Gluten Free, Life

Made this a while ago…

I was going to post this long ago. It was something that I decided I was going to make one night. Simple shrimp and creamy tomato sauce. All you need are your favorite form of pasta. Though after my most recent blog you know not to expect a lot of pasta after what recently happened to me. Anyway, in addition to the pasta find your favorite tomato sauce/or make your own and your favorite alfredo sauce. If you’re gluten free make sure you check the labels very carefully on the alfredo sauce. After you have found the two different sauces you need then find whatever size shrimp you like. I tend to go towards the medium sized shrimp that are already peeled and deveined. You can buy the ones that have the tales left on as this is easy to remove once you thaw shrimp out.

Side note: Once you thaw shrimp you should cook them right away. It’s not good to keep thawing and re-thawing shrimp. Or make sure you only pull out of the bag just the amount you want thawed and instantly return the rest back into the freezer. Also, remember this shrimp cook EXTREMELY fast so medium heat is best and keep an eye on them. If they start to form something that looks closer to a circle than a letter c they are overcooking.

Step One: Boil the water for your pasta and add a dash of salt for a little flavor to the noodles. I tend to cook mine only for about 8 to 10 minutes in boiling water so they come out more al-dente. If you like them on the softer side leave them in for just a few minutes more than that. You don’t want to over cook the noodles either.

Step Two: Once the noodles are done drain them and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once you’ve done that time to pull out your sauces and get those into a pan.

Step Three: You want to start out with the cream sauce first. Then pour in your tomato sauce. Be careful to make sure you get the right balance that you get a nice tomato cream sauce going on. You don’t want it to taste too much like tomato sauce or too much like cream sauce. That’s the trick is getting the mix just right that it taste perfectly creamy with a hint of tomato sauce. When it comes to tomato sauce a little bit goes a long way in this case because it is such a powerful flavor.

Once everything is all combined it should look like this. A nice light pink creamy color and that means that it’s mixed just right

Step Four: Take the noodles that you had drained and rinsed and pour them into the sauce. Mix that all up and leave it on low heat to make sure the noodles are warmed up enough for you to eat them. No one likes cold pasta when they are expecting it to be warm.

Step Five: Take the shrimp that you cooked and pour that into the pot as well. Heat everything together for a few minutes until everything is evenly heated and up to the temperature you want it to. Be sure not to turn the heat up too high because you don’t want to cook the shrimp all over again. You just want to warm them up a bit so you can eat them.

That’s it…that’s all you need to make the dish.

When all is said and done it should look like this
Life

What do you do?

What do you do when you come home from work and feel so alone you just want to cry? Do you pull out a book and start reading? Do you put on one of your favorite go to movies? Do you go in the kitchen and find anything that you know is bad for you but will make you feel good? That last one I used to do that a lot. So much so that now I’m in a whole new health problem of a world. On top of being gluten free I now have to alter my diet again.

So yeah I now feel like why me? Why does shit always happen to me. Just when I start to get some sort of positivity and hope back in my life something else comes along to set it back. I had to be in the hospital on Tuesday because I was in so much pain and vomiting (sorry it’s gross) that I couldn’t stand it anymore. So now I also have hospital bills to stress out over. The end result. It was my gallbladder. I have what is called biliary sludge. That caused me to have the pain and what I ate that day a few hours before caused my gallbladder to make me sick.

So I have to go on a low fat diet and have a follow up with a doctor to talk about where I’m at and how I’m feeling. They said it could be a one time thing or it could occur again so it’s best to make the diet adjustment now. The upside is that there are options out there to eating a fat free/low fat diet. More veggies is a must and less dairy. Though we need a little dairy to survive so that is why they make fat free or skim milk for those that need it. Now it takes even more of an effort for me to plan what I’m going to eat.

So now you will see more low fat and gluten free options on my blog. The good side is low fat and getting back to the gym should help me lose the weight I really want to lose. Now back to my Christmas movies because when I’m sad that’s what I watch even though they tend to just make me more sad.

Gluten Free, Life

Melting Pot of Pasta

Time to post another yummy meal that I was able to make. This time I had some help making it from my 4 year old nephew. However, as this is a public space I will not be posting any photographs of him. I call it the melting pot of pasta because that’s what it really is. It’s a melting pot of different things.

