Monthly Archives: March 2013

inspired by allergies


My allergies have been acting up lately (thanks Austin “Allergy Capital of the World”) and as a result I have lost my voice/sound like a 12-year-old boy going through puberty.   I really really REALLY wanted some chicken noodle soup but last time I paid $4 for the pre-canned gluten free chicken noodle soup. For. One. Can.

Brad gave me the stink eye when I told him how much that one can of soup cost and told me I should make my own.  I had most of the spices at home and some frozen tenderloins in the fridge, so a quick trip to the store for veggies, broth and crackers was all it took.

I asked my mom for some suggestions on the spices and she suggested the chili powder.  “Have you ever seen a Mexican with a cold?” she says.   In my line of work (nursing), yes, but I am ignoring that for now.   Considering she lives in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas AKA the border, I think there is probably some truth to her words.  I don’t think you can get a cold when your nose is constantly being cleared out by spicy delicious food.

Anyway, point is, this is my attempt at some homemade chicken noodle soup that is gluten free.


Melinda’s Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup (inspired by allergies)  

1 lb of boneless chicken tenderloins

2/3 of each carrot and celery sticks, cut into small pieces (as many as you like in your soup)

2–Organic Free Range Chicken Broth 32 oz box (I used Pacific because it actually says gluten free on it)

¼ lb Gluten-free noodles, I used some leftover Schar spaghetti

1/2 tsp of garlic powder

2 tsp dried parsley

2 tsp chopped onion

2 pinch of pepper

1 tsp of chili powder

½ tsp of salt  (for broth)


  1. Boil the chicken with ¼ tsp of salt and water, then shred or cube chicken to your liking for the soup.
  2. Cut carrot and celery sticks into smaller pieces for soup. I bought the pre-cut into sticks since I don’t really eat celery otherwise.
  3. Start boiling the entire amount of chicken broth and add seasonings, veggies, shredded chicken to the broth and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Cook the noodles separately.
  5. Add the noodles to the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes.



is this real life?


While I was checking out what I could eat at Texas Roadhouse tonight (which seems like the worst choice for dinner and gluten free–but hey its not my birthday), I scoured some GF/allergy websites and stumbled onto a Bard’s Tale Beer Company (GF malted sorghum beer) page.  Moderately interested, I looked through their “news and events” on the page and found the USA’S LARGEST GLUTEN FREE EXPO.

I don’t know if this is a cool event, but I can’t see how it would go bad.  Food, recipes and vendors that are all gluten free.  It sounds like a magical universe where anything can be eaten.  I live in Austin, so I will probably try to drag my boyfriend along to the October/Dallas date to check it out.

Has anyone been to one of these things?  It can’t be worse than looking for that one food vendor at SXSW that sells gluten-free meals (thanks Snap Kitchen) and watching my friends eat amazing food from street vendors that are far too scary to try.

So my plan is to coerce the boyfriend or my sister to accompany me to what is described on the website as “a life changing moment.”  Is it October yet?




This weekend Brad and I were a little under the weather so we decided to downgrade our going out activities into some alcohol-free and low-key fun.

Saturday, we got up early to go to the 15th Annual Mighty Dog Walk down at Auditorium Shores. If it hadn’t been cold and semi rainy, I would have enjoyed it more. However, Riley was the happiest (and dirtiest) dog in Austin.


Riley hates pictures and flash photography, thus this unhappy pose.

She immediately jumped in the river and then rolled in the dirt by the hike and bike trail. We raked in a lot of doggie swag for free. People were grabbing free dog treats like it was Black Friday shopping.


Dinner was at The Pizza Bistro off Lake Austin Boulevard, thanks to a Living Social deal. We always jump on the pizza ones, especially when gluten-free pizza is touted.


I ordered the gluten-free crust with half Marguerite/half West Coast.  The WC is olives, tomatoes, avocado and I liked it the best. I found the flavors to be bland, Brad said the same thing but we attributed it to our congestion and colds.  The crust was kinda spongy (?) and could have used some spices. We are going to have to return in better health for a more definite opinion, but overall it was decent.

