How do you navigate a gluten-free diet when traveling? Bring your own snacks? Find gluten-free restaurants along the way? Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, or a gluten-free newbie, this free LIVE CHAT over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community is a great opportunity to share ideas and learn more about how to successfully handle a gluten-free diet while on the go. Tune in by visiting Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community next Monday, July 1, at 8PM Eastern to join us! There will be prizes given away, courtesy of Udi’s.
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As summer ramps up, we will be hosting or attending a lot of parties and barbecues. Chances are, gluten will be lurking in all sorts of places. I will be co-hosting a Live Chat at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at 8PM Eastern time to discuss how to navigate the summer parties successfully while on a gluten-free diet. Join us - it’s free, and there will be prizes, courtesy of Udi’s, including their gluten-free hot dog buns, hamburger buns, chocolate chip cookies, loaves of sandwich bread and vanilla muffins! Hope to see you there!
Okay, so here goes. Our kitchen remodel. We didn’t have a huge budget, and we didn’t want to do anything drastic. Just wanted some updating, and anything we could do to make it feel more luxurious, clean, bright, and open. I have a small, galley-style kitchen, so anything that could be done to make it feel more spacious is a plus. All I really knew going into this was that I wanted granite countertops. But after some consulting, we opted to paint the cabinets, replace the countertops (adding a bar area, which I’ll show in a bit), and install a backsplash. There will be more renovations in the future (I want a new light fixture, for instance), but the majority of the work is complete. So without further adieu, here we go!
THE BEFORE PICTURES:
As I mentioned before, the kitchen is galley style. The cabinets were a warm oak stain (which goes with NOTHING in the house – most everything I have is either black, dark, or cherry stain), and the countertops were a cream-colored laminate – something I strongly dislike for the sheer fact that I was constantly having to apply bleach because I’d stain it with things like turmeric or beet juice. Here is the side of the kitchen with the stove.
And if you turn around 180 degrees, you’ll see the side with the sink, dishwasher, and an open ledge area that opens into our living room. That ledge was kind of annoying. It wasn’t wide enough to be considered a bar, so we couldn’t sit and eat there. It basically was just a good place to stash stuff. I typically had a few baskets of vegetables, plus other random things that somehow didn’t have a home. It collected clutter. I hate clutter.
Here it is from the other end. See, not a lot of space. That’s my huge spice rack in the foreground, and yep, that’s a moving doggie butt at the bottom left. Also at the other end of the kitchen is our breakfast table, covered in stuff (I’d just removed everything from all of the cabinets, so other parts of the house were starting to look like an episode of Hoarders). Please ignore the mess.
All in all, this transformation took about a week. Which was AWESOME – I feel for all you people that spend months out of your kitchen. I am not sure I could manage. We emptied the kitchen on a Wednesday night. Thursday, they primed the cabinets. Friday, they painted. The following Tuesday, they installed the countertops (and that night, hubby installed the faucet, and we installed the new garbage disposal), and Wednesday they installed the backsplash. I did some paint touchup Thursday, and put everything back into the cabinets. It was a whirlwind affair, and I couldn’t be happier. Here it is:
Here is the stove side again. The cabinets are painted a Hazelnut Cream. The countertops are Ubatuba, which is a dark green granite. It really looks black, but I loved the subtle differences in colors. The backsplash is a mosaic mixture of glass and natural stone tiles.
Here’s the opposite side again. Notice the fancy new faucet, and the deeper sink? I am in love. The faucet has a pull-out sprayer, and I can fit the deepest pots and even my Vitamix blender in the sink without difficulty. I also feel like there’s more space (which is crazy). And oh, that backsplash. Love it. Also, you can see that we replaced the funky ledge with a bar.
Another view, this one from the living room looking in. There’s that bar we longed for. No longer is the ledge a semi-useless thing. We now have a decent-sized slab of granite on top, and can pull up a few barstools. People can actually sit there. We’ve since gotten rid of the barstools in this photo and replaced them with these, which take up less space and look sleeker, in my opinion. It’s a win for sure.
Overall, as I’ve expressed already, I couldn’t be happier. After all, I spend most of my “at home” time (well, the time I’m not sleeping) in the kitchen. We wanted it to be a beautiful space, and it is. It also feels cleaner and brighter, and I love that the counters wipe down so easily. There will still be some tweaks and improvements here and there, I’m sure, but the hard work is done.
So, there it is! What do you think? Have you ever gone through a kitchen remodel? Tell your stories!
Just a quick note to make you all aware that I will be co-hosting a Live Chat over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community next Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at 8PM Eastern Time. We will be discussing how to deal with a gluten-free diet when it comes to raising children. Whether you’re a newbie to this gluten-free world or a pro, or somewhere in between, you are welcome to join us. It’s completely free, and there will even be prizes, courtesy of Udi’s Gluten-Free Foods.
Come join us by visiting this link on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at 8PM ET. Hope to see you there!
Still stumped on what to make for your Easter meal? (Don’t be afraid to admit it – my menu is just now mostly finalized!) Well, look no further! Here are some delicious gluten-free (and many dairy-free, soy-free, and sugar-free besides!) recipes to help you in planning your menu.
I hope that you and your family enjoy your holiday!
