Friday, February 22, 2008


A couple of my friends up here are gluten-intolerant and thus cannot eat wheat products. It has mystified me as to how they manage to eat ANYTHING, let alone make it taste good! Well, I got to find out today, as one said friend had a baby last week, and I signed up to take her a meal. I decided to make the same thing for our dinner because why make two different meals if you don't have to... I did the research online to find GF recipes and went shopping. I felt pretty good about my choices (meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes, green beans, and peanut butter cookies). It was actually easier than I thought it might be, because if you pay attention to the labels of foods, some say "gluten-free" and most do not. But, I also found out that you have to be careful because even if the ingredients don't contain wheat exactly, there are code words you still have to look for that mean wheat. So, after carefully looking everything over, and still possibly not quite succeeding with the meatloaf (which Erin knew about-don't worry), I was excited to see how Tyler reacted (I didn't tell him until afterwards that everything was GF) and how the food would taste. The potatoes I really didn't have to worry about because I've made those for us to eat before. The meatloaf was pretty good actually. It used grated parmesan cheese instead of bread crumbs and everything else was already gluten-free. It was a little on the salty side, but good. The most surprising thing was the cookies! I would never have known they weren't regular cookies if I'd just picked one up somewhere. There was no strange aftertaste like I've heard there can be and they were nice and chewy and soft! I got them at Trader Joe's in the frozen section, if any of you are interested in trying them. They also had a brownie mix that looked tempting...I guess if I ever develop Celiac's disease, I'll at least have desserts I know I'll like! :) Through the whole experience, though, I really learned how HARD it is to find foods that are GF. Even if you find ingredients that are okay to eat, figuring out what to do with them is no easy task. That is not to say, however, that I regret my journey into GF-land. I completely enjoyed making the meal for Erin and her family and would do it again without hestitation. Let's just say that my hat is off to all those of you who have to deal with this on a daily basis!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Tyler and I have booked a cruise!! This is something we've wanted to do since we got married (almost 3 years ago, now), and I'm so excited that we're finally getting around to going! We're going to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. I am so so so excited! And to top off the excitement, Tyler's parents are going with us! May 4 cannot come quick enough for me...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ethi Night

We are part of an "E-group" at church called Married's Ministry, and this year they decided to do Fellowship 6. The idea is that you get together once a month for three months with 2 other couples, just to get to know each other outside of the "classroom." Each time you choose a theme for the evening and everybody brings something to correlate (appetizer, dessert, etc.). We did it last semester and had a great time so we signed up again in January. Well, we were the first hosts this round (each couple has a chance to host) and decided, after checking with everybody, to make our theme "Ethiopian." One of the couples brought Coke because that's a staple when you eat ethi), and the other couple brought dessert. We had a really great time socializing with both couples and their kids (each one has a boy right around 1 year old). And, to top off the evening, both couples seemed to genuinely like the food! With Ethi food, it's kind of a love it or hate it thing, and they actually asked the names of what we were eating so that they would know what to order in the future! :) Anyway, we had a great time, and the dessert was also delicious. Ethiopians don't really have dessert, so they just brought individual chocolate cake/brownie things with a marshmallow in the middle of each one that she baked here so it was still warm when we ate it with the best vanilla ice cream available (this brand also makes my favorite ice cream of all time: Tillamook Mudslide).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

If you know me well, you know I LOVE holidays! I just like celebrating and feeling full of life. So, when certain days come around, you can count on me doing my best to make them special. This year for V-Day, I decided to make Tyler his dinner instead of him taking me out. What prompted all this was walking into Target the other day and finding a whole bunch of cooking items (bakeware, candy molds, etc) and candles in the $1 bins! I decided I just couldn't pass it up! So I made steak, twice-baked potatoes with shrimp, green bean casserole, heart-shaped brownies and truffles (milk chocolate, amaretto, and raspberry). We also, of course, had Welch's Sparking Red Grape's a staple for us when celebrating as we've found neither of us are particularly thrilled with wine. I had to grill the steaks inside in my Wolfgang Puck reversible grill/griddle since we ran out of propane, but they still turned out great!

For our after-dinner entertainment, we watched Lost :) What a good and yet totally frustrating show! But we just can't stop watching...:)

Just for fun, here's a couple of recent picture of Allie...she's all fuzzed up from winter, but I have a feeling she'll be shedding soon...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spring is in the air

When I woke up this morning, I felt like I should be hearing birds singing and a warm breeze rustling the leaves. It really looks like spring outside. The sky is bright blue with big, white, wispy clouds that are creeping slowly to to the east. The grass is green (of course, it's almost ALWAYS green here), and the sun is shining. But then, I step outside excited for the warmth and Vitamin D boost, and realize it's only 45 degrees! That's not really deceptive! We are supposed to get into the 60's later this week, so that will be a welcome change.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Celebs and Cats

I always find it interesting what sorts of things celebrities choose to I saw a commercial for ASPCA in which Martina McBride was advocating sending money to help out orphaned pets. Now, I'm all about stopping animal cruelty, adopting pets instead of killing them, etc., but honestly, do we really need to PAY millions of dollars to advertise when that money could be used to do the very thing they're advocating? What a conundrum!

In other news, last night we were shutting down the house for bed (turning off lights, making sure doors are locked, etc), and I had a hoodie on, with the hood on my head, not pulled down around my neck. Tyler was holding Allie and making his way up the stairs (no lights were on at this time). I had finished all the tasks and started to head up the stairs myself when Tyler suddenly shouts "OWWW!!!" This somewhat startled me, as it was dark and he was already several steps ahead of me. I asked him what was wrong, and he told me that I had scared Allie and she was frantically trying to get away by clawing him to shreds! I just laughed it off and felt kinda bad (I'm assuming she didn't recognize me because of the hood). We got upstairs and turned on some lights- with Allie all fuzzed up and still a bit jumpy- and realized that I had scared her more than we first thought...she had peed on Tyler! Now, seriously, who ever heard of scaring a cat so badly that she loses control of her bladder?? That made me feel REALLY badly and I tried to console her for a while. She eventually warmed back up and was back to her usual cuddly self. But, oh, what a story :) Now I can't stop chuckling at the memory of my husband, who hates any type of bodily fluid (pee, poop, throw-up, snot, etc), with cat pee on his shirt and scratches on his shoulder.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New to blogging!

This experience is new for me, and I'm not going to guarantee how often I will post, but I thought for those of you who don't happen to live within 1800 miles of WA, it might be nice to read updates every now and then! So, check back once in a while to see what's been happening in our lives!