Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower with Mizithra Cheese


The first time I had Mizithra cheese was at a restaurant in Oregon (eons ago).  I believe I was in high school and they served it over broccoli with brown butter and this cheese.

I fell in love immediately with it.

Since this first experience, I have traveled and moved often. We don't always find this cheese with every move-- but-- I did last week while my sister was in town.

Whole Foods has this small basket of remnant cheese ends for a great price.  I like trying out new cheeses and this is a great way to experiment with new flavors without spending a small fortune.  They will run between $2 and $4 dollars.

I believe we both reached for the cheese when we saw the beginning few letters on the packaging.  We both knew immediately what it was.   Our faces broke out in grins a mile wide.

Happy bellies were on our horizon.

The problem was that we already had so much food in the fridge that we never got around to making it while she was here.

Darn it!

The purple cauliflower would not last long so I roasted it the next day, used the left over browned butter from our raviolis and blanketed a thick layer of grated Mizithra cheese over the top.

My mouth and belly did a happy dance.

This recipe is so simple but the flavors are amazing and so I wanted to share it.  Purple cauliflower is not necessary but it does make for a beautiful dish.

My sister will have to do with a few pictures or venture out on her own and make it for her family.  I hope she does the later because it is well worth the culinary experience.

ENJOY!


Roasted Cauliflower with Mizithra Cheese

1 head of cabbage, any color
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 stick of salted butter, softened
small chunk of Mizithra cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Prepare cauliflower by washing and cutting the crown into pieces.  In a bowl, toss the salt, pepper and olive oil to coat the cut pieces.

3.  Spread on a cookie sheet and roast for 30-45 minutes.  I cooked mine longer because I like the little browned edges of the cauliflower.  It adds texture to every bite.  Every oven is different so start checking for color and doneness at 30 minutes.

4.  While the cauliflower is roasting,  I will make the browned butter.  I do this by placing the softened stick into a small saute pan and turning the heat to medium high.  The butter will melt and start to foam. Then you will see it turn from a golden color to a light brown color.  It will also have a nutty aroma to it.   You must watch this the whole time because it happens quickly and you don't want it to burn. When I start to see the browned specks in the bottom of the pan I give it a stir or two and turn the heat off.  It will continue to cook a bit in the warm pan.  I will transfer it to a cool bowl if I don't use it right away. The browned butter stores nicely in the refrigerator.  When I need a spoonful I just break off a chunk and melt it in the microwave.

5.  When the cauliflower is to your liking, remove from oven and pour browned butter over the top.


6.  Add the Mizithra Cheese.



7.  Toss together and eat.  You can see that I didn't wait to put it in a bowl.  I ate it straight off of the cookie sheet.  You may want to serve it differently.  LOL


Written by Sherron Watson

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sifting Through Life: Salad Recipe, Birthdays and Life Stories



Recipe is at the very end--read through my thoughts or scroll to the bottom of the page.




My thoughts are swirling today.  A little with anxiety as Rye and I prepare to leave to go to New York City for three days-- but mostly from stories.  Stories from my life.  Stories that don't have happy endings, or are filled with perfect family dinners.  Stories of sadness.  Stories that shaped me into the person that I am today.  Stories of joy and triumph as I have overcome pain and hurt.  I have untold stories that I feel are buried within myself.

I am constantly questioning myself with what to do with these stories.

What should I share?  Is it worth sharing?  Will it help someone?  Will it hurt someone?

I recently read that you should write the stories that you know.  I believe this is a true statement.  I started this blog so that my kids would have a story of our life, my life.  But reading my blog, there are holes.  Holes in my story.


Some stories I don't know if I have the heart to share: abuse from an uncle, betrayal from friends, depression and anxiety related to my past, losing a home, leaving a church and losing family and friends.  I have worked hard to bury myself into the life that I have now. The protective shell that I have placed my heart safely in seems to explode when the memories of the past all come rushing back.  I know that it would be therapeutic to write it all out, to purge my thoughts and feelings.  It seems that it takes one spark to trigger a chain of pain which takes me a few days to recover from.  The pain that only I see, all the while, wearing a smile.

I wear this smile because my kids and husband bring me joy and they deserve a happy life and family. My life is blessed beyond belief and it has been for some time .   As often as I think about the hardships that I have endured, I am also reflecting on the unquenchable love that I experience daily.    I often sit at home and watch my kids.

