C.R.A.Z.Y. Soon we will get into our summer groove though and the livin’ will be easy as it should be. This first couple of weeks has been an adjustment and my beloved routine is all out of whack. With all three blessings home or headed to numerous camps and activities, I am busy and running in three different directions at once.
My blogging routine is non-existent and may have to switch to more of a Tuesday/Thursday posting with a Saturday thrown in here or there. A lot of healthy, yummy things have been happening in my kitchen and I am eager to share; so hang in there with me. I promise to have some fun stuff up soon.
Regrettably, not a lot of yumminess has happened on the baking front as I am still learning to work without sugar and am being very picky about an authentic flavor. I am turning into a bit of a mad scientist and doing a lot of research on combining natural sugar substitutes in an effort to get far, far away from the bitter aftertaste that leaves me wanting to scrub my tongue with lye. Okay, well that may be a bit of an exaggeration but you didn’t try the gluten-free/sugar-free carrot cake I made the other day.
It was pretty. But awful.
In small doses, like muffin in a mug or the cake in a mug I am now loving (and will share), Stevia is fine. A wonderful alternative to sugar. On a larger scale when much more is needed, bad things seem to happen. Well at least bitter and yucky things.
Thankfully, all is not lost.
Not with Salmon Tacos, Portobello Sliders, Trimmed-Up Broccoli Salad, Cheeseburger Pie, Italian Sausage and Vegetable Gratin and a gorgeous Greek Appetizer Platter just waiting to be written up and posted.
Starting next week. I promise!
For now, I’m off again to pick my girl up from theater camp. I would have gotten this post out earlier but I had an important movie date with my littlest. Ironically, we went to see The Croods, which was perfectly suited for my little caveman. Who, while waiting for me to finish writing, has made a tent under the dining room table out of my grandmother’s antique linen table-cloth that I had out for photos.
One last thing, my middle guy turned nine yesterday. NINE.
I was so busy getting he and his dad ready to leave for Cub Scout Camp that I didn’t have a chance to post a proper Happy Birthday! He was so excited about his first big Cub Scout Campout. Four days of fun and adventure with Scouts from all over the valley.
And with his dad.
Which is the best birthday present ever!
He even got a birthday can of coke for the road. Trust me, that is a BIG treat in his world. They called me from camp last night just before bed and I could tell how happy and excited he was. The whole camp sang happy birthday to him and my heart was full knowing he felt special and would soon fall asleep, exhausted, with a big smile on his face; a whole day of adventure ahead of him.
His official birthday party is just a few weekends away. I have been busy planning and will be sure to share photos and tell you all about it. The theme? I’ll give you a hint …
It’s gonna’ be a party, JACK!
Can you guess? Anybody?
David, Happy Birthday to you! I know you are going to have a blast and lots of fun…and yummy cake, Yummmmm.
Thanks Debbie. I will tell him! I will send you an invite but I think you might be in Africa when we have the party. If so you and the Mr. will just have to come up for dinner when you get back. You know I’ll want to hear all about the trip and I promise I won’t try to serve you any yucky carrot cake! Praying for you and for the whole Mission team!
Working backwards through my reader as I try to catch up (seems I’m always trying to catch up on my blog reading), so not sure why you’re not using sugar, but that sure is a challenge for baking. I don’t know, but maybe the answer is to go for fruit-based desserts instead of baking? At any rate, if you learn the secret to baking without sugar (and without artificial substitutes) you can bet I’m interested to read about it!
I am so far behind on reading all of the blogs that I love too! It is hard to keep up, especially with all of my kids home and running from camp to camp during the summer. All of my baking blogging and over-indulgence has left me feeling pretty sick and yucky. I have a big wheat intolerance that I “like to ignore” and I am trying to cut out the sugar to balance and insulin resistance and am cutting out sugar and avoiding all potential insulin spikers. I recently read a wonderful book called Trim Healthy Mama and love their approach. I’m three weeks in and no longer have any inflammation or joint pain and have a calm happy tummy again. I will still post traditional baking (especially my grandmother’s) but am working to include more healthy options. Eight months of recklessness caught up with me and I had to make some changes! I am using Stevia but it is hard to bake with. I am studying up on non-GMO Xylitol and Erythritol. I’ll be sure to post what I come up with.
I can relate. I bake more now (you know, I do it for the blog 😉) and even though I try to give most of it away, I probably overindulge. Interesting about the impact re: inflammation and joint pain. I need to look into that!
I know, I did it for the blog too. 🙂 I just convinced myself that the inflammation, weight gain and joint pain was being over 40, hormones, aging and getting my mom’s mild arthritis. Not so. I can’t tell you how much better I feel in just 3+ weeks of eliminating wheat and sugar. I am also getting the hang of the baking changes. If I weren’t so darn busy wrangling kids these summer months I could share more. I can’t say that I won’t ever have another “real” baked good once I am back at my ideal weight but this is definitely a permanent change for me. At first it was hard to accept the sugar alternative (which I will talk about more soon) but there are natural substitutes that I feel good about using.
