Arbonne 30-Day Detox – Day Three

Still alive!

Most of us anyway….. more or less.

Brian’s having a bit more trouble with the whole ‘detox’ thing today.  I think partly he’s just being a bit pig-headed and letting himself get hungry.  I also think he’s having a bigger letdown from the sugar than I am.  I’ve been trying to limit my sugar for a while now, so I don’t think I’m having such an issue with detoxing from sugar.

We tried to mix it up a bit at breakfast this morning with unpleasant results.  Brian is of course blaming Pinterest.  I saw a recipe for Pancakes using the Arbonne Vanilla Protein powder and thought they looked… interesting.  The only thing in the recipe that was different from the shakes was the addition of one egg. One egg doesn’t add many calories and then you’ve got all the good things in eggs, so it seemed like a reasonable substitution.  Too bad it didn’t taste so good.

IMG_8412

Yep, that’s a side of bacon.  You just hush! 

Arbonne Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 scoops Arbonne Essentials Vanilla Protein
1 scoop Arbonne Fiber Boost
1 large Egg
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Swerve Sweetener  (I’D SKIP THIS)
1/2 cup Blueberries
2 TBS Almond Milk

Directions:

  1. Combine protein powder, fiber boost, egg, and stevia, stir to combine. Add almond milk and whisk until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries.
  2. Grease griddle with coconut oil or spray with cooking spray. Heat griddle to medium.
  3. Pour batter onto heated griddle and let cook for 2 minutes or so until bubbles start to form. Flip over and let cook for another 2 minutes.

I think it was the sweetener that made them taste so… funky?  The texture was perfect and they cooked just like regular pancakes, but there was this bitter aftertaste.  I think I’m super sensitive to stevia and erythritol.  I’ve added it to other baking in the past and Mom and Brian say they can’t taste it, but I think it’s overwhelming.  So maybe it’s just me.  I’d like to try the pancakes again, but leave out the sweetener next time.  I’ve also seen a recipe for muffins using a similar recipe that I’d like to try with the chocolate protein mix.

The tea is dull, but my Arbonne rep said no to honey, so it’s just going to have to stay dull for the time being.  I may try to find some mint leaves to add to it… I’d just like a bit more flavor.  I think it would be good iced though.

IMG_8416

I like the Citrus Fizz Sticks with the Digestion Plus.  It turns an ugly color, but it tastes pretty good over ice.  I’ve been using the Fizz drink for an afternoon snack.  Today I had some cashews and a bit of sausage too.  Since Brian and I split a serving of the pancakes we were both hungry earlier today.

Dinner was awesome, if I do say so myself.  I found a recipe on (where else?) Pinterest that was similar to a recipe I already make… so I tweaked it just little to come up with something in the middle.

IMG_8423

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Ingredients
  • 2.5 lbs Chicken, shredded*
  • 32 oz Chicken Broth
  • cans Great Northern Beans
  • 8 oz Cans Diced Green Chilies
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Tbl Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbl Salt
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken, beans, chilies, onion, garlic, cumin, pepper, salt, chicken broth, and coconut milk in a crock pot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is very tender.
  2. Add the cilantro to the soup just before serving.

*You can use frozen chicken breasts and just shred them in the pot with a pair of forks once they’re cooked though.

———-

I wasn’t real sure about the whole coconut milk thing.  My original recipe didn’t call for coconut milk, but I have seen other similar recipes use coconut milk…. so… maybe?  I didn’t want to ruin a whole batch if it was gross, so I made the chili without the coconut milk and then added a little to one bowl.  It was actually really good.  Even Mom and Brian liked it. The coconut milk has a light flavor… almost more of a smell than a taste… like Thai food. It works really well with the green chilies, surprisingly.  The coconut milk also adds a slight creaminess to the chili.  Don’t worry that this is going to make the chili sweet… it doesn’t, but it does add another interesting note of flavor.

So three days down… I’m doing okay with this whole detox thing.  I like the Vanilla Protein Shake Mix and the Fizz Sticks.  The tea isn’t exciting, but it certainly isn’t bad. The Fiber Boost and the Digestion Plus can be added to either the shake or the Fizz drink and they are hardly noticeable.  There are enough components to the detox that I feel like I’m doing something, but not so much that it’s overwhelming or confusing like some of the other programs that I’ve tried.