We finished the weekend with a round of golf at Butler, which is like a mini golf course for adults. Brad even bought me my first pitching wedge from a resale shop (the only lefty one there). I don’t plan on becoming a serious golfer, mostly because I am highly competitive and get mean when I lose. Sorry baby! 🙂

Right now, some GF cinnamon rolls are in the oven and I am content with baking, blogging and hanging out with Brad while he watches March Madness.

For the cinnamon rolls recipe, visit Lauren’s Latest.

Miles of chocolate


So after a long day of work (I work 12s at the hospital), I crave chocolate sweet desserts. Unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t lend to baking and most of the gluten free stuff is nasty pre-packaged.  Tonight I decided to head to Live Oak Market, a cool hippie market in South Austin, to grab some root beers to go with dinner (Virgil’s Root Beer is delish and GF).

I asked the store clerk if they had any gluten free brownies and he said I was in for a treat. I quote “the best brownie ever.” He pulled it out of the freezers because apparently they are “gooey and delicious” at room temperature.  My interest was perked so I didn’t mind the $2.39 price tag.

I warmed it in the microwave for 15 seconds and then bit into this little piece of heaven. You can’t even tell that its gluten free AT ALL. Worth every penny and apparently the store clerk was right when he said I would be back for more.

They are sold locally here in Austin, but an online shipping option is available at The creator of these gooey, delectable treats is a Texan also. Win win situation: supporting local and delicious treats.


My little piece of heaven today

Top and bottom 5 of SXSW


My boyfriend is notorious for his “top and bottom 5” lists. Anything that sucks immediately gets called a “bottom 5” label.  Since SXSW ’13 is finally over, I thought I would assess the festival from a local perspective.



1. Getting day drunk on Sixth Street with my boyfriend on a weekday. How often does that happen??

2. Free swag: water bottles, t-shirts, stickers, Starbucks cards oh my!!

3. Gluten-free beer and cheesy bacon waffle fries at Frank’s

4. People watching anywhere and everywhere. I know Austin is supposedly weird but I don’t think it was all us.

5. Auditorium Shores JJ Gray and Mofro on Saturday. It was a nice relaxing day, beautiful sunny and it felt like Austin. Good music, local vendors and food.


Brad and I laying on the grass at Auditorium Shores


5. ATM fees. Were. Outrageous. We had to search for the machine that charged $4. I know what do you expect? Still is insane to charge $7.95 to get money out.

4. I am not a hermit crab by any means, but eventually the sheer amount of people and stress of just walking down the street takes its toll on you. Alleys are awesome to avoid this we figured out.  And the city was totally trashed, it was almost a Bourbon feel by Friday.

3. Beer prices. Brad paid $4.50 for a Lone Star, let me repeat–for a LONE STAR.

2. Not getting to see Soul Rebels. 😦 They are one of the brass bands Brad and I always check out whenever they are playing. We figured “eh…no one will know about them. I should be able to get in as public and Brad with his wristband,” which brings me to “bottom 1″…..

1. Hierarchy/caste system of SXSW: This is certainly not a festival for normal people AT ALL.  Badges are first priority, then come wristbands, and we will let the plebeians in last for a fee.

I just had a much more romantic view of SXSW before I moved here. I imagined secret shows and seeing cool bands for free.  I find the festival fun but not for finding music (especially since I didn’t get to see much due to ridiculous lines) but for just hanging out in the daytime and taking in the sights and sounds in general.

Reader’s delight

Reader’s delight

How have I not known about this until now?? A Facebook-connected app that helps me pick out books and gives me reviews???!!

I love it. I’m currently perusing the e-shelves and trying to find the next comedy/chick lit/mystery book I am going to read.

I’ve decided to revisit my childhood, nose-stuck-in-book self and fill this time that I now have since graduation.

Anyhoo, if you’re a reader, this app is like Pandora’s box of suggestions.