Awww, so sorry to hear that the carrot cake wasn’t as successful as you would have liked. You’re right, the cake looks beautiful! But I think some of these modified ‘healthy’ recipes take quite a bit of adjustment to get right. Sorry to hear that life has been so crazy for you recently… but wow, family commitments when you have kids must be never-ending! I am always in awe of some bloggers who manage to update so frequently whilst working, raising kids and doing other things! I struggle to maintain once weekly posts, but I think that when blogging becomes a pressure rather than a pleasure, something is wrong. This post is gorgeous, thanks for sharing these events with us. Happy birthday to your son! Take care lovely Danielle! xx
It is quite and adjustment to work with different flours and sugar substitutes. I will keep trying and enjoying the process. It was just a bit of a disappointment as I was so excited about the cake. It has been a struggle for me with the onset of the summer to blog as much as I would like. It is never a chore for me, it is my therapy and I love it but sometimes it has to take a backseat to life. I love what you said that if “blogging becomes a pressure rather than a pleasure, something is wrong.” You are so right. Thankfully, it is still absolutely a pleasure for me. Thank you for the happy birthday wish for my boy, I appreciate it so much!!
So glad that it’s still a pleasure for you Danielle. And yes, I agree – it’s all a matter of trying to create balance 🙂 Hope that the rest of the summer is a bit more relaxing for you (if that’s possible!) x
Thank you! May your summer be fun and relaxing too!!
Happy Birthday to David, looks like is going to have a great time. You make me laugh, that carrot cake looks great, too bad it tasted awful. It’s hard right, finding just the right ingredients that produce a tasty GF/sugar free dish. I have experienced this and I guess I am just to accustomed to my flour, butter and sugar laden sweets, and can’t forget the dairy (heavy cream). Once a friend told me they were bringing a carrot cake to a party and I was excited until I saw it, you see they were vegan and followed the raw diet. Well I won’t say what the cake looked like but it didn’t vaguely resemble a cake and it just tasted like raw carrots that were a little sweet, there were seeds of some sort in it to. I determined at that point that i could never follow the raw diet.
It does look great, doesn’t it? 😦 Sadly, it is still sitting on the cake stand, a small missing wedge left by the three people who were brave enough to try it. I haven’t been able to bring myself to throw it out. Today. Today, I will toss it. I think the carrot cake you mentioned may actually sound worse. I could so never be vegan or raw. And trust me, I’m still lovin’ the butter, heavy cream and cheese – just in the right balance!
Fun post!! Happy Birthday David– He looked like it was a good one! I miss those days of a house full of kids and craziness! Hope you have a wonderful, eventful summer ahead Danielle!
The craziness is fun, even for me who loves to be on a schedule and a routine. I love the lazy days by the pool too once the camps and activities are finished. We seem to cram all of the craziness into the beginning of the summer. I hope you have a wonderful summer as well and get to enjoy some time with your new grandbaby!
Awww! Happy birthday to your little man – love that pic of him and his dad and the can of Coke! Good luck with your mad scientist ways – hope you’ll have a eureka moment soon!
Thank you! I love the pic too – that boy loves his daddy. I’m hoping for a eureka moment too – I am either making progress or just getting used to the flavor difference! I’m trying a chocolate hazelnut cookie tomorrow – wish me luck!
Using alternatives to sugar successfully is challenging! It’s much easier to make gluten-free but when you join it with sugar-free…it is not so simple! I’ll be interested in reading about your experiences. Thank you for stopping by my blog!
It is so challenging! You really have to use combinations to achieve an acceptable finished product. Gluten-free alone is much easier. I have to admit, it is a fun and interesting challenge and I feel so much better that it is so worth it! Your blog is wonderful and I look forward to visiting again. I am so glad you dropped by!
You got a hard challenge ahead of you. But you know what? You will find that balance. You know you will! And one of these days you will have created perfectly delicious desserts that are both sugar and gluten free for all of us, I know so!
BTW, that little guy is a cutie. You got beautiful children. And I have 2 more weeks of work and I’m off for the summer too! 2 whole months!!! 🙂
Thank you Deb, he is pretty cute and they are all great kids. We are very blessed. So excited for you to have 2 whole months off to spend with your family and do whatever makes you happy!
Thank you for the encouragement! I hope you are right! 🙂 I am actually having a lot of fun with it and making a little progress. I also know that I feel so much better which is the best!
Keep going, keep trying and keep smiling 🙂
Thanks Dani, I will. It has actually been a lot of fun and I think I am finally having some success on the baking front. Now to get a little time to blog about it! Hope things are well in your corner of the world!
Good to know you are well 🙂 I’ve just rejected a job offer which I have been negotiating for the past 8 months. Not joking. 8 months! This company can’t decide on a good package but couldn’t bear to let me go. I was being brought round the bush talking to their local and overseas offices many times before they finally made an offer which I thought it was risky to take. Felt relieved after I declined it meaning i’m back to square one. Well, I guess life is such…sorry for the long comment. Somehow I just feel like sharing it with you.
I am so glad you shared it with me, Danny. Even though we don’t know our blogging friends face-to-face, we still become friends. There are a few things I have come to know about you. You are a kind, sweet spirit and a very smart person. I am certain you did not come to this decision without great consideration. You know what is right for you and you stuck to that. You can’t go wrong. I think it is a wise and brave decision and that there is something better and “right” just around the corner for you. Blessings to you my friend!
Aw…thank you Dani. Your words had certainly make me embrace myself for what may come by. Even though we have never met but you seem to know me well. Great to have you here 🙂