The Only Constant

Chocolate Cake

“The only constant is change.”  My mother loves that phrase… or more likely, she hates it just as much as I do, but likes tossing it at me when I am complaining about something.

I realize that change is inevitable.  Nothing can stay the same forever, and I probably wouldn’t want it to anyway.  It’s the letting go that I have the most trouble with.

I’m a bit of a hoarder really.  A hoarder of things and people and more than anything, possibilities.

When we clean out the basement, my husband sees a broken lamp.  I see a lamp with the potential to be something new. It just needs a little work… Maybe a new lamp shade (I saw a great idea on Pinterest).  Sure, its brass, but I could spray paint it… maybe blue?

I hoard potential… a dream or possibility that could come true… If I hold on long enough…. If I believe hard enough…..

Worse than “stuff,” I hoard people…. holding onto friendships and family longer than I ever should.  The lamp is easy, I fix it, or it remains broken forever…. people are harder…. sometimes, no matter how hard I work…. the relationship will always remain broken.  The hard part is deciding whether I can live with the lopsided relationship… where I am always the one to call them…. the one to invite them to dinner… the one who drops everything and goes to their rescue… again.  How many times should you ask yourself “why do I bother?” before you realize…. you shouldn’t.

These food allergies are a toxic relationship…. literally.  Recognising that is getting easier. Sure, that cupcake looks sweet…. and I can remember times when it was perfect… but now it makes my head hurt… my mind foggy and so tired… it gives me stomach-aches…. and now its time to let it go.

Yes, I’m referring to a few certain relationships and situations specifically today… The allergy detox has just really brought it to the forefront of my mind…. there are a number of things that need to be let go right now.  People, situations and food…. you only hurt me…. and I don’t want that anymore.

The great thing about letting go? Now there is space for something new.

Speaking of “new”… Since I started blogging about my allergies I met some great new blogger friends who share my allergy challenges.  While I am sorry that they too have to struggle with food, I am so happy that they are sharing their discoveries with me.

I’d been whining that I missed chocolate and Faking Picture Perfect (Love the name!) shared her Chocolate Cake recipe with me.  My aunt’s birthday was yesterday and  I figured that it was a perfect time to try out!  My aunt and cousin are both vegetarians, so they’re getting a kick out of me turning practically vegan.

FPP was going for dairy-free… I also wanted gluten-free, so I used King Arthur Flour Multipurpose Gluten Free Flour in place of regular flour.  Next time I’d like to try to replace the eggs too.

Hubby whipped up a batch of his mega-delicious-eat-it-straight-from-the-bowl icing and it was absolutely delish!  Family loved it!  Thank you Faking Picture Perfect!

Chocolate Cake

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13×9 pan. Combine Coconut Milk, Vinegar, Water, Oil, Sugar, Eggs, Vanilla, Baking Soda and Salt. Using a large wire whisk, whisk until well combined. Add Flour and Cocoa Powder; whisk until smooth. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center bounces back when lightly touched. DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Chocolate Cravings – Day 4

I can’t get chocolate off my mind!

What can I make?!

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Chocolate Cheerios 

(Aprox. amounts…. I mostly eyeballed this)

  • 2 c. Marshmallow
  • 2 tsp. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 c. Honey Nut Cheerios
  • 1/2 c. Pecans, chopped

Sprinkle coca powder over marshmallows and microwave until marshmallows begin to melt.  Aprox 30 sec – 1 min.

Stir marshmallows and cocoa powder until fully incorporated and smooth… add more marshmallow and melt again until you get a thick sticky mixture.

Mix Cheerios and pecans in a large bowl.  Pour chocolate mixture over Cheerio mixture a little at a time.  (I had chocolate left over.)  Toss until the cereal is covered.

I ate it straight out of the bowl, but you might want to give it time to cool and get good and sticky.  I was thinking something more like Rice Krispie Treats, but this was more like “chocolate cheerios”…. still good.  Next time I’d probably add more marshmallows and no almond milk… (I used, some almond milk with the marshmallows and cocoa powder… but I don’t think I should have… I think it made it too runny).

Still good.

Note:  The Cheerios do not have wheat listed in the ingredients, but under allergens it says “May contain wheat.”  Like they don’t know?  Brian says Cheerios are probably made in the same factory with other cereals that DO contain wheat… and the Cheerios might have some cross contamination…. so it’s just to cover.  I’m voting that they are probably okay… you need to decide for yourself based on your allergy condition.

Day One – Spice Girl

So I survived the first day without wheat, milk or eggs!  Do you have any idea how many products have wheat or milk in them that you would never expect?  No, of course not, because you would never expect it!  Ragu Traditional spaghetti sauce has MILK (romano cheese) in it!  Can’t have butter… BUTTER…because it’s milk!   Do you know what has butter in it?!  Everything!  *sigh*  It could be worse… one of my friends is allergic to soy and corn…. that IS in everything.  I shouldn’t complain (I’m going to anyway…).

Actually, I did pretty good for the most part.

Breakfast Smoothie

For breakfast I made a smoothie:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Coconut Milk
  • Youngberry Juice
  • Chia Seeds

Zipped it around in the Oster Blender for a bit… quite yummy.

– If you like smoothies, but don’t want to drag out the big blender all the time (who does?), the Oster MyBlend Blender is amazing.  It’s got great blending power… zips right through frozen berries and ice.  The best part?  It blends IN the BOTTLE!  You fill your bottle with your smoothie ingrediants, screw on the lid (with the blades), snap it into the blender and ZZZIIPP! Smoothie!  Unscrew the blender lid and screw on the travel lid… off you go!

Lunch and SnacksLunch was a bit harder…. Usually I want something hot for lunch, but I was in a rush and didn’t want to have to read a bunch of labels.  I knew that the Feldkamp bread was okay and I had a new oatmeal that is pretty good ….

  • Oatmeal with Craisins and chopped pecans
  • Feldkamp bread with Planters Nutrition peanut butter
  • Cuties oranges for a snack

By the time I got to dinner I was getting concerned… I’d spent a bit too much time on Pinterest and was just confusing myself.  I stopped by the grocery store on my way home and picked up a bunch of seafood and beef… normally I avoid beef, but since I can’t have the chicken or turkey I figured Brian would want something other than just fish and seafood.  The store had some yummy looking jumbo shrimp on sale, so I got a big bunch.  Now, what to do with them?   Then I remembered my shopping trip to Penzey’s Spices a month or so ago.

Tsardust Memories Shrimp

Tsardust Memories Shrimp

Peel and devein the shrimp then lightly saute them in the olive oil.  Add the lemon juice, white wine Tsardust Memories and chives (sorry, no measurements…. I just kinda eyeballed and dumped).  Cover and let simmer 3-5 minutes or until shrimp are no longer clear.

Eat.

I also made Roasted Potatoes.  I should have added carrots too, but didn’t think of it until too late

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 2 Yukon Gold Potatoes (mine were pretty small…. I was going for an even amount of sweet & gold potatoes)
  • 2 Carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

Chop potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and add spices… (again, sorry, no measurements), toss to coat.  I used a 9×9 inch Pyrex pan, but if you add more potatoes you might need a bigger pan… you want a single layer of potatoes in the pan, otherwise it takes forever to bake.

Bake at 400 for 35 – 40 minutes.  Potatoes will be lightly browned and soft on the inside.

Last night I actually slept through the night… I only got up once… normally I get up four or five times… only once was AMAZING!  No idea if it had anything to do with the new diet, but boy that would be wonderful!!

– S