Pantry French Bread and Pizza Mix: I had heard good things about this mix, and I was some what disappointed. It was better than their Sandwich Bread, but still not very good. I have a hard time with the consistency. I made some french toast with it though, and it was ok.

Kinnikinnick White Rice Bread (premade, frozen): I wanted to try this brand, and figured since the mix was the same price as the pre-made bread, that the best thing would be to try the premade kind. That way I was trying it the way that they intended it to taste. I made a grilled cheese sandwich with it. It was ok, but not great. Definitely better than the types I had made at home. I used some toasted with butter to mop up my marinara sauce with dinner the other night, and I thought it was pretty descent when covered in pasta sauce.

Kinnikinnick Bagels (premade, frozen): I had read on another blog about some FANTASTIC bagels (Glutino), but since I have yet to find them in stores here, i bought the Kinnikinnick ones. They are not bad. I toasted the heck out of them ,and smothered them in cream cheese, and pretended that I was back in San Jose, sitting in Main Street Bagels with Lyns, Ty, and Whit...eating a "real" bagel. It almost worked...almost. I think trying them with a flavored cream cheese and some veggies or Turkey Bacon would improve the overall experience.

I have some other recipes to try. Some of them are so complicated, that if I DID make them, and they turned out gross, I would probably cry. I might go to Ashland to the co-op to see what they have there.

I think that they will taste better to me over time. Right now, I am still at the point that I remember what gluten-filled foods taste like, so I am disappointed with the alternative. Over time, I will probably acquire a taste for these gf baked goods, but for now my quest goes on...

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

P is for Parker and Pneumonia

I haven't blogged in a while, because life has been very chaotic around here.
Thursday: Parker started running a low temp. I chalk it up to teething.
Friday: In the morning Parker seems the same, but by lunch time he is really acting sick: shivering, fever, fussy, and tired. I decided to take him to the Dr. I thought it was an ear infection. We had plans to go to K-Falls for the weekend (Matt was preaching, and we were leading worship over there). By the time I get Parker to the Ped. his temp is 105!! They stripped him down , and gave him a shot of something to help with the fever. They examine him, and decide to do some bloodwork. They were checking for meningitis (among other things). After the blood work comes back, they send him for a chest x-ray. We look at the scans...pneumonia in both lungs! Poor guy. He fever was maintaining around 103, even with meds, but they said that was ok. I will give him the acetametaphen and ibuprofin alternating every three hours around the clock, as well as the antibiotic.

Needless to say...Park and I didn't go to K-Falls.:(

Fast Forward to today: Parker had another temp spike on Sunday night, but seems to be doing better today. We will lay low (think, house arrest) for the rest of the week, but hopefully he will continue to improve as the week goes on.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A weepy day for mommy

I know it is pathetic, but I started crying in Fred Meyer this afternoon. I just was so overwhelmed with all that Parker and I are/will be missing, and burst into tears. I just never realized how much I love food. I love Krispy Kreme donuts, and everything bagels with dill cream cheese. I love the Old Spaghetti Factory and Togos #24 sandwiches. Do they even make GF sourdough rolls? If they do, they probably taste nothing like real sourdough bread (my absolute favorite type of bread). I want to eat french toast from Denny's, pizza from Willow Street, and black licorice.

But then I realize that I am feeling sorry for myself. I actually am beginning to feel better today. I made myself a YUMMY gf pizza for dinner, and found the joy in warm banana bread with Parker. I remind myself that if I continue to eat gluten, that I am 40-100x more likely to develop intestinal cancer, and all of a sudden...donuts seem pretty unimportant.

Tomorrow is another GF day...but I am vowing to do it with a smile.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some info for you all!

For all who are curious:

What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in products we use every day, such as stamp and envelope adhesive, medicines, and vitamins.

When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. The tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine are damaged or destroyed. Called villi, they normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, regardless of the quantity of food eaten.
Villi on the lining of the small intestine help absorb nutrients.
Because the body’s own immune system causes the damage, celiac disease is considered an autoimmune disorder. However, it is also classified as a disease of malabsorption because nutrients are not absorbed. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

Celiac disease is a genetic disease, meaning it runs in families. Sometimes the disease is triggered—or becomes active for the first time—after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Celiac disease affects people differently. Symptoms may occur in the digestive system, or in other parts of the body. For example, one person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person may be irritable or depressed. In fact, irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children.