I’ve tried Weight Watchers and it felt like such a chore… I did it before the app came along, so everything had to be looked up and logged by hand.  I found it  time consuming and frustrating.  I liked that it gave me a better understanding of the amount of calories that I’d been consuming, but it still seemed tedious to calculate every Point.  It was also easy to get into the habit of ‘banking’ Points (ie starving) and then blowing all your point on ice cream later.  Not the healthiest meal plan… but technically, I was keeping within my Points.

I’ve also tried Slim Fast…. “Drink these shakes, don’t eat food!” Easy to follow, but boring as hell.  Not a life change… just something to survive until you drop a few pounds, but then gain them back instantly when you eat food again.  (Great business model though.)

I did pretty well on Atkins… it was basically a Gluten Free diet and the High Fat/Low Carb lifestyle mixed.  I wish I’d understood the effect that wheat had on me back then and I’d probably have saved myself years of health issues.

I’m enjoying this detox because it’s giving me some structure and a routine to help get me back on track.  I know I need to lay off the sugar and the carbs… I don’t think my alcohol consumption is so frequent that it’s an issue, but sure… while we’re at it, lets knock that out too.  The dairy… I miss cheese… cheese makes the world better… but maybe that’s just the allergy cravings talking.  Once the 30 days is up I can see keeping up with the shakes for breakfast and occasional lunches.  Hopefully, too, I’ve gotten back in the swing of making healthier meals again.  Living in that RV and traveling really let me go off the rails.

So…. so far so good.  Follow on Facebook and Instagram to see weird and interesting updates throughout the day!

 

Arbonne 30-Day Detox – Day One

Technically, we’re not supposed to start until Monday if I’m playing along with the Facebook group…. but I’ve never been good about waiting for the group.  Besides, my Arbonne box arrived yesterday and I’m motivated today.  So we’re starting today.

Wanna see the unboxing video?  Click HERE  I posted it on Facebook.

I’ve convinced my hubby to actually do the full 30 day detox with me.  Mom has been a harder sell… she says she’ll just follow along, but skip the shakes and… well, most everything except the Digestion Plus powder (Prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes help support optimal digestive health.) I guess she figures as long as I’m not obsessively baking for a month, she should be fine.

FullSizeRender 9

I started today with a Vanilla Shake… okay, fine…. I had a cup of coffee first.  I never said I was giving up coffee!  I’ll cut back to a cup in the morning, but I’m not giving up the morning cup…. nope, nope nope.  But after the cup of coffee…. which made it safe for people to be near me and for me to operate the blender….. I had a vanilla shake with frozen strawberries and a few pineapple chunks.  It was actually really good.  No… I swear… it enjoyed it.

The chocolate shake that Brian had….. well…. it wasn’t the yummiest thing on the planet.  He tried it plain first – 2 scoops of powder, 8 oz of water and some ice then I zipped it around in the Ninja Blender until the ice was smooth.  It wasn’t gritty, but there was just an aftertaste.  I added some frozen blueberries and that helped, but I still wouldn’t have called it yummy.  My Arbonne Rep mentioned that she had some ‘recipe’ recommendations for the shakes.  I just need to message her and ask for some ideas.

By lunchtime I was hungry, but not starving.  I ate a couple of steak & avocado lettuce roll ups and had a Citrus Energy Fizz Stick with a Digestion Plus pack mixed in to drink.  I liked the Citrus Energy Fizz Stick and I don’t think the Digestion Plus pack changed the flavor noticeably.

What a kickstarter. When you start to feel the afternoon sleepies, stir in a fizz stick to create a refreshing bubbly drink when you start to feel tired to temporarily help promote alertness and enhance cognitive performance◊, help promote endurance and enhance motor performance◊, and help reduce fatigue.◊ Contains antioxidants and a botanical blend of green tea, guarana and ginseng, combined with B vitamins and chromium, to help support energy.

Lunchtime was a bit more of a challenge for Brian.  He’s missing his potato chips and the cheese that he normally has with rolled up deli sliced ham.

