Happy 6th Blog-niversary to me & you! Thankful Thurs

master little

Nope, this isn’t a foxy post, but I couldn’t resist sharing this pic of this little cutie.

Wow, 6 years of blogging? I actually had to count that one out to be sure. I can’t believe how long that it, and yet…it feels like I’ve been blogging forever.

I started blogging because I wanted to share my food…but under it all, I started blogging because I felt isolated. I was having such severe physical issues that I couldn’t go out with people or invite them to dinner, and this was my way of having that needed connection. I needed a way to see and be seen, a way to connect, a way to share, a way to actively take part in community.

A lot has changed for the better in these past 6 years, and I’m still grateful for having my blog as an outlet, and the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with.

So thank you for reading, joining me on my journey, and letting me see into your lives, too. Writing this blog has been an adventure for me, and it’s been something I treasure.

My favorite posts? I can’t even wrap my head around my all-time favorites, so just my 6 favorites of this year:

Food posts:roasted broccoli

and my favorite written posts

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Goofball foxy babies! (video & pics)

goofball foxiesFoxy babies were definitely enjoying their holiday weekend! Mr. Dude got a video of the babies…don’t miss the pounce at :49

This pic cracked me up…a little foxy still frame action!2014-04-19 - Baby foxes 05There was lot of foxy pouncing…2014-04-19 - Baby foxes 02a lot.2014-04-19 - Baby foxes 03

Shhh!

2014-04-19 - Baby foxes 07If the foxes haven’t gotten you smiling yet, I’m afraid it may be a lost cause. Last try:2014-04-19 - Baby foxes 08And I know this is a food blog, so I promise to share divine chocolate chip cookies later this week…cookies and milk

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More foxy…

Because a day without foxy babies is like a day without sunshine, right? Scroll for a bunch more foxy pics.wild oneThe wild child was off on independent study while everyone else hangs out at the shed. For whatever reason, one of the kits is much more adventurous/agile than his/her sibs.

mama wildoneThe wild child and mama

mini meThe wild child was also the only one who is able to scamper up onto the logs so he/she spends some time with mama. Mama preferred high ground, maybe she was hunting?wrestling foxiesand when in doubt, foxy babies either sleep or wrestle. It was hard to get clear shots because they’re always in motion!chillin

Fingers crossed that they come visit tomorrow when we’ve got good light.

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Wow foxy! Thursday Thankful (a little early)

play(keep scrolling for a ton of pics)

I know last week’s thankful was for the foxy babies, but I’m afraid watching these little ones don’t get old. Not even when they get big. All week, I have been stalking them and I see a little head, grab a camera, and *poof!* little noggin disappears. Or it’s too dark, or raining, or I can’t get good pics for another reason.

Until today.

four foxies!I discovered that there are FOUR baby foxies, and I got to see the pretty lady, too!

i see youDo you see her? How ’bout now?

foxy mom logAnd of course as soon as mama showed up EVERYONE wanted lunch.

momma nursingAnd they trotted around after her, clearly quite hungry.

momma and nurselingsWow. And stay tune for part II tomorrow!

I’m grateful for this foxy treat…

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Gluten Freedom Giveaway & mini reviews

gluten freedomFirst things first! Dr. Fasano has a wonderful new book out called Gluten Freedom. I’m doing a giveaway on my main site and have a cover-to-cover review here. Short version: buy it! It’s terrific.