So to make this dish if you want to do it the same way I did you will need the following:

  1. Red Potatos
  2. Gluten Free Pasta or regular if you don’t need the GF
  3. Sweet Italian Sausage
  4. Tomato sauce of your choice or get creative and use homemade sauce if you have the time to make it
  5. Garlic powder or fresh garlic your choice
  6. bay leaf
  7. basil
  8. rosemary
  9. parsley
  10. crushed red pepper flakes
  11. broccoli
    Spice Bottles
    These are the spices used for the dish

    Now when it comes to the broccoli what I like to do because I find that it really brings out a lot of flavor is roast the broccoli. Take out a baking sheet and spread the broccoli out. Sprinkle the broccoli with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. If you want to add even more flavor you can absolutely and I recommend it if you want to add Parmesan to this as well. It goes into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. That is just the right amount of time to roast the broccoli perfectly.

    Broccoli

    While the broccoli is roasting I suggest you get started on the rest of the meal. The sausage is going to take you a good ten minutes depending on how many people you are trying to serve to get it done right. While you are doing the meat don’t be afraid to get that pasta water going because the noodles are going to take 10 minutes to get cooked right. Don’t forget when it comes to your noodles to add the salt to the water to add some flavor to the pasta noodles.

    The potatoes that’s another ball game in itself. They have to also be boiled and then at the very end quickly pan fried to be added to the dish. I don’t suggest combining everything with sauce at the end because this dish can be done with red sauce or if you just want to do a simple butter or olive oil sauce it would taste good that way as well.

    Dinner 1
    I suggest mixing the sausage, potatoes, and noodles all together without sauce. Let everyone decide on the sauce.

    Now when it comes to sauce. If you follow my blog you know that I don’t just make plain Jane tomato sauce. Even if I do it store bought I always add spices and things to the sauce. The spices I listed at the beginning are what I add into my tomato sauce when I make it for my pasta dishes. That is if I’m not doing it homemade, that is an entirely different ballgame.

    Spices
    The spices in the sauce before it’s mixed together.

    When serving make sure to have the main mixture in a separate bowl. Then have different sauces depending on your crowd in separate dishes for them to be able to choose which one they want to put on the pasta. This is just an example of the dish on a plate that we had when I was down visiting my family.

    Dinner Plate.jpg
    Doesn’t it look delicious? 

    The reason I call this a melting pot is because you can add anything you want really into this dish. The only thing I don’t suggest doing is adding broccoli into it. The broccoli is made to just be that little extra side dish to accompany the pasta dish. It’s not meant to be part of the main dish itself.

    All the photos in this post are credit to my sister in law who I am very lucky supports my love of doing this blog and posting about my food that I cook. Thanks Nikki!

    I hope that if you try to make this dish at home you have as much fun as I did making it and the people you make it for enjoy it as much as my family did when I made it for them.

Celebrities, Music

Look what you made us do Taylor…

“There will be no further explanation. There will only be reputation” Those are the words at the end of the introduction Taylor Swift wrote for her album inserts that coincide with her album.

The introduction in itself is something beautiful and insightful into what this young woman has been through. She uses what she’s been through to give advice to others. As we all do. I don’t own her words as they are her own.

Your reputation is something precious to you. It is something that all of us worry about. It’s something that growing up going through school age we all worried about. We are a society that is known to put emphasis on what people think of us. We use our social media platforms to show what we want people to see of our lives to help mold a reputation of ourselves. We only post the good things because we don’t want people to see the bad things. The bad things are what could destroy our reputations. The bad things are the things that will make people think twice about wanting to get know us.

This entire album is addressing that mindset. It’s about setting the record straight from her point of view. It’s about saying don’t listen to the rumors that are out there because you don’t know the facts. This album is extremely personal to her and if you really listen to the words you will understand that. This album was years in the making and now we know why she’s been very secretive and protective of her personal life. She does not want her personal life out there anymore for people to build off of it.

When I first listened to 1989 I honestly thought that was my favorite album ever that Taylor had done but Reputation is by far my favorite album. This is the most relatable album that she’s ever made. It is the most emotional album she’s ever made. I’m not saying her other album’s didn’t come with their fair share of emotion because they did but none compares to this album. This album is full of every emotion that you can imagine going through. The lyrics are just so well written and so good that it’s hard to ignore the talent that Taylor has just for song writing. This album she clearly challenges herself vocally as well and that really impresses me.

If you are a fan of Taylor Swift you should pick up a copy of this one and I promise you won’t regret it.

Life

Disney trips

I read a blog recently and it was very condescending against adults who enjoy Disney World vacations. There is absolutely no need to condemn people for what they happen to enjoy. I don’t enjoy tattoos and horror movies but I don’t walk around condemning people that do. I know people that do and that’s fine. There is no law that says we all have to enjoy doing the same things. That’s what makes society interesting is that we all our different and enjoy different things.