We had roast for dinner with a side of baked squashes.  Squashes?  Um… you know… those yellow squash that are everywhere all summer and people keep giving them to you and it’s fun at first and then you have to start yelling ‘NO’ when people even mention their garden and then you find they’ve hidden a bag of the damn things in your car when you weren’t looking and now you have to figure out something to do with them before they go bad and God forbid you throw the damn things in the compost pile ’cause before you know it you’re a squash farmer too…. you know… those squash.  Except apparently I’m not in the right crowd now that I’ve moved to Florida.  I’ve actually had to buy yellow squash at the store.  That really makes my brain twitch to have to pay money for the damn squashes that I used to have to hide from.

I tried the Arbonne Detox Tea later in the evening with an Avocado Brownie .  It was fine… tasted like… tea.  Nothing special, nothing awful.  I’m going to have more trouble remembering to bother to drink it… it tastes like plain ‘ol tea.  Maybe with a bit of honey…. can I have honey?  Another question to ask my rep.

Well, for the answers to this and other exciting questions, tune in to Facebook, Instagram and be sure to follow along on the blog!

 

Detoxing (again)

If you have been following this blog for a while you know that I went gluten free after a variety of health issues combined to make life miserable.  (If you haven’t read my Gluten Free Living Story you can see my 1.5 year review here.)

I’ve been Gluten Free for…. five years? (Did I do the math right?  December 2012 – June 2017 = 4.5 years… WOW!)

Okay, so four and a half years… and yes, life is absolutely better without the wheat and the awfulness that come with eating it.  The food world has changed quite a bit in the last 4.5 years.  Gluten Free food is available nearly everywhere and many restaurants have gluten free menus, or at least have a vague understanding when you tell them that you can’t eat gluten.  Grocery stores have dedicated Gluten Free isles and more and more products are clearly labeled. It makes finding food so much easier…. and I think that may be part of my problem.  I’ve found a lot of gluten free replacement foods… high in carbs and sugar and low in real nutrition.

You see…. I’ve been feeling ‘off’ for a while now.  I’m so tired.  Even though I think I’m sleeping through the night I have zero energy during the day.  I’ve been having more headaches and my tummy has been making random comments about food again.  It’s not the gluten, I know I’m not getting into that…. but there’s something that’s messing with me.  I’m just not sure what….

I know what I need to do… eliminate the ‘big uglies’ and detox.  Then reintroduce foods and see what is causing the problem.  I know I need to do it…… but….

Apparently the Universe has had enough of my whining and not working on a solution.  I was roaming through CostCo when I saw a giant box of energy drink fizzies… you know, the kind you add to a bottle of water…  and I was reading the label to see if it was GF and if there was possibly enough caffeine to get me through an afternoon.  A lady stood across from me reading the back of another box of fizzies… “I just wanted to see what they use for the caffeine,” she said, leaning past me to stick it back on the pile, “Arbonne sells something similar.”  Before long we were exchanging business cards, chatting about Yoga and Gluten Free Living and discovering that we live in the same neighborhood.  (I knew that CostCo has everything, but I didn’t know that you could go there to find new friends!)

I left our first Starbucks date with a bag of Arbonne goodies, a scheduled Jamberry play date and an order of the Arbonne Detox Kit.

Did you know that Arbonne has a Detox Program?  I didn’t… I thought Arbonne was just skin care.  So the Universe has sent me a friendly neighbor to tell me to shut up a figure out what is the problem.  (The Universe told me to shut up, not my neighbor.)

I liked that the Arbonne products are all Gluten Free.  (Yay, one concern already covered.) I also liked that everything came together in one kit/program.  Yes, I could find a protein drink and a tea and vitamins and fizzies and whatever else on my own and possibly save a bit of money (Arbonne isn’t cheap), but I’m tired… so so tired.  I also like that it also comes with a person.  Someone I can text and talk to… someone who knows I’m supposed to be doing this detox and will probably ask me how I’m doing… and could quite possible catch me stuffing a cheeseburger and fries in my face….. They call it “accountability,” but we all know they mean “guilt.” There’s also a private Facebook group to chat with other people who are starting the program at the same time…..  that could be good… of course, we all could be really bitchy at the same time since we’re eliminating a bunch of foods…. which is why its better that its an online group and not a face to face meeting.