Lemon Rosemary Teacakes (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Build Your Own Crepe Bar (grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Simple Berry Salad (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Cinnamon Swirl Scones (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten-free, soy-free)
Appetizers, Salads, and Sides
Mom’s Deviled Eggs (grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
“Wine” and “Cheese” Charlotte (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Mom’s Mashed Potatoes (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Shaved Asparagus Salad (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Lavender Roasted Potatoes (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Green Pea and Radish Salad (grain-free, dairy-free, vegan option, refined sugar-free)
Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Garlic Pesto (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Rosemary Roast Chicken (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Easter Lamb and Mint Meatballs (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Maple Ham (grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free)
Perfect Lamb Chops (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Easter Eggs (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Lemon Earl Grey Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Carrot Cake (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Maple Carrot Custard (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Cheesecake-Filled Cupcakes (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
Easter Angel Food Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)
Lemon Blueberry Bars with Coconut Crust (gluten-free, soy-free)
Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests (grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free)
New to gluten-free? Struggling with how to navigate restaurants on a gluten-free diet? Mark your calendars, for next week on April 3 at 8 PM Eastern (7 PM Central) time, we will be hosting a free LIVE CHAT over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community, where we will be discussing tips on how to deal with a gluten-free diet in restaurants. Be sure to bring your questions and your tips! Also, there will be prizes given away, courtesy of Udi’s!
Until then, feel free to read my thoughts on this post about dining out gluten-free. Restaurants can be tricky, but and there’s always some risk, but hopefully, armed with knowledge and some tools, you can successfully navigate the most difficult of situations.
Be sure to join us next week!
Update: This giveaway is now closed. The winner is commenter #95 – Laura. Congrats Laura!
Are you new to dairy-free and/or gluten-free living? Looking for some tips on how to transition to a healthier, whole foods-based diet?
Hallie Klecker of Daily Bites and Alisa Fleming of Go Dairy Free have collaborated to create this amazing ebook just to help you out. Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free – A Whole Food Starter Guide & Cookbook is just that – a book filled with tips and tons of information to help you on your way, plus 75 awesome whole-foods recipes that are as delicious as they are nourishing.
The book begins with the basics – it helps the reader to understand what dairy and gluten are, and where they can be found. My favorite part, however (okay, aside from the recipes – that’s a given), is what follows – some tips on how to transition to a whole foods diet.
A whole foods-based diet is something I can completely get behind. When I first went gluten and then dairy-free, I was still suffering from digestive distress. In short, I wasn’t healing from the damage the gluten and dairy caused. It wasn’t until I slowly transitioned away from processed foods and started truly eating whole, unprocessed foods that I felt healthy again. While it may seem daunting at first – the idea of eating only unprocessed foods – I promise you, it’s been worth the effort and the time. The health rewards, including more energy, improved digestion, more energy, a solid immune system, and did I mention more energy, have been well worth it. And with this guide, Hallie and Alisa help you along the way with tips, and even a seasonal menu plan to help you with the day-to-day.
And of course, the recipes. Something that I often hear from people new to cooking from scratch is how some recipes are too difficult, with many steps and a ton of ingredients. When you look at some gluten-free baking recipes, you’ll totally agree. (And I know, I myself have created some rather lengthy recipes!) What I find most attractive about these 75 recipes is that they are simple. Straightforward. I find that essential to long-term success - being able to make meals that don’t require mental gymnastics on a day-to-day basis.
There’s also plenty of room for make-ahead options in this book. For instance, most of the suggested lunch menu items are things you could make the night before – such as the Salmon & Summer Vegetable Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing, or the Sushi Snackers. In fact, you could make enough for both dinner one night and for lunch the following day, getting twice the mileage in your meal in one effort. They also shared some convenient make-ahead breakfast ideas, like the Grain-Free Cinnamon Raisin Granola. In fact, that looked so good, I decided to make it for myself.
Let me tell you, it was addictive. Subtly sweet, with a perfect crunch, I had to stash it away and hide it from myself after snacking on it all evening. I’m kind of a granola fiend to begin with, and this stuff was perfect. It’s also delicious with almond milk.
I’ve definitely made notes to try other recipes from their book as well – like the Harvest Hash for breakfast, the Uptown Waldorf Salad, or the Florentine Flatbread “Pizza”, made with a quinoa crust based on my pizza crust recipe. I can’t wait to see what Hallie and Alisa have done with it – it might just become my new favorite!
What do you think? Would you like to check out a copy of this essential ebook? Well, Hallie and Alisa have graciously allowed me to give away a copy! So if you’d like to enter to win, please leave a comment below telling me your favorite whole foods-based dish!
The giveaway is open to anyone 18 years of age or older, and will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, January 27, 2013. Best of luck to you all!
photo credit: flickr ell brown
Wanted to drop you a quick note to say HAPPY NEW YEAR, and also to let you know that next Wednesday, January 9th, at 8PM Central (9PM Eastern), we will be hosting a Live Chat over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community, where we will be discussing New Year’s Resolutions.
In addition, there will be yummy gluten-free prizes, courtesy of Udi’s Gluten-Free Foods, such as their fabulous pizza crusts and granola!
So whether you’re new to gluten-free, are a seasoned veteran, or are just looking to chat about some healthy goals for 2013, be sure and drop by – it’s free to attend.
Hope to see you there!