My birthday was yesterday and gave me cause to reflect and ponder things.  I spent the day with my family opening gifts, playing games and feeling loved. We started the day off deciding on breakfast.  They wanted pancakes and I wanted bacon. We compromised and had both.  In my current home our dinning room is attached to our living room.  I sat on my couch,  holding Finnley,  and watched my kids eat.  The joy that I felt was large enough to fill the room.  I sat and watched them as they interacted with each other and how happy they were.  How kind they were to each other.


Happy kids.

Safe kids.

Loved kids.

Respected kids.

Yesterday was the best birthday that I have had in a long time.  Not because of the gifts I received but because of the messages that I read.  Putting into words what I felt yesterday is a difficult task because the emotion was so raw and left me vulnerable.

A day that I almost  robbed myself of experiencing.

A few weeks ago, I gathered everyone together to discuss the upcoming holidays: my birthday, our anniversary and Mother's Day. All three of these take place over the course of one month.  I find it excessive for them to buy gifts and to celebrate three different events.  It is uncomfortable for me to be the center of attention.  I find myself overwhelmed with the idea of too much celebration when it comes to myself.

I explained that I was too old to celebrate birthdays anymore and that I really only wanted Mother's Day to be celebrated.  I wanted one day and not three.  By the time Mother's Day comes around everyone is burnt out and it leaves me feeling sad because I value my role as their mother.  I guess I want to feel special on that day.  I am sure it is me projecting onto them how much I disliked Mother's Day for various reasons throughout the years of my youth and adulthood.  I didn't want them to have the same feelings when it came time for them to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.

Cory took me to lunch yesterday, as we were driving in the car,  I expressed how happy I was.  I was feeling complete.  Being a parent has taught me many things about myself.  I expressed a sense of joy that I could not have imagined.  The feeling was love, pride, pure joy, accomplishment, success and gratitude all rolled into this glow of parenting perfection.

Not because I am the perfect parent--hardly! I can provide you with a list of people that can back that statement up... (insert wink-y smiley face from the cutest kitten on earth). 

For the simple reason that my kids had nice things to say about me.  I know that they love me but I finally felt that love emulated in their actions.  I saw a maturity in them that took me years to develop as an adult.   I grew up with shallow words, unkind comments and name calling sprinkled with words of kindness and niceties. These words were followed by actions that did not always emulate the words spoken. As a child,  I was seeking approval and acceptance through my actions only to see they were met with dissatisfied words.   For this reason, I am a strong believer in the phrase, "actions speak louder than words".    I heard "I love you" a lot from people in my life as a young kid and teenager but those words felt empty to me because I felt the actions did not embrace the phrase.  Words thrown around loosely.

My kids actions yesterday had my motherly heart strings on high alert.  It all started the night before with a trip to the store with Dad.  With baby in tow,  they all ventured out to the shopping center to find the perfect gift for my birthday.

Action #1.  They listened.  My kids bought me a pestle and mortar.  I have been wanting one of these for some time.  I received a beautiful apron that I had spotted last week while out with Rye.  She remembered.  Isabella always buys me a balloon and a bouquet of  flowers.  They were beautiful.

Action #2.   They found a card.  In the past Cory and I have often bought the cards for the kids to give to each other and so the thoughts that are written within the cards are reflective of what myself or Cory think.  This time they did the card selecting.  When I read the words that were written in the card I saw my two oldest kids as maturing adults.  I felt valued because they didn't pick a funny card.  It was a card that made me smile and think,  "we did something right".

Action #3.   They shared their talents with me.  Rye created this very cool printout of a plate of macaroons.  I will admit when I first saw the printout I loved it because we share a love for macaroons. I thought that it was a piece of clip art that she had found and created a card with it.  To my surprise, as I was making the pancakes, Cory mentioned that Rye drew the picture herself this week.   Well, that was a game changer.  I immediately ran over to the picture and admired my daughters art work.  She said to me that on her birthday I made her macaroons and she did the same for me, with a picture. Anytime my kids share their talent with me my heart explodes.  Drake made me a video last year that I treasure.  Isabella wrote me a very special note that I tucked away in my wallet for safe keeping among the many pieces of artwork that she shares with me each week.

My kids actions yesterday were the best gift that they could have given to me.  They shared with me their thoughts and feelings.   They have no idea of the encircling bond that their actions have had on me.  I don't imagine they will until they have kids of their own.

I can't seem to let go of the past on some days.  It just all comes haunting back in full force.  I am trying to let go.  I am hoping to break the cycle.  The cycle of a dysfunctional family tree.  I want my kids to know how lucky, how protected and how safe their lives have been.