STEP 1 – Eliminate common allergens and non-healthy ingredients. • Wheat/gluten • Dairy • Refined sugar • Alcohol • Soy • Corn

I’m really not excited about eliminating Dairy…. I like cheese… no, I LOVE cheese.  Cheese goes in everything.  (Which is probably a sign that dairy is a problem for me.)  I’ve already eliminated Gluten, so I’m ahead of the game.  Alcohol is a bummer, but really I just drink an occasional glass of wine, so its not a huge deal.  Sugar is gonna suck.  If we’re eliminating Soy and Corn too, that pretty much means anything that comes in a box.  Which I know is a good thing….. did I mention that I’m just so damn tired? Fortunately Brian and Mom are going to give the program a try too, so I won’t need to make different meals for them.  Its only 30 days and hopefully I start to perk up quickly like I did when I quit gluten.  After the initial 30 days I can start to reintroduce foods and see if there was a specific food (I really, really hope it’s not cheese) that was bothering me.

Have you tried the Arbonne Detox Program?  Got any tips for me?

Okay, here we go…. cross your fingers for me and follow along on Instagram and/or Facebook for photos and updates.

 

 

 

Kamiya86 

Boo was sitting on my lap the other morning, trying to wheedle a few more nibbles of omelette from Brian. ‘She needs to get her teeth cleaned again,’ he said, falling prey to her big brown eyes and feeding her a bit of egg.

I’m not sure which one of us growled at him… honesty it could have been either one. Boo is a Pomeranian, and they’re prone to bad teeth. I try to brush her teeth, but she hates it and… well, I’m a terrible mommy.

Boo actually handles it all better than I do… I’m the one that needs to be sedated during her appointments. (I’m a Helicopter Pom Mom.) Once I dropped her off for her cleaning I had to keep myself distracted until it was time to pick her up, so Mom and I went shopping and out to lunch. Food and Retail Therapy are my solutions to most everything.

I’ve driven past Kamiya86 a dozen times and wanted to try it out, but when I’ve actually had the time Mom wasn’t feeling up to trying sushi (I’m still working to convince her that raw fish is yummy) or Brian was in the car (he’s going to take even more convincing). This time Brian was at home and Mom was feeling brave, so relying on the one review on the Find Me Gluten Free app we decided to give it a shot. (And we were only 20 minutes or so from home, so if we needed to, we could go home and die.)

IMG_7724

I asked the hostess if they had a Gluten Free Menu.  She said they didn’t have a specific GF menu, but most everything could be made gluten free.

Our waitress was very sweet, but didn’t have the best English.  She nodded confidently when I said that we had a gluten allergy and said ‘no problem.’  She returned with our drinks and a bottle of gluten free soy sauce then peered at the menu with me.  We started off simple and ordered Summer Rolls as an appetizer.  The hostess was hovering nearby and made sure that I was getting the Summer Rolls and not the Spring Rolls, which are deep fried.  She stayed close while we made our order and reminded the waitress to bring us the sweet and sour sauce instead of the peanut sauce.

IMG_7425

Pad Thai is usually safe so I figured I’d go with an easy choice.  The waitress nodded and agreed that it was gluten free.  Mom wanted to be more difficult.  She pointed at several different dishes that I was pretty sure weren’t safe for us.

“Please just order the Panang Curry, Mom,” I tried again.

“What about the Pad Thai? Do I like Pad Thai?” This is an old conversation.

“You hate the Pad Thai…. its noodles.”

She made a face, “I don’t like all those noodles.”

“I know!  Order the Panang Curry.”  Fortunately there weren’t many other diners in the restaurant to think that I am a horrible daughter for yelling at my sweet mother.  (She just looks sweet, btw.)  We have this conversation every time we order Thai.  I think she’s just messing with me.

Mom finally settled on the Panang Curry….. shocker!  She and I have very similar taste except where it comes to noodles/pasta.  I guess throw her off when I order things with noodles.