Symptoms of celiac disease may include one or more of the following:

recurring abdominal bloating and pain
chronic diarrhea
pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
weight loss/weight gain
unexplained anemia (a low count of red blood cells causing fatigue)
bone or joint pain
osteoporosis, osteopenia
behavioral changes
tingling numbness in the legs (from nerve damage)
muscle cramps
missed menstrual periods (often because of excessive weight loss)
infertility, recurrent miscarriage
delayed growth
failure to thrive in infants
pale sores inside the mouth, called aphthous ulcers
tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
A person with celiac disease may have no symptoms. People without symptoms are still at risk for the complications of celiac disease, including malnutrition. The longer a person goes undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the chance of developing malnutrition and other complications. Anemia, delayed growth, and weight loss are signs of malnutrition: The body is just not getting enough nutrients. Malnutrition is a serious problem for children because they need adequate nutrition to develop properly.

Another one bites the (GF) dust!!

Well, after wondering for a while, we have discovered that I, like Parker, have Celiac Disease. It actually explains SO much within my life dating back from my childhood. All of the things that I thought were not related, all come back to this disease. I am sad to be having to give up so many foods, and change my lifestyle so drastically, but am glad that I will soon be feeling better.

Currently in my oven- Banana Bread and Sandwich Bread. The banana bread I know is yummy, since I have made it before for Parker. The Sandwich Bread is a new recipe. I will let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Whole New World!!

In our family, the #1 favorite meal is quesadillas. The boys will choose that ANYTIME it is offered, and never seem to grow tired of them. Parker has never been able to enjoy this favorite meal with his brothers...until now! HealthWay (a local health food store) has just started carrying GF Brown Rice tortillas. Those, along with some soy cheese, has completed the ingredients needed for the favorite meal! He is enjoying some as we speak , happily dipping the wedges in some fresh salsa. Yea for GF tortillas!!

Easter-GF style!

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Having a GF Easter this year was easier than expected!

Friday night: The older two boys dyed eggs after Parker went to bed. I was unsure about gluten in the dye, and it would definately be MESSY if we tried to include Parker this year. Next year I will be more prepared.

Saturday: It was a busy day. Andrew had TWO back to back birthday parties to attend. Brennan and I had a non-GF date (thx to Papa and Grandma Sandy who sent the boys Starbucks cards for Easter). See pic above. The Crawford family came over and we had an Easter egg hunt and BBQ. It is great celebrating with another GF family, no fear of contamination! We filled the eggs with freeze dried fruit and little goodies like bouncy balls, erasers, and other small toys.
Sunday: Church in the a.m., and then BBQ and Egg hunt with the Jacobs/Pepin families. The kids had a ball. I filled Parkers eggs with Smarties and GF Jelly Beans and hid his on the patio. It worked out well since he can't stand or walk on grass alone yet. The eggs were found quickly and the hunt was over in less than 3 minutes!:)
Everything was so easy this year. I know it will probably get harder as Parker gets older, and wants to participate in public hunts, but for now I am happy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cilantro Chicken Soup - 6 little thumbs up!!

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We made some Cilantro Chicken Soup for dinner a few nights ago...and it was a HUGE HIT!! Woot! All three boys loved it, and Parker ate 3 bowls!!! It had all of the components of a sucessful Sampson meal
1) It was easy, which is very important to mommy :)

2) It was healthy and well balanced containing meat, veggies, and beans.


Often times, I have to cook 2 meals. Those times that I try to cook GF for the whole family it is noted and not enjoyed by the non-gf ones. I am stoked to find recipes that are yummy, and that are great for the whole family.

A special THANK YOU to my wonderful friend, Alisha. Without you, I would be lost and alone on this GF road.
The recipe was her's, but I made a few changes. Love you, Alisha!

Cilantro Chicken Soup

Begin by boiling 1lb. chicken meat, until well cooked (I used boneless, skinless, thighs). Cut chicken into small, bite size pieces. Put chicken into large soup pot.
Add in:
~two stalks of celery, sliced small
~1/2 cup sliced green onions
~8 large mushrooms sliced and sauteed (I sauteed them in minced garlic)
~1 cup cilantro leaves
~1/2 teaspoon celery salt
~1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
~1/4 teaspoon pepper
~ 48 oz. organic gf chicken broth
~15oz. can of northern beans or pinto beans (drained)

Let the soup simmer for about 2 hours on low. I served with some GF toast strips for Parker (he thought that sipping them was GREAT fun!) and some breadsticks for the rest of us.