I probably try too hard.  I am sure they will remember me as a bit neurotic about family traditions, family dinners and family vacations.  In a way I feel my family slipping away as my older kids get older and they are becoming independent.  Isn't this what we want?  Isn't this what is supposed to happen? Our family is about to change.  Rye and Drake will both be leaving our home in the next few years to seek after more education and to find their own path and journey in life.

The little kids will keep me busy-- but, damn I am going to miss the two older ones!

This birthday was special because it opened my eyes to the fact that my kids will have good stories to share with their own families.  The words and actions that Cory and I have shared with them, I hope, will provide them with the necessary skills to succeed in this life.

46 years has gone by way too fast.  I want these next few years to slow down.

I just cried a river of tears putting this into words.  Cory must think I am getting soft in my old age as I read it to him.

I don't believe I am getting soft; probably older and more aware of the fact that life is too short to keep it all inside.  I think I am finding wisdom in letting my guard down a bit more than I used to.

It  is not as scary as I thought it would be--this birthday and sharing a bit more of my story.



Citrus and Avocado Salad

Makes 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes

2 cups of baby Arugula, washed 
1 small grapefruit, peeled and sliced
1 medium orange, peeled and sliced
1 avocado, halved and sliced
1 slice of red onion
1/2 cup sweet pea pods
Toasted sesame seeds
Fresh herbs (optional)

Toasted Sesame Seed Salad dressing 

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
a few drops of toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of honey
salt and pepper


1.  Arrange grapefruit and orange slices around the edge of your plate.

2.  In a small bowl, toss together onion, avocado, sweet pea pods and any fresh herbs that you wish to use.  I used a few leaves of fresh mint.

3.  Fill the center of the citrus ring with the salad mixture. 

4.  Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on salad.

5.  Serve with Toasted Sesame Seed salad dressing.

6.  For salad dressing I combined grapefruit juice, orange juice, a few drops of toasted sesame oil, olive oil, honey and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Whisk together and pour over salad.

Written by Sherron

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Sheet Cake



Today is my birthday.  I can't believe I am sitting here as a 46 year old woman.

I remember thinking as a teenager that 46 was old, and yet here I am.  I don't think of myself as old or ancient (my teenagers like that word).  Although I also never saw myself at this age having a baby--LOL  Maybe that is the secret to staying young--more kids.

46 years has taught me a few things.  They are:

1.  Don't give up.


2.  Love.

3.  Smile.

4.  Be yourself.

5.  Value others.

6.  Apologize often.

7.  Time does heal most things.

8.   Accept others for who they are.

9.   Do what you love for work.

10.  Laugh often.

This list is not complete by any means but I would say these ten items are what I focus on the most.  It has been a great ride and I look forward to the next 46 years.

But this post is about the cake that I made for my husbands 47th birthday last year.  He loves a good chocolate sheet cake and so I have ventured out and made a gluten free version.   I used a family recipe that I had on file.  I am pretty sure it is the same chocolate sheet cake that every grandma and great grandma has handwritten in some shoe box stored in the pantry.

It is by far our favorite cake that I make.




A good birthday is not complete until we have attacked his office with a ton of streamers, balloons and confetti.  Oh, the fun this brings the kids.

Oh, who am I kidding--I do it for me.  I love a good party filled with messy rooms.

 Don't believe me?  Ask my kids.

They are still finding confetti from every holiday we have had for the past three years.



Gluten Free Chocolate Sheet Cake

Cake:

1 cup fine white rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour (tapioca starch is the same thing)
1/3 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 cups of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter
4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
1 cup of boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

*To make the cake with regular flour, omit the first 4 ingredients and substitute with 2 cups of all purpose flour.




Icing:

1 3/4 sticks of butter
6 tablespoons milk
4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb bag or box of powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)



1.  Preheat oven to 350. Spray pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine in a mixing bowl the three flours, xanthan gum, sugar and salt. Set aside.

3. In a medium size saucepan, over medium high heat, melt butter and cocoa. Stir together. Add 1 cup boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds. Turn off heat. 

4. In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk together. 5. Add dry ingredients (step 2) to warm cocoa mixture (step 3). Blend well. Add buttermilk mixture (step 4). Stir to combine ingredients.

