Posts Tagged ‘ Gluten Free ’

Week 7 of CSA

This week’s share is full of HUGE deliciousness.

Two monstrous zucchini (the smaller one is longer than a foot), two giant tomatoes, two onions (one vadalia, one red), two crowns of broccoli (which look minuscule compared to everything else), and one very large bunch of swiss chard.

Again this week all the ingredients are relatively familiar.

I’m thinking about trying this recipe to use up some zucchini:

Zucchini muffins from the Gluten Free Homemaker.

When I picked up the share this afternoon I realized I haven’t even touched the lettuce and arugula, so I think some salads are in order for the rest of this week.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

~Amber Joy


Week Six of CSA

Before I get into week 6, I bet you’re all dying to know how the GF Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake was – well it was DELICIOUS!!! It wasn’t just me saying this – it was approved by every member of my LIFEgroup, including one dear friend who gags at the thought of ANY vegetables. It was typical gluten free, though, with less moisture and more density. The taste, however, was delicious. The beets could be seen, but not tasted, and the chocolate was strong, but not overwhelming. So, if you hate beets, but get stuck with some for any reason, make this cake!

Now, onto this week’s share – it’s a winner!

This week we have received arugula, lettuce, yellow squash, zucchini, and eggs. Doesn’t it all look delicious? And everything is a “normal” ingredient that I don’t have a problem with.

Here are a couple of recipes I’ll probably be trying out:

This yummy looking Vegetable Tian from For the Love of Cooking.

This Warm Bean and Arugula Salad, published by the Huffington Post.

It should be another delicious week!

~Amber Joy

A Delicious Afternoon in the Kitchen

This afternoon I decided to spend some good quality time in the kitchen with my good friend, Renee (she’s a sophomore at Liberty, and we’re from the same home town/church).

We both had browning bananas, which made our search for recipes narrow, keeping in mind I’m gluten free. We were considering banana bread until we checked out my pins on Pinterest and saw this:

FLUFFY Banana Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes, Gluten Free, from Gluten Free Canteen.

That picture left us with no questions – this was the recipe we were going to make. One problem, though, all the measurements were weights, not amounts, so I estimated and prayed it would still turn out. The recipe calls for 300 grams of gluten free flour – I rounded this to 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour. We also put in less sugar than the recipe calls for, and skipped the Godiva Liqueur (because who on earth has that on hand?!?) and frosting. Also, note that the directions leave out the part of mixing in the flour – do this after the butter, before the bananas.

Here are photo’s of the process, thanks to Renee’s phone:

Ready to go in the oven!

Are they done? Not yet, but looking good.

Out of the oven and smelling AMAZING.

2 dozen BCC cupcakes - get in our tummies NOW.

The real question, however, was were the cupcakes actually fluffy? This had to wait until after dinner – the second part of our delicious afternoon.

I had been craving cheese and really wanted a good homecooked meal, so I concluded Mac and Cheese was the best option. We made my mom’s recipe, so you’ll have to ask her if you want the details. All I’m going to say is I never knew cheese and noodles could make two girls so happy.

Just look at that meal! So good.

After we polished off a good amount of the mac and cheese, we finally got to devour the cupcakes. Renee, being a normal eater, loved them just as much as I did. They were indeed fluffy, and so delicious we were both ready for a second one before even finishing our first.

Our tummies are satisfied, although another cupcake would be good right now…. Self control, Amber, self control.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

~Amber Joy

Sorry for the Absence…

I just realized I haven’t posted in a while! My brain has been worn out, so I guess my blog just floated off into space with the rest of me… To make up for it, I’m going to make this a conglomeration post – some recipes, some photos, some thoughts on life.

If you’re on Pinterest (which you should be), you’ve probably seen the pins for Overnight Oats. I saw this, thought it was a good idea, but didn’t repin because I’ve done this on my own before, just with a twist! A much EASIER way to do this in the MORNING is using quick cook oats. When you get up, simply mix in your yogurt of choice with your oats, let it sit in the fridge as you get ready for the day, then add fruit and enjoy! Another plus is it’s not to soggy, since it has only been sitting for a few minutes.

Another recipe idea I saw (and pinned) on Pinterest was 50 Healthy Gluten-free Snack Ideas from With Style and Grace. I snack A LOT, and can always use some new ideas. I usually defer to a couple of tablespoons of peanuts or some toast. So, seeing this link, I got excited for the possibilities!

Lynchburg has been in full bloom for a while, but here are some photos from my front yard (If you have any desire for prints, re-use, etc. please notify me. Being my photography, I own the rights, and do not want anything reproduced without my permission.):

I love spring, but my body hates pollen, so I spend more time inside than outside. With my schedule, this is not difficult… Finals are one month away, which is SCARY. I’m not near ready for that time to come – 100% of my grade riding on one test per class is stressful. So, rather than dwelling on the inevitable, I’m busy with things outside of law school, when I’m not reading, of course.

I’ve been working 12-15 hours per week, most of which is enjoyable. Last Friday, however, I had a really strange hour. I had two high school boys the same age – one at a higher intelligence level than myself, and the other barely able to read a second grade level. It’s perplexing to experience both the high and the low at the same time. It’s also hard to keep the high one from laughing at the simplicity of the low one’s work, and the low one being discouraged by the material of the high one. It was challenging, to say the least.

I’ve also been teaching Sunday School, as usual. Those kids can be CRAZY. They can also be extremely discerning, but that’s once in a blue moon. I love teaching them, no matter their mood, although I prefer not to shout. This coming Sunday we’re going to write to the kids I worked with in the Dominican Republic. It’ll be fun.

