diamond in the rough

Standard

I recently got a new job as an operating room nurse and as part of my training I have to attend an internship in Temple, TX for three weeks.  Thank goodness my family lives in Waco so I don’t have to drive from south Austin to Temple everyday. That’s about a 2-hour daily drive, so I am crashing in Waco at my mom’s house during the week.

Waco is not the most gluten-free friendly place, but there is one health food store that makes it a little bit easier, Drug Emporium and is also a Vitamins Plus. I’ve been going there since I was a kid with my grandma. They have a variety of everything from hair products, vitamins, wall decor and good prices on designer fragrances. I loved going there with Gogge (my grandma) because she would always buy me some Lip Smackers or some kind of treat. 😉

image

This time I bought my own treats of the gluten-free persuasion. Two bags full for $29…can’t beat that!!

image

The store has a great variety of brands, some that I don’t even see at HEB or Whole Foods. I can’t wait til the GFAF expo, I am sure I will find even more new choices. So if you ever get stuck in Wacko and are jonesing for a GF snack, stop at Drug Emporium (located at Bosque and Valley Mills).

Advertisements

i want moore cookies.

Standard

Farmers Markets always intrigue me. I love to see the local art, foods and what people in town are actually producing.  The only one I have ever been to is down south off Ben White, the Sunset Valley market.  I was unimpressed and a little let down.  The vendors were sparse and a couple were even rude.  (Maybe they were having a bad day?)

I’ve been wanting to check out some of the other options in town and since Brad owed me one for going on a float with all boys and being the DD; I figured it was my best opportunity to drag him along. 

We tried to go by Barton Creek, which is at the mall near Mopac but realized it was only offered there on Saturday.   Google led me to the HOPE Farmers Market on the east side on Fifth and Comal.  The market is open from 11-3 on Sundays.

It had the quaint little market feel and most of the shops were under shade which is a plus since it’s already 100 degrees by ten o’clock.  (Sunset Valley is on a parking lot).  I was pleased to find lots of gluten-free options and THE BEST COOKIES EVERRRRRRRRRR. 

Image

My purchases: 

1.  One-Pound Honey from the Austin Honey Company, $10.  The honey is a good deal for the size and tastes good.  I try to eat honey to help with allergies; anything to help in the Allergy Capital AKA Austin. 

2. Poblano pepper and Muenster cheese tamale,  The Gardener’s Feast, $3.  This was my lunch that day.  Everything is fresh, organic and gluten-free.  I picked this flavor because it was on the spicy side.  🙂

3.  Fresh veggies, $2, I forgot what the place was called.  But I thought gosh these are small, but oh wait they are homegrown instead of juiced-up veggies. 

4.  My cute head sash, $2, from the Citywide Garage Sale (Brad got dragged there also on Sunday mwahaha).  This is also a fun event, its pretty much a thrift store/antique store on steroids.  Furniture, baseball cards, dishes, linens, you name it they have it, $5 for entry per person plus parking at Palmer Events Center.  The next one is July 13-14.

NOW THE BEST COOKIES EVERRRRRRRRRR…..

Image

Sorry the picture was in my lap in the car on the way home.  Because otherwise the picture would have been of empty cookie bags.  Seriously.  They are that good.  Brad said they don’t even taste GF, which I think is the greatest compliment for GF bakery items.  And he’s had the Lucy’s cookies and other bakery stuff I have brought home. 

The lemon cookies were lemony without being overpowering and the chocolate peanut butter cookies tasted like Reese’s cups but cookie-style.  Soft and not crumbly, these are the best gluten-free cookies I have ever put in my mouth.  We ate them all before we ever got home.

The cookie representative (I think it was the owner from looking at the website) said they were working on a storefront for online sales. 

So go to this website: www.moorecookies.com and bookmark it right now! Because I swear you will want these cookies later. 

blogging + babies and GF!! WINNING!!!

Standard

I got an email yesterday saying that I would be a Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo blogger!!  I’m proud of my little piece of the ‘Net here and can’t wait for October to head to Dallas.  If you’ll notice, I have my very first badge!!

GFAF Expo Blogger Badge

For those of you in Texas, the Dallas expo is at Plano Convention Center on October 26 and 27.  It’s conveniently near one of my besties who is going to have a little one soon!!  WIN-WIN for me!!!

 

Link

pretty thai for a white guy

I was hanging out at Moontower Saloon (a chill little outdoor bar in South Austin) and unexpectedly found a gluten-free trailer.  The bar is located on Manchaca past Slaughter and is packed every time we go and has been known to have cars parked along the road.  South Austin was really hurting for a neighborhood bar and Moontower has that relaxed, outdoor, “I’m at a bonfire party” feel.   They opened last October-ish and I know that summer nights there will be awesome.

 I, of course, gave the guy I ordered from the second degree about whether it was ACTUALLY GF.  Turns out the owner is gluten intolerant and the only thing that has gluten is their rolls for sandwiches.  Apparently they used to serve GF rolls also but they were too expensive.  Not a surprise to me…since bread is $7 a loaf. 