I happen to enjoy going to Disney World and I’m lucky that I have family members that do too. As I’ve gotten older I think I appreciate it more than I did as a child. Now it’s more of a nostalgic feeling when I go to see things. It’s always changing and they’re always adding new things. In a few years there will be a Star Wars world that I can’t wait to go to.

This year I got to go with just my sister in law and we went through three different parks that day. We were there all day until after midnight and it was amazing. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing the castle lit up at night.

To the person who said Disney is almost for children. Let me tell you something about what I saw when I was at the park. There were more groups of just adults that were at the park than you would believe. Of course there were families because part of the joy is seeing how the kids faces light up. We saw multiple sets of bachelorette groups there. We saw a couple that was spending their honeymoon there. Disney is not just for kids and it is absolutely ridiculous to think that adults can’t just go and enjoy it to. Why do you think they now serve alcohol in every park except Magic Kingdom? Because they want to cater to the adults that visit too.

I had a great day at Disney but I don’t share extremely personal photos on a public blog.

Celebrities, Movies

Justice League…my thoughts

SPOILERS AHEAD PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!

So the other night I went to go see Justice League with my nephew because I had promised that on this vacation I would go to that movie with him. We are all big Marvel and DC people so it’s something we all enjoy talking about and going to see together. I will admit that I am a HUGE Marvel fan so you may see this review as biased but I’m trying to make it as unbiased as possible. I am also a big lover of Batman and Wonder Woman so please don’t think I completely dislike the DC universe. I just never got as into DC as I did Marvel. With that being said I’m going to start off by going through the main characters that are in the film and what I thought as honest as possible.

Batman: As I stated at the beginning of this post I am a Batman fan. By that I mean I have literally seen every single Batman movie that has been put out. That means I’ve seen all of the actors that have played the beloved character in live action films. I maintain that besides Michael Keaton the next best Batman portrayal was when he was played by Christian Bale. I will admit I like everyone else was very skeptical when I heard that Ben Affleck was going to be playing this character. My initial thought was that he was a bit old for the character. That thought remains true in my mind. I understand though that this version of Batman appears to be older and that is part of the character. Amidst rumors that they are replacing him, that does not surprise me. However, now that this was his third outing I did not completely hate him as Batman. I think he just needed to grow into the character. I was a little less against it this time around but I’m still not in total agreement of the choice of actor.

Wonder Woman: Now this casting I completely agree with. I know when they first announced Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman people immediately and may I add very sexist went into she doesn’t have big enough breasts to be Wonder Woman. Why her breasts had anything to do with it is beyond me. It should be her acting ability that lands her a role not whether or not she was as chesty as Linda Carter. Gal is incredibly beautiful and she was the perfect choice for Wonder Woman. The world agreed as is apparent in the fact that she was in one of the highest grossing films of the year. I really enjoyed how this movie was kind of the way to get her out of her shell. It addressed that she has never fully moved on from Steve’s death. I enjoyed how by the end of the film she was embracing her gift and coming out into the light instead of hiding in the shadows and only coming out when it was absolutely needed to save the world.

The Flash: This character was very hard to accept. I think part of the issue is that fans of the DC universe have now for 4 seasons gotten used to one actor that was playing him and now have been introduced to an entirely new actor. Not to mention the character in the movie is very different from the character on the show. I admit I do not watch the flash so my opinion of this character is totally unbiased. I did not enjoy this character at all. I felt that they made him seem way too childish and juvenile for my taste. I understand he is supposed to kind of be the new kid in town but they could have done that without making him seem so much like a lost child. My nephew did not enjoy this character but his perspective was based off of watching the show. He knows a lot about the character and was not at all impressed with how they portrayed him in this movie.

Aquaman: I don’t know a lot about Aquaman so I don’t have anything to really compare this character to. I can say that I am only familiar with Jason Momoa because of briefly seeing him in scenes in Game of Thrones (which I do not watch only saw a few scenes of him online). This was one of the characters I actually really enjoyed in this movie. He did a good job for the role that he was given. I thought he played the character well and believable. At first I was kind of like who is this person that they picked to play this guy but then it actually worked out that he was the right fit for the role.

Cyborg: This was besides Wonder Woman my favorite character in the movie. I thought he did a great job and he really fit into the role he was given. While the chracter is obviously what his title says a cyborg. He was once human and they really captured that aspect of him in the movie. They capture his attitude about how he used to be human but also embracing what he really was towards the end of the movie. At first he was that volatile mad at my father for doing this to me kid but then at the end he embraced his “duty” to being part of the team and protecting the world from dangers.