IMG_7426

I was actually a little jealous, the curry smelled delicious. Mom let me sneak a taste and it was very good. Surprise, surprise, she didn’t want to try any of my noodles.  I did make her try the chicken from the Pad Thai though. So often the chicken in Pad Thai is dry and chewy, but it was nicely seasoned and juicy.  The sauce was fabulous with just a hint of lime. The addition of bean sprouts added a nice fresh crunch.  I wished for some crushed peanuts on top, but all in all, this is my favorite Pad Thai in Florida so far.

IMG_7427

I got a text from Brian after lunch that Boo had finished her dental cleaning… no cavities! and would be ready to go home in a few hours.  Such a relief!  Mom and I shopped until it was time to pick her up.  Apparently I was still really wound, I shop a little wildly when I’m anxious…. because I bought a giant cat-cube-tower-thing at the pet store and then went a tiny bit bizerk in Home Goods (that store is SO dangerous!).

Boo was not the least bit amused with me when I picked her up.  She did give the vet a couple friendly licks before we left, so I’m taking that as a sign that she was okay with them.  Boo isn’t the most…. well, she’s a bit anti-social.  She’s not mean, it just takes her a long while to warm up to people and other dogs.  Until she decides if she likes you she not going to let you touch her… she prefers to just watch people from under the couch.   She’s a distrusting little introvert…. like her momma.  (Too bad I can’t fit under the couch.)

She whined a little on the car ride home until I turned the air conditioning on full blast and pointed all the vents at her.  She’s not impressed with the Florida heat. (She didn’t like Missouri winters either though!) At home, she ran straight to Brian even though I reminded her that it was his idea to send her to the vet in the first place.  Snot.

—-

A week or so later Mom and I drug Brain to Kamiya86 for lunch.  He was hesitant, but I promised that we’d just try a small sushi sampler and he could have Fried Rice for his meal.

We had a different waitress this time who seemed much more confident about the gluten free items on the menu.  She said the Miso Soup was gluten free, and since it came with our meal anyway I figured I’d try it.  (I did a quick google when she left and confirmed that while some Miso soups have barley they can be made gluten free.) The soup was interesting.  It was a nicely flavored broth with bits of tofu and wide leaves of seaweed.

We picked a small sushi appetizer that our waitress assured us would be safe and give us a nice variety to try.  I tried to use the chop sticks, but mostly ended up flinging raw fish around the table.  Brian had better luck with the chop sticks and the waitress gave Mom a set of kid’s chopsticks to take home and practice.

IMG_7727

The sushi was delicious.  Mom and Brian even enjoyed it and agreed that we’d need to come back soon and try a few more of the different options.

Full disclosure: I did have a bit of an upset tummy later.  I didn’t feel like I’d been glutened, that’s a faster reaction and hurts more and usually comes with a headache. This was just more like something didn’t entirely agree with me.  The Miso soup could have been to blame, maybe it wasn’t GF(?), but Brian did some googling and read that some people have trouble digesting the raw fish.  I’m going to lean toward the raw fish theory…. or maybe just too much rice for me.  Sometimes I have trouble when I eat a lot of rice.  I will definitely go back, but I’ll go a little easier on the sushi and skip the Miso all together (it was good, but not something I’d crave).

1286 3RD STREET SOUTH
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32250

Deliciousness from Disney’s Boma Restaurant

I have a kitchen!  More or less…. I’m just missing some crown molding and countertops.  I have the old countertops sitting on the new cabinets so I’m not completely topless. 🙂

Living in the RV worked great for our situation, but I’m really happy to have room to move around again…. and a real kitchen.  I missed my kitchen.  I’m so excited to be able to really cook again!  We’ll keep using the RV for work and travel, but I don’t see full time RV/Tiny House Living in my future.

We’ve been super busy getting things organized and settled for the past few weeks.  To celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary Brian and I decided to skip town for a couple of days and celebrate at Disney.

IMG_8086

I love pretty much everything about Walt Disney World, but as a foodie who can’t eat gluten, Disney is food heaven.  Brian makes reservations at as many of the Signature Dining restaurants as he can and we eat, walk, ride a few rides, walk, eat some more…. waddle to the next ride… wait in line… ride…. eat again.   It know it sounds unhealthy…. I’m not recommending this as a diet plan or anything, but its fun for a few days.  (I actually lost a pound instead of gaining the ten I expected!)