It seems to be the month of great books, and I’m way behind, so a bunch of mini-reviews will have to do until the dust settles for me:

Ali and Tom of Whole Life Nutrition havealis brownies put together a gorgeous new masterpiece, the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. I got it Friday morning, and I had already made the Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Bites by Friday night. I brought them to a potluck, and they were amazing. Rich, dense, just sweet enough, satisfying and completely delicious. I’m hoping to do a thorough review later. I think the Almond Lime Dipping Sauce is next, but it’s got a lot of competition!

blender girlBlender Girl has a new book out,  Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks–100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes! Although I adore my Vitamix, I actually dislike smoothies, so I didn’t think it would be a book I’d get into. However, there are soup recipes, cracker recipes, dressing recipes, sauces, dessert recipes…all of it gluten-free AND vegan, and gorgeous pics to boot. I love that all the ingredients are real food based, and they seem relatively quick and easy. Oh, an extra bonus: there are some recipes that include soy ingredients, but most don’t. Of everything, the Raw Chocolate Orange Torte looked most amazing. As someone who is allergic to pumpkin, the Sugar-Free No Pumpkin Pie will absolutely happen! There’s a lot of pages that I’ve marked.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also received a copy of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-Free and Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery. What can I say…it’s BEAUTIFUL. I mean, everything this gorgeous, and I get excited even reading about it. I know I promised myself that I was done adding cookbooks to my collection, but she had me at Gourmet Dark Chocolate Mesquite Brownies and Salted Caramel Apple Muffins. All recipes are gluten-free, sugar free and vegan. The recipes do contain grains, so I’ll be making some as a treat for E when we next have company visiting, and I know the book will be an appreciated part of my lending library.

cover-smallLast but not least, a former colleague and mentor, Dr. Gary Kaplan released a new book which will be out in a few weeks, called Total Recovery: Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain and Depression. Dr. Gary is an osteopath and acupuncturist who has spent years helping people recover from autoimmune and other chronic illnesses. As a Georgetown professor and NIH consultant, he has a unique perspective that’s both grounded in research, but also incorporates a variety of integrative and complementary approaches. For years, I’ve been sending clients to Dr. Gary when they’ve done everything and are still stuck and many have made tremendous progress. He’s also offering a bunch of freebies for people who pre-order before May 6th.

Disclaimers: I received free copies of Gluten-Freedom, Whole Life Nutrition, the Blender Girl, and Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats. My opinions are my own and I have not been compensated for any of these reviews.

 

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Thankful for Foxies–Thursday thankful

wee fox

Spring is my favorite season, and I planned to post on the daffodils. I love their cheery yellow-ness.

Then this little guy showed up.

Sorry, daffodils, ya got trumped by wee foxy. There are 3 little ones, but we’ve only seen them twice, and once was 5am so pics were impossible with the lighting

double trouble

 

and one of the foxies is definitely not like the other. He’s a bit of a nutter…hopping on top of the logs, running under the logs…I’m used to normal baby fox behavior, and I wonder if this dude has foxy ADHD.crazy fox He’s also much more physically adept than his sibs…

and seems to lack the normal fear in exploration.

Obviously, fingers crossed for more foxy sightings soon! My darn job is getting in the way of all day foxy stalking.

And because I always get questions & accusations:

  • Yes, they’re foxes. For reals. They turn red as they get older.
  • Nope, no idea how we got so lucky.
  • Yes, that’s our backyard. Isn’t that awesome?
  • No, we don’t feed them. We even take down the bird squirrel feeder when they’re visiting.
  • Yep, they’re wild animals, and we respect their space. All pics are taken with a zoom lens. While papa fox 3 years back liked sitting with me when I was meditating, the rest of the foxes haven’t been interested in having a relationship. We haven’t even seen the parental foxies yet this year.
  • Need more foxy? Previous foxy family pictures are here.

Do I even need to say it? It’s a joy when they visit, and I am so grateful to them for  keeping our shed on their play route. I’m delighted when I see them…it’s like reality TV but minus the makeup and infighting.

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Thankful for a meditation retreat–Thankful Thursdays

sevenoaks

I went to a meditation teacher training retreat last week in Madison, VA. If you can believe it, this picture doesn’t come close to capturing the beauty.

The training was challenging, inspiring, exhausting, exhilarating and enlightening. I still feel the imprint of those days, and the beautiful other people I had the privilege of meeting.

I’m thankful for the many beautiful opportunities for beauty in my life.

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Passover Desserts

Only a few weeks till Passover…Passover starts April 14th.I’ve got the scoop on G-free Passover finds and eats here.