Superman: I am from the age group that grew up with the Christopher Reeves version of superman. So yes in my eyes no one can do it as well as he did but I think that Henry Cavill has done a fantastic job the past years as this character. I have really enjoyed seeing him play this character and watching him grow into the character. That being said I found this outing to be very dull. However, I in no way blame him for that as I think it was a product of the story line and how his part was written. His character is obviously for most of the movie dead so we find out that he really did die at the end of Batman V Superman. I just felt that the way they portrayed him once he was brought back from the dead could have been more. At the beginning it made sense for him to volatile and unsure of himself but then he just became so dull compared to how he was. I know that Clark is not normally a super exciting character but the past few movies he’s at least been more exciting to watch. That being said I am still a big fan of how Henry does as Superman and I hope he continues to do so.

Summary: in summary I think this was a good attempt at making a successful movie. I have no doubt it will make a lot of money because of dedicated fans. I just think it was a let down and I’m sure it wasn’t just me that felt that way. I felt like some of the actors just didn’t connect to the characters the way they had before or how they had to now. The plot was there but it wasn’t as strong of a storyline as you would think it would be. Don’t let me be the judge though. Go see it for yourself. I’m just sharing my opinions.

Life

Vacations are important…

One thing that I have really learned in the past few years is how important taking a vacation really is. There are some companies that if you have PTO they will let you just take some pto in pay instead of taking vacation and your pto will roll over if you don’t use it. There are other companies that do not roll over or pay out your pto because they want you to take a vacation.

When you work in a high stress job or really any job it is super important when you are not at work to NOT be at work. When you go home leave work at work. Don’t check your work emails, don’t respond to work messages unless they are super important. It can wait until the next day when you come back.

What is really important in jobs that you sometimes feel constantly stressed out is taking a real vacation. I’m not talking about taking 3 days off and just staying home. I’m talking about find an airline/train ticket and go away for a week. Get out of town and go somewhere where you can completely be away and unavailable to get your mind refreshed. Make a conscious effort on vacation to be completely away from work. Do not open your work emails. The more that you let your job know that you are still going to answer even when you’re away the more you stress yourself out but you let them think it is okay to be contacting you.

When you are away from your job you need to be away. It is the only way that you are going to remain healthy in your mind. Your job is a job and it should never be in complete control of your lifestyle. You should be in control of your life. When you are on vacation be present on that vacation. Take pictures and go explore things that you didn’t do before. If you are visiting your family be present with your family. Spend time with them and make memories. Your job will be waiting for you when you get back and everything can be taken care of then. Your mind needs time to reset itself when you’ve been working so hard for long periods of time.

If you work in a good company they will be able to survive a week without you. If you have a good team in place they will manage everything without you being there. I am lucky enough that I didn’t need to feel constantly worried about work while I’ve been away. I know that I have good people there and I have a good boss who can take care of any issues with my department while I’m not there.

My suggestions is that no matter what happens at work and how stressed out you are at least once if not twice a year take time to really reset yourself. Take a vacation and go somewhere that you are completely away and unattached to work for a week even 5 days.

When it comes to my blog don’t get me wrong to me that is also “work” but it’s fun work and it’s work that I can do from anywhere but it doesn’t feel like I’m working. The beauty of a lifestyle blog is that I’m posting about my adventures and things like that. Eventually I will have posts about my vacation because I got to go to Disney World and I got to do some cooking while I was with my family. So definitely look for those in the next few days even maybe by the end of today.

Uncategorized

Don’t make the mistake

Please don’t mistake my daily lifestyle as some kind of diet fad. It’s not. Thanks or no thanks to some celebrities coming out say oh this gluten free diet is amazing my lifestyle has become a joke among some dieters.

There is a HUGE difference between someone claiming “sensitivity” and dieting for that and someone like me who is diagnosed with Celiac disease. Yes, all these studies are coming out saying that sensitivity may not even exist but Celiac does. Celiac Disease absolutely is life threatening if you read about it you will find that out.

I can 100% tell the difference if I have eaten something I should not have. Which is why I am extra careful when it comes to going out to eat anywhere. It’s why I prefer to cook in my own kitchen because I control the ingredients and the environment it’s being made in.

Also, I am at risk for a whole lot of other conditions because of Celiac Disease. My life expectancy is not terrible but not what a completely healthy persons is. There’s also that whole thing that getting diagnosed as an adult means you’re less likely to have your gut completely 100% heal from it.