6. Pour into 9X13 sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. While cake is baking, make the icing:

1. Melt 1 3/4 sticks butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine. Turn off heat.

2. Add milk and vanilla. Stir well.  

3. Add powdered sugar. Stir together. 

4. Pour over warm cake and smooth out.

Serve warm. Cover leftover cake with plastic wrap.
Written by Sherron Watson







Monday, April 7, 2014

Boneless Leg of Lamb




Lamb or ham?  That is the question at our house for Easter dinner.

I grew up eating lamb and ham for our Easter dinners until I was a teenager. The grown-ups always wanted the lamb but after a while my grandmother stopped making it because most of it would go to waste.  I kind of missed it because I really enjoyed the flavor of lamb.

I have been in a similar pattern with my own family.  They ask for it and then they don't eat it.  I would make both and watch as the lamb would go untouched but for a few slices on my plate.  When asked the family always says lamb and ham.

I think they said that because it rhymed and it has been our traditional dinner for years.

This year we are more than likely going to stick with just ham--again. 

BUT--I love lamb and decided that I would make something for our dinner this past month that I liked and enjoyed.  I bought a small boneless leg of lamb and watched as every slice disappeared from the table.  Not on one occasion but two.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED? That was strange.  The kids loved it.  That was the first time.

The second time was last week while my sister was visiting. 

I was greeted with, "oh, I don't like lamb" right before dinner was to go into the oven.

I proceeded to make the sauce to coat the lamb with and explained that I doubt she had ever tasted lamb like this.   She was willing to give it another try and she was pleasantly surprised that the flavor of the lamb was mild and the coating of herbs and sauce tasted delicious.

I served it with mint jelly and we had two slices left.  

I can't prove this but I have a feeling that the "leg" or the bone was throwing my family off.  I wonder if having the bone in the lamb made the flavor profile too strong for their young palettes?  I believe by removing the bone it helped with the look and possibly the flavor too.   Let me know if you have any experience with this thought.

I am pleasantly surprised that I have been able to add a new meat to our menu.  I get kind of tired of beef and chicken to be honest.

ENJOY!




Boneless Leg of Lamb

5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 lemon, juice only
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt, add more to taste
fresh ground pepper
3-4 pound boneless leg of lamb, rolled and tied
Mint jelly--optional

**extra oven twine to retie lamb if you wish to unroll meat and add sauce to the inside and reroll.

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Prepare sauce by combining the first 7 ingredients in a bowl.

3.  I chose to cut and untie my roast.  I smeared the sauce all of the inside of the lamb and re-rolled the roast with new oven twine.  Place the roast in a baking dish and add the remaining sauce to the outside. See picture above.

4.  Roast in oven for 60-70 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer.  This will help you to get the exact doneness of your lamb.  We like ours to be pink on the inside, 135 degrees is preferred for us.

5.  Let roast rest for 15 minutes then slice the roast to 1/4 inch thickness and return to roasting pan.  All of the juices and marinade will cook together. The two together make a wonderful sauce that the slices will be coated in when you return the slices to the roasting dish.

6.  Serve with mint jelly.

Written by Sherron Watson









Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Homemade Hummus




Hummus is something we always have in our refrigerator. My teenagers love it.

I have played around with a variety of flavor profiles but they always come back to the plain version. I think they enjoy the simple flavors of this tasty dip.

Carrots seem to be the dipping stick of choice in our home but certainly try your favorite veggie or cracker too.

Enjoy!



Homemade Hummus
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes

1 15.5 oz can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini paste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 lemon, juice only
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

1.  Using a high powered blender or food processor add beans, tahini paste, garlic, broth, lemon juice and all of the spices.

2.  Pulse or blend until thick and creamy.

3.  Slowly add olive oil until the desired consistency is achieved.

4.  Season according to your flavor profile: more salt, more tahini, etc...

5.  Serve with pita chips or prepared vegetables.

As an added topping you can sprinkle toasted pine nuts, drizzle the top with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite herb, etc... or just eat it plain with your favorite cracker or veggie.

Written by Sherron Watson

Monday, March 24, 2014

Enchilada Dip



My kids ask for enchiladas about once a week.  They love the combination of corn tortillas and cheese layered with lots of red sauce.

I have seen versions of this dip around and decided that it may be a bit easier than making a couple of trays of enchiladas--especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  On those two days I am usually running kids from 4:30 until 8:00.  I try to make meals in the morning so that those that are home can reheat and eat at their convenience.  I miss eating together but busy families do what we have to do to get everyone fed and out the door.

I was correct.  It was much faster to whip this up.  I served the dip with corn tortilla chips.