One of my absolute favorite places to eat in Disney is at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Boma – Flavors of Africa – “Resembling a lively African marketplace, this restaurant features all-you-care-to-enjoy buffets at breakfast and dinner.”IMG_8090

Now, I know we GF people hear “buffet” and think “certain death,” but Disney is really pretty good.  I’m not going to die if I get into gluten, I’ll just wish I would, but I know there are some people that end up in the ER after being glutened.  I wouldn’t risk a buffet if I was them, but I personally feel pretty safe at the Disney buffets.  The gluten foods usually seem to be fairly separated from the GF items and the staff behind the buffets keep an eye out for spills and potential cross-contamination with spoons.

Even though Brian and I have eaten at Boma several time, I still ask to have the chef walk us through the buffet.  Each time there has been something that caught me by surprise as being GF or NOT being GF.  It’s always better to ask… and the chefs are so nice!

My favorite dish at Boma is the Bobotie.  According to Wikipedia, Bobotie, pronounced ba-boor-tea, is a well-known South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.  This time I remembered to snap a picture of the tag with the dish so I could remember what to google when I got home.  I found this recipe on Mad About the Mouse.  It seemed pretty close, so I decided to give it a try as soon as I got home.

Okay, hear me out… I know you’re going to take one look at the ingredients and think I’ve lost my marbles… but you’ve just gotta trust me on this one.  It’s delicious.  I know, I know… Sugar?  Raisins and ground turkey?? Together?!  I swear…. it’s delicious.  The curry, cinnamon and coriander combine with the eggs and meat for a delicate sweetness that you can “smell” in the back of your throat.  Much like Thai food, its not so much of a “nose” smell, as a “throat” smell.  That sounds weird, but there’s no better way to explain. You’re just gonna have to trust me on this one.

The following recipe, as I’ve said, is from Mad About the Mouse.  I decided to actually follow the recipe once before I started messing with it.  The Bobotie that I had at Boma last week had red and green peppers in it…. I’m sure because Brian picked them out and left a pile on my plate.  The sign said there were mushrooms and I don’t remember any raisins or almond slivers.  Most of the recipes that I’ve seen call for crumbled up slices of bread, but it is definately GF at Boma, so they’re either using GF bread or not using bread at all.  The bread is crumbled up, so I can’t say for sure one way or another, but I’d think that the eggs and meat might need the bread to help bind everything together.  I used Canyon Bakehouse GF bread.  Next time I’ll try leaving the bread out and see how it goes.  I’ll also omit the raisins and almonds (Brian doesn’t like them either) and add one cup of diced red and green peppers instead.  I think the peppers added a lighter sweetness that I liked better than the raisins.  (The raisins were good, but my tastebuds really wanted the peppers since that’s how it tasted before… you know how it is.)

IMG_7898

Bobotie

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 pounds ground beef or lamb (I used ground turkey)
  • 3 slices white bread, crumbled into pieces (I used Canyon Bakehouse GF bread)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325º.

Heat oil and cook onions, carrots and garlic in a large pan over medium-high heat, cooking until caramelized, around 5 minutes.  Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium and add cinnamon, ground coriander and curry powder.  Stirring well to coat the onions.

Using the rice wine vinegar, and simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze.  Add ground lamb or beef, cook breaking the meat into smaller pieces.  Continue cooking until meat is done, spooning out the excess grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon.  (Since I used the ground turkey there wasn’t enough grease to bother.)

Pour the meat mixture into a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish and let cool slightly.

Add crumbled bread and 1 cup of cream, stirring to mix well.  In a small bowl, combine sugar, raisins and almonds.  Add mixture to the meat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and milk.  Pour the custard mixture over the meat mixture to form the topping. DO NOT MIX.

Bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

IMG_7867

Let me know if you try it and what you think!