A lot of people with Celiac Disease still deal with leaky guy symptoms. They still feel constantly bloated even when they shouldn’t. There’s a lot of side effects associated with it as well. Believe it or don’t believe it but depression and anxiety is also connected to celiac disease. Don’t take that the wrong way though the Celiac does not cause the depression it just doesn’t help those that already suffer from it.

Vitamin levels are hugely impacted by celiac disease. I have to take a multi vitamin daily and sometimes that’s not even enough and I need to take extra of certain vitamins. Celiac Disease is directly linked to your bodies ability to absorb the vitamins and nutrients that are in food. Which is why it becomes life threatening if not treated because your body will start to fail if it isn’t getting the nutrients it needs.

So don’t look at me when I say I need to eat gluten free as someone who is just being part of a crowd on a diet fad. I am doing it because I want to live and to experience life.

Uncategorized

Homemade sauce time…

Have you ever got an idea for dinner and then realized you didn’t have what you needed to make that dinner? That happened to me not once but TWICE today.

It all started when I wanted to make meat sauce. I had already had a burger for lunch so I didn’t want to use ground beef again. I thought I had bought ground turkey but didn’t. So I reached in and found sausage. So I improvised and pulled the skin off the sausage and used that as the ground meat.

Then I continued on and started making the pasta noodles. Once those were done and the meat was cooked I went into the cabinet to grab pasta sauce. Much to my disappointment the canned pasta sauce was not in the cabinet. I had forgotten to buy any.

Luckily, I had a can of whole peeled tomatoes. I had all the herbs that I needed. I had two little things of tomato paste. I have sugar and water. So my head went okay looks like you are going to do it the homemade sauce way.

So I pulled out my food processor and opened up the can of tomatoes. I threw them into the food processor and pulled them up. Then they went into the pot. Then I opened up the tomato paste cans and threw them into the mix. Then it was time to go into the herb cabinet and grab all of those things.

I was taught to never forget the bay leaf when making sauce. However, make sure once the sauce has simmered and absorbed the flavor to remove them. Then it was throw in all the spices.

Stir it all up together and then I first forgot to add water but the beauty of having a mother that cooks is I called her and asked why it was starting to burn. She reminded me to add water and sugar. So I added the sugar and water and then threw in the meat that I had cooked earlier. The result was a much better looking. Sauce that would not burn.

Now it just has to sit on the stove on low heat for a while and absorb all the flavorings.

Once it is done simmering give or take 45 minutes to an hour remove the bay leaf and it’s ready to go. If you’re in a hurry you can give it only the normal time frame but the longer you let it simmer gives it time to absorb the flavors you added.

So then my next adventure happened right as my sauce finished it’s simmer I lost power! So forgive me for showing my final product photo in somewhat darkness. This is the final product…and let me tell you the sauce was on point.

Life

We need to come together

Togetherness. One of the definitions of that word is the quality, state, or condition of being together. 

State: the particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time. 

This country right now is sadly very far from a state of togetherness. I see it every day just how divided we are becoming. We all complain about how divided we are becoming but what are we doing to prevent it? What are you doing to prevent being part of the problem instead of the solution?

We need to start seeing beyond race, beyond gender, beyond size and start seeing each other as human beings. We all have the same organs inside of us. Our bodies all operate the same way on the inside no matter what the outside looks like. Tearing each other down all the time is not solving any of the problems that this country is having. It is doing the exact opposite and it’s intensifying them. 

Ladies, if we want to be treated as equal to men we need to start acting like equals to each other. We need to stop with all this nonsense of mommy shaming and body shaming. We need to start celebrating being women! Being a woman is a blessing. It’s powerful and beautiful. We have the ability to do something that men can’t do. We have the ability to birth life into the world and that is something magical that only we were given. 

Stop looking at women who don’t look like you and judging them because of it. Stop saying every girl that has plastic surgery is a slut. You don’t know their story. We all have body issues so don’t pretend that you never have. Stop saying that if you date a lot of guys your a slut. You don’t know if they are sleeping together or not. 

Stop looking at young moms who still dress sexy as sluts. Instead celebrate that these moms still feel sexy. Becoming a mother should not make you stop wanting to be sexy. Sexiness is a feeling that women need to embrace not shame other women over. Yes there is always a line but if they want to dress sexy in their own home let them do it. 

Women will not get anywhere unless we stick together and we back each other up. That’s what I have to say. 

Intending to sound every bit cliche. In the words of the Clinton campaign all of us men, women, and children are “stronger together”. So we need to come together.