I found that I could portion up the leftovers in small containers. This made for a great snack after school.



Beef Enchilada Dip with Green Chilies and Black Beans

1 pound of ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced small
2 gloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of enchilada sauce (I make my own sauce--follow link)
2 cups of cheese, grated  (I used jack and mozzarella--but you can use any cheese you love)
1 small can (4.5 oz) diced green chilies
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 bag of tortilla chips

toppings:

diced tomatoes (optional)
avocado chunks (optional)
green onion (optional)
black olives (optional)
sour cream (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a large frying pan, cook meat and onions together until the meat is no longer pink.  Add garlic, cook another 3-5 minutes and remove from heat.  Drain any fat from the meat.

3.  Add black beans, chilies and 1 cup of cheese to meat mixture.  Combine well.  Transfer mixture to a baking dish.  I am using a round stone dish that makes the dip about 1 inch thick.

4.  Pour the enchilada sauce over the meat/cheese mixture.  The recipe says 2 cups but you can always use less if you prefer your dip not so runny.

5.  Top with remaining one cup of cheese  (add more if you want more)  I like lots of cheese so we usually add a bit more.  I also use what I have in the fridge.  This is a great way to use up small pieces of cheese.

6.  Heat in oven until cheese is melted.  In my oven this takes about 7 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve.

7.  While the cheese is melting, prepare your toppings.

Written by Sherron Watson











Friday, March 21, 2014

Sifting Through Life: Tears of Joy (Rosacea Diagnosis)

Finnley and I on a walk.  When ever my picture is taken my nose is bright red.  I always try to edit this in photoshop but it is hard to do with every picture.

Yesterday I sat in the office of Dr. Ellen, who is my dermatologist, and cried.

At first I was stunned with her diagnosis, followed by anger and then joy. This is when the tears slowly started to fall.  One by one I wiped them away a bit embarrassed.  I kept apologizing for being in such an emotional state.  She was kind and gentle and probably had no idea why I would react to being told I had rosacea.

Truly the tears that were falling were indeed tears of joy.

I have been on a journey the last four years that has left me confused, frustrated, searching for answers, crying, angry, and at times, even embarrassed to leave my house.  Embarrassed to take my daughter to her gymnastics class for fear of what others would think of my red face, blistering cheeks and my chin throbbing with little red veins.  My face literally hurting and swollen and there wasn't any amount of makeup that could cover up what I was experiencing on a bad day.

To give you a bit of back story--

In April of 2011 I became very ill.  I learned that I had a lump in my breast that needed to be addressed along with being told I had Celiac Disease.  The months leading up to April I spent researching and trying to find out what was wrong and why I was slowly going downhill with my health.   Of noted concern was the redness, swelling, veins and blotchiness on my face.  I was convinced at that time I was suffering from Rosacea and visited a dermatologist in Park City, UT.

This doctor spent less than 3 minutes in the room with me and said I was suffering from sun damage.

He left.  The end.

That was four years ago.

Isabella and I.  Another way I would try to cover up the red is by applying fun filters to the images.  It usually washes my face out enough that the red is not visible.

Now do you see why I was a bit angry yesterday?  For four years I have been under the impression that all of my symptoms with my face were directly related to the Celiac diagnosis of which I am starting to have my doubts about too.   The reason I am doubting this is because some of the same triggers for rosacea (food intolerances) are the same with celiac.  Over the last 3 months I have been doing my own evaluations at home with certain types of food.  I have been listening to my body and noting the reactions and non reactions.  This has included eating wheat.

My family knows immediately when I start to react to anything I eat--my face turns bright red.  I have set off a trigger that is causing my skin to become inflamed.  Triggers are associated with Rosacea.   The amazing thing is that there were times when I ate something with wheat and never reacted--nothing!  Yet, other times my face would sting and small nodules would erupt on my cheeks instantly.

When I was pregnant with Finnley I often found myself starving.  Salads just weren't cutting it and so I started eating a sandwich here, some homemade pasta once in a while, and occasionally a slice of pizza.

 I felt so guilty doing this.  I felt like a hypocrite.  How could I write a blog filled with gluten free recipes and eat wheat (gluten)?

Drake and I on my birthday last year.  The flash caught the red again on my nose and chin.  I wear makeup that covers the red most of the time but it is not a great protection from camera flash.

So I made a decision.