Anyway,  the sweet potato fries with Sriracha ketchup are delicious (and are only $3!!) I was kind of surprised by the mint on top, not exactly my favorite flavor with the fries.  But hey you can pick that off if you don’t like it!   I enjoyed the gouda cheese quesadillas (on corn tortillas of course!).  It is a pleasant surprise to be able to order “bar food” from a gluten-free trailer–I felt like a normal person!! 🙂

 

best boyfriend ever

Standard

I have been telling the BF that next time we head to New Orleans that Gluten Free Nation is a necessary stop. He had a convention there this week and surprised me with some treats when he got home!!

image

Snickerdoodles: I wish they would have been softer, but they were still delicious. Made as a good crush-in for ice cream. Brad gave these two thumbs up.

Chocolate cake balls: my favorite! Chocolaty goodness. Didn’t like the blue sparkles or fondant rose on top.

Multigrain sandwich bread: the BEST bread I have had yet. It says to keep in freezer and warm up slices as needed…maybe this is what I am doing wrong with my bread?!? I usually buy Udi’s because its the cheapest. Its made with Timothy flour (and tapioca) which I had never heard of. A quick Google search tells me its a European cereal grass. Hmmm. Maybe that’s why it tastes better.

Price: Brad said that my treats were about $23. So normal gluten free prices 🙂

Since I have started GF, I am more careful with my sweets and savor/save them. Before, I would eat a whole pack of Oreos in one sitting, now I eat one cookie and save the rest because GF baking is so expensive. Guess I am more thankful now that I am GF.  Mehhh I would rather have glutenous snacks abounding in my house, but it is what it is!!  Brad definitely made my day (and week when I can have cookies/sweets for a few days!!)  He even asked about bread shipment to the house in Austin—which is possible!

sharing a yummy recipe

Standard

My boyfriend found this delish recipe for quinoa pizza bites online…his gluten free finding skills are improving 🙂 I must share because they are so quick and easy to make. (And healthy!) I think I have already memorized the recipe!

image

Its a wham bam thank ya ma’am recipe. Would be good for kiddos or parties too.

The recipe is at http://fitsuccess
Read the rest of this entry

Aside

This weekend I celebrated two holidays:  Mother’s Day and my Bachelor’s in Nursing graduation, so Brad and I made a “Tour de Mother’s Day” and drove to Arlington (its in the DFW area) on Saturday for the festivities.

I don’t know why but especially when I am out of Austin, I feel the need to Yelp/Google if there are any gluten-free bakeries.  It just seems a waste of travel if I don’t find something new.  My travels this time led me to I Heart Muffins in Hurst.  It said “dedicated gluten free bakery” on the Facebook page, but I still felt the need to verify this by email before trekking across the Metroplex.  Sure enough, its really dedicated. LOL.

We made it there about an hour before close so picking were kind of slim but PLENTY more than I could get anywhere normal.

Image

These were my goodies for the day (from 12 o’clock):  Apple Cinammon Muffin, Peanut Butter Cookie, and SNICKERS CAKE!!  I promptly ate the cake in store and Brad ate the cookie after I got a bite.  The cake was DELICIOUS and gooey and worth the drive.  I saved my Apple Cinammon Muffin for the next morning, but it was equally enjoyable with little pieces of apple and just the right amount of cinnamon, not too overpowering.  For those that live in the DFW area, the bakery even makes loaves of gluten-free bread.  I asked about shipping the bread but that wasn’t available yet.

The rest of the afternoon preceding the graduation was pretty comical:  we couldn’t check into our hotel until 3 (graduation was at 4), Brad had to buy a new shirt at Jos A Bank since his was wrinkled and we had nowhere to iron it and a new pair of jeans since apparently our terrible cat Barf peed on them when he was laying his clothes out at the house.   I ended up getting dressed in Jos A Bank and putting my makeup on in the car.

Finally, we made it safe and sound to College Park Center at UTA and I got to the staging area for all of us RN-BSN bridging students.  It was quite interesting to graduate with a class of 400+ people whom I had never met due to the online setup of classes.  I made friends with my neighbors and we discussed the best/worst classes, where we were all from and our future plans in nursing.

Image

This is my double Maverick face: my BSN is my second degree from UTA 🙂

I was quite impressed with the changes the University of Texas at Arlington has made to their campus in hopes of becoming a Tier One school.  College Park Center was amazing with the Jumbotron and stadium style seating.  Brad was even able to find a bar to kill time at on campus.

We hit the road back the next morning to see both of our moms.  My mom and grandma are in Waco and requested we bring them kolaches from Czech Stop in West on the way home.  This is probably the gluten-free person’s nightmare:  smell of sweet dough rising, all kinds of kolache from cherry to sausage ones and cupcakes too.   I don’t know why but sometimes I ask Brad to let me smell his glutenous eats.  Maybe it seems like I have eaten it through my nose. Or I’m a masochist.  I think it just makes me feel like I am participating in normal eating.  I was very glad at this point I had saved my apple cinnamon muffin, because while Brad devoured his hot chubbie with cheese, I wasn’t giving him dirty stares.  For those without allergies or intolerances, it is a CRIME to go through West, Texas on IH-35 and not stop.

We scooped the treats up  (along with a fruit plate for me from Walmart) and enjoyed some conversation with the family for a couple hours before heading to see Brad’s mom/Spurs game.

My weekend reminded me of this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley:

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

My weekend didn’t project to be a blissful one, but Brad and I laughed through the delays and silly mishaps, ie. cat pee. After all, it’s not everyday that you get to graduate with the largest nursing graduating class ever from UTA.  🙂

double maverick