 

Cooper’s Hawk 

Now that we’re in a new house and settling in Mom and I have been venturing out more and more on our own. Okay…we’re just going out looking for food…. but, that counts. Last week we found CostCo all on our own (with a little help from Google Maps). Of course it’s dangerous to go into Costco on an empty tummy… I think my credit card may have a specific policy against it (if it doesn’t, it should!) So I turned to my trusty Find Me Gluten Free app and searched the restaurants nearby.

There was a Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant back in Missouri, but it didn’t get very good reviews for its GF menu so I’d never tried it. The Cooper’s Hawk in Jacksonville got excellent reviews on the FMGF app (and we were 20 minutes from home, so if we got sick….). I switched apps and made reservations on the OpenTable app*. 

*Side Note – Check out the OpenTable app. It’s great to make reservations and read reviews. The best part about using the app that I’ve found is that the restaurants seem to have special reservation times held for OpenTable. (I can’t swear to this, but that’s what it seems like.) I’ve walked into a restaurant and been told that the first opening was 2 hours later, but when I checked the app there was an opening in 15 minutes and I was able to make reservations on the app and walk right in. So… there’s my Tip of the Day! You also earn points for most every reservation that you make (and keep) that can be used to earn rewards such as restaurant gift certificates and Amazon cards. 

Cooper’s Hawk had an extensive, dedicated Gluten Free menu. Everything sounded delicious, but Mom and I had a bunch of shopping still to do so we didn’t want anything heavy. 


They started us off with a bit of gf bread and butter (I think it’s the same buns that they use for the hamburgers) instead of the Pretzel Bread, while we purused the menu. Mom, who never really likes the bread, loved this. It has an ever so slightly sweet flavor and a really great texture. The whipped butter didn’t hurt either! 

We finally decided to share a couple of appetizers and then hoped we’d still have room to try one of the desserts. 

Mexican Drunken Shrimp
– Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Tequila Lime Butter Sauce, Fresh Guacamole 

Thai Lettuce Wraps – Grilled Chicken, Julienne Vegetables, Bibb Lettuce, Cashew Sauce.

The wraps were delicious. Mom wants me to figure out how to make the Cashew Sauce now! 

Lemon Icewine Cheesecake – Macerated Berries

Now that cheesecake… oh, yum!  The only issue that I had during my visit was with dessert.  When the cheesecake arrived at the table it had a lovely graham cracker sprinkle… which could have been gf, but I asked just to be sure. Nope!  The waiter had made a mistake and forgot to enter the dessert as Gluten Free. He was apologetic and replaced the cheesecake with the gf, graham cracker free version right away, but it was a good thing I asked. That would have been an awful way to end an otherwise wonderful meal. 

Since I wanted to try everything else on the menu I waited until the next time we were out and Brian mentioned dinner…. then I insisted that he needed to try Cooper’s Hawk too. 
Yum! 

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Resturant 
4850 Big Island Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32246

D-Luxe Burger 

Oh! All the wonderful Gluten Free FOOD in Walt Disney World!!

Thank heavens for all the walking we have to do around the parks or I wouldn’t be able to waddle back to the hotel at night!

During our most recent trip to Disney Springs (what used to be know as Downtown Disney) Brian was hungry (as usual).  I’d read good reviews from the Disney bloggers that I follow so we decided to give D-Luxe Burger a try.

The burger was good. Nothing amazing, but better than a regular quick-service burger. The bun was dry… so so dry. The fries were good though and all the fry dips were Gluten Free.

Our meal was delivered to our table in a paper to-go bag. I assume that’s how they differentiate Allergy meals from regular meals which are served on plastic trays.


Not my most favorite meal in the world of Disney, but it was a good enough burger and we appreciated the differentiation between our meal’s (paper bag) and the non-allergy friendly meals’ (plastic tray) delivery.

The staff was kind and knowledgeable… of course we got the poor gal that was being trained that day… nothing like being a learning experience! Her trainer was with her though and explained how to enter allergy orders and then called the chef upfront who confirmed that we just had the one allergy.

They’ve added a lot of new shops and restaurants to Disney Springs since our last visit (a year and a half?). D-Luxe Burger is located in the new section and is situated next to one of the ‘river’ areas. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the pretty view with our French fries.

Definitely worth a visit.