I would eat wheat on rare occasions, keep a record and go and get tested again.  Something was not adding up.  The doctor that did the original blood work called me the day after my test in April of 2011, told me his diagnosis and we never talked again.  Everything that I have learned along the way I have learned through blogs, books, and friends.   I did seek the counsel of a gastroenterologist.  At the time I was gluten free for four months and feeling really good.  He mentioned that in order for the endoscopy to be performed that I would need to start eating wheat again.  His recommendation was that I just stop eating wheat because if it was working for me then there was no need to do any further testing.

Was I naive?  Yes.  I was overwhelmed with the initial diagnosis.  I was seeking for any type of explanation as to why I was not feeling well.  I was willing to listen to his advice.  What I should have done was seek out a second opinion.  I should have asked more questions.


While pregnant with Finnley I had outbreaks with my face.  I could go a few weeks with perfectly clear skin and then wake up with a reaction.  Some reactions were mild but others were quite obvious. What was the most confusing was during most of this time I was gluten free but still having the reactions with my face.  I never had the bowel problems or stomach bloating that is common with a Celiac diagnosis.

I became determined to figure out what was going on, again.  I had to listen to that small voice that kept having doubts.

I don't mind living a gluten free lifestyle but if I don't have to follow such strict guidelines, then I don't want to.  That is the honest truth.  My kids have been patient with me and they eat what I make but it is not always met with glee.   In fact they miss their favorite foods.

Rye and I.   Again my red chin is very visible but I did manage to edit the rest of my complexion so that I was not bright red through my cheeks and nose.  I use a smoothing brush (like magazines use).
In order for me to be reevaluated for Celiac Disease I need to be eating wheat.  It must be in your system so that the blood test can detect the necessary levels.  I am not a doctor and don't want to get too technical here so I am talking in very simple terms.

What did I learn?  First, that I didn't react when I ate wheat, specifically sourdough bread.  Not all sourdough breads are created equal and so I had to find the brand that worked for me.  Even more specifically I have been using Organic Sprouted Wheat, Jovial Wheat (Italian company) and Spelt (an alternative to wheat). I have also been making everything at home from scratch.  I could eat a donut and not react.  A hamburger and not react.  A slice of pizza and REACT.

What was it about the pizza that caused a trigger?  Red sauce and bell peppers.  I am extremely intolerant of bell peppers and tomatoes.  Not the crust-but what I was adding to the pizza.

I made eggs and added ham, onion, mushrooms and bell pepper (I have done this for years) and reacted.  I immediately thought I was allergic to eggs--it was the bell peppers.

Same thing with bananas.  I react every time I eat a banana.   All three of these things are food triggers for rosacea.  Now what is interesting is that I was already shying away from these foods before I started focusing on these foods as possible problems in my diet.  I don't like red sauce on my pizza and would ask for a white sauce.  I decided to eat my scrambled eggs plain.  I quit snacking on bananas.

Thankfully this guy loves me no matter what color my nose and chin are.  He always finds the sweetest things to say when I am having some of my worst days with rosacea.

My affiliation with food is becoming rocky again.  I am frustrated. On the bright side, it is not all food related.  The triggers for rosacea have many faces.  For this reason, I will be paying more attention to my reactions.

Is the weather a factor?

Am I feeling stress and anxiety?

Did exercising cause a trigger?

Is the makeup I am using causing a reaction?

This journey has led me down many paths and here I am again, seeking and searching for answers.  I feel that I am getting closer to finding out what is going on and this diagnosis makes sense to me.  I started using the gel that Dr. Ellen has prescribed and I am noticing a huge difference already.  The pill that I take each day will keep it under control.

I have been using this sight to help answer the many questions that I have had about rosacea.  It is the National Society of Rosacea.

Do I have Celiac disease?  I don't know.  This is another honest answer.  My hope is that I can be retested in a few months and then make a decision about the future of the recipes on my blog.  I know that I will continue to post recipes that are gluten free naturally.  I believe there is a great benefit to limiting the amount of wheat in our diets and this will still be a focus for the blog but I may go back to posting a variety of recipes that represent both gluten free and regular dishes.

Please be patient with me as I try and figure a few things out.  I am sharing this because I know that I am not the only one who is feeling frustrated about their situation.  I don't believe I am the only one that has possibly been given the wrong diagnosis.  I know, from chatting with friends, that I am also not the only one frustrated at times with symptoms and reactions.

I went to the doctor yesterday for a mole.  I felt compelled to discuss the rest and I am so glad that I did.

By the way, the mole is fine.

Just a little mole-y!













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