Growing up, Passover desserts were famously boring and not so great. Well, except for chocolate covered matza, which was awesome. Generally, cakes were dry and crumbly, and, well, not marvelous. Since I’m grain free and soy free, I realized that most of my recipes are naturally and happily good to go for Passover.If you’re strictly kosher, ya gotta use the OUP (Kosher for Passover) ingredients or it’s not okay for Passover.

I’ve linked to some of my normal favorite brands in recipes. Every ingredient in these recipes (almond flour, nuts, chestnuts, chocolate, cocoa powder, stevia, agave, quinoa, etc.) is naturally OUP has a brand that is marked Kosher for Passover. I started trying to edit these recipes to included these brands and realized how impossible that would be, because many products have Kosher for Passover versions ONLY this time of year, so you may need to seek out different brands or buy a different batch for Passover if you’re strictly Kosher.Enjoy!fudge

Bittersweet Chocolate Chestnut Fudge (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Bliss Dip(GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Candied Orange Peel GF, CF, EF, SF, and vegan

Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Chocolate Banana Mousse Pie (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar optional and vegan) Use an almond erikscakemeal crust, or go crust-free

Chocolate covered clementines and pomegranates (GF, CF, EF, SF, low sugar and vegan)

E’s Cake (Chocolate Hazelnut Torte) yes, some kinds of Nutella are Kosher for Passover!

Easy almond cookies (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Easier Easy Almond Cookies (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)baked bananas

Flourless Chocolate Torte (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Hazelnut cookies GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Tropical Bananas (GF, CF, EF, SF, sugar free and vegan)

Tuxedoed Strawberries (GF, CF (if you have CF chips), EF, and vegan)

PS–I looked over all these recipes to double check their Passover status, but if I’ve goofed, please drop me a line.

 

 

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Thankful for inter-dependence

Some Thursdays, figuring out a “thankful” takes a good bit of digging. This one is easy!

Needing help…generally, I put dependence up there with getting dental work done. But we winter danceall have times we need to lean on others. I think our ability to receive love, support, and compassion is a great measure of how healthy we are. None of us were meant to live in a vacuum.

So I needed to muster up the courage to ask for help this week, and I was offered great kindness and compassion. I’m beyond grateful for that gift, and sometimes simple words can be a great treasure.

I’m also reminded that we tend to think of one person giving, the other receiving. In any truly open and honest exchange, both give; both receive.

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Ultimate Roasted Broccoli

roasted broccoliSince it’s St. Patty’s day, I’m going for the green theme! If you’ve ever had roasted broccoli, you know it’s amazing. Trust me, there’s a way to make amazing even better…and it’s simple and quick.

I love to roast veggies, and I’ve posted a bunch of my faves:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of all of them, I think the roasted broccoli is the one we make most often.

The secret is the dried minced onion, and adding it at the end. I simply don’t have time to do all of the chopping and dicing when I get home from work, and dried is so easy and convenient.ultimate roasted broccoli

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

2 large heads of broccoli

1-2 tsp coarse sea salt

1-1.5 TBSP dried minced onion (reserved!)

Preheat oven to 350, and chop broccoli into small pieces. Toss broccoli in olive oil and salt. Spread out chopped broccoli over a cookie sheet lined with foil. 2 large heads of broccoli gives enough good stuff to thoroughly cover a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until browning, around 20-22 minutes. THEN add in the dried minced onion, stir and bake ~4 minutes more, or until the onion is browning.

It is so good…you’ve got to try it.

McCormick’s sells big containers of minced onions, which we tend to bust through pretty quickly.

I’m submitting this to Gluten-Free Wednesdays, which is hosted by co-hosted by Linda of Gluten-free Homemaker, Shirley of gluten free easily and Lynn of Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, and if I remember this will go to Wellness Weekends, too. (Yay! I remembered!)

Oh, and hop over and see my Cocoa Nut Muffins for Muffin Madness by Shirley of gluten free easily

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