I should probably go get ready for the day… I love Wednesdays because it’s the one day I don’t have class until 11:45!

Have a good hump day!

~Amber Joy


ONE WEEK until I’m on my way to the Dominican Republic. ONE WEEK! Unbelievable. I can’t get too excited, though, because I have 5 days of school and work before then, plus one paper to write and a big law skills assignment to complete. Yikes. But once I’m done with all of that, watch out world. I am so looking forward to seeing the Mackeys and smelling/feeling the air. Plus, I will be bringing lots and lots of gifts – it’s going to be more amazing than Christmas morning.

Today, rather than working on all the school work that needs to get done, I got something done that I had been waiting for a year and a half — I got my driver’s door window regulator and motor replaced. For the past year and a half I had to duct tape my window up, and wedge it with a door stop. Not beautiful, but cheap. This month, however, I got a bonus at work so splurged and finally got it fixed. Originally estimated to be a $400 fix, I spent just under $200, so that felt great. I made the guys at the shop crack up as I told them it was Christmas to have a working window! As I drove home I opened and shut the window multiple times, just because I could. So much fun.

Another thing I did was hang out with one of my good friends from school, and also spend time with my roommate.

I also cooked myself a really great meal. So great, in fact, that I’m going to give you all the details to making a balanced, gluten free meal for one in 15 minutes.

As labeled in the photo, this meal contains all five food groups! Starch and grains, fruit and veg, protein, dairy, and dessert. The dessert is actually relatively healthy — see my post from Feb. 24th for the details.This meal was so easy to put together. I rubbed my tilapia with approx. a  teaspoon of melted (homemade) butter then covered it with blackening seasoning. My tilapia took about 13 minutes at 425. Once the tilapia was in the oven, I got my cucumber and orange ready. With 8 minutes left in the time I boiled my water for my minute rice and let it sit. With 2 minutes left I cooked my beans (in the microwave). I pulled out the fish at 13 minutes, and got everything else on the plate as it cooled just a bit. I poured my milk, placed my fish and dinner was ready!

Easy and delicious, in under 15 minutes, not to mention super healthy and a meal any mom would be proud of. (And, yes, I do usually eat like this, minus the dessert. Tonight I treated myself.)

Now my roommate and I are going to watch the movie that she thought we were going to watch last night… I guess school work will just have to wait until tomorrow!

~Amber Joy

Being a homemaker… or just really liking making my own food.

If I would spend all of my time in the kitchen, I would. I love making my own food. Today I had fun with two new recipes.

First, I made the easiest coconut chocolate pie ever. Martha Stewart certainly knows her way around the kitchen. It has just four ingredients – coconut, butter, dark chocolate, and heavy cream. Put those together in the right way, following the directions here – and you get this:

Pie that tastes like a mounds bar, but without all the extra sugar. Delish.

After I made my pie, I was left with 8 ounces of heavy cream. Then I remembered this post on 2 little hooligans – – how to make your own butter! So, after 50 minutes of shaking, I got this:

Fresh (except not fresh from the cow) butter! Amazing! I definitely doubted the process around minute 40, but decided to wait until I hit an hour to give up. Minute 50 rolled around and magic happened before my eyes. My arms may or may not be sore.

So much fun! I hope you have some adventures in the kitchen soon.

~Amber Joy

A Saturday worth anticipating.

Today was a wonderful day!

It began with completing my readings for Tuesday and Thursday. Normally I just do Tuesday’s over the weekend, but I overachieved today.

After I read I made some of my favorite cookies – Gluten Free, Sugar Free Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies

All you need is:

3 ripe bananas, smashed
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups quick cook oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix all of the ingredients, then let sit for 5-10 minutes to let the oats absorb the liquids.

Drop tablespoons onto a cookie sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 325. The bottoms should begin to brown, and they should appear something like this:

These cookies are so good, and so healthy! Perfect.

Once the kitchen was cleaned up, I ate some lunch, then headed out to get my hair cut. I decided yesterday I was ready for it to be short again, so I made an appointment and here are the results:

Goodbye 8 inches! Hello, short hair! Don’t worry, I’ve had this cut before, I know it’s easy and cute. I’m pretty proud of my outfit (minus the slippers) too!

After my haircut I emailed the UN, in both English and Spanish. My brain got a work out, that’s for sure. (I’m trying to get some more research for my international human rights class).

Rather than spending the evening alone, studying, I changed it up.

One of my friends who goes to undergrad here decided we should do dinner and then a concert.

For dinner I chose Texas Roadhouse, because I had never been.

Here’s my obligatory first time eating this picture of the Road Kill Steak:

Steak with sauteed onions and melted cheese, paired with a baked potato and steamed veggies – YUM.

My final event of the evening was the Casting Crowns concert at Liberty.

To my surprise, the openers were AMAZING.

Lindsey McCaul (

Royal Tailor (

Matthew West (

Casting Crowns was about 1000 times better than I had hoped for. SO GOOD. (

I was dumb enough to not bring my camera, so was stuck capturing the thing with my phone. Here’s my best shot:

This was after intermission when Casting Crowns did an acoustic set. Oh, so wonderful.

I realized that I need to start listening to their new music. This song was my favorite of the whole night:

The concert was 3 1/2 hours long. My ears are still ringing, but it was more than worth it.

I think this day will give me fuel for a while. It was such a great day, filled with amazing experiences!

I hope you had a wonderful Saturday as well!

~Amber Henry

PS – The weather forecast is still calling for snow tomorrow! Possibly 5-7 inches by Monday morning!