Life Changing Announcement!!!

Exciting news from The Stay At Work Housewife!  Next month I will begin classes to achieve my dream of becoming a licensed health and wellness coach!  Although I won’t be finished with my classes for about a year, I will be certified to start coaching six months into the program.  I decided to pursue this dream shortly after finding out about my gluten intolerance, suddenly realizing how ignorant I was of my own body, and discovering my desire to better other peoples lives, as well as my own.  Of course I have no plans to leave the salon when my schooling is complete, I love what I do everyday, but now I can improve people on the outside AND the inside!  I intend to take my new knowledge and incorporate it into my daily life, this blog, and in my free time help others to live healthier.  I can’t wait to share my new adventure as it unfolds!

This is just an IKEA bookshelf turned on it's side, filled with old milk crates and stocked accordingly!  (Isn't that rug the best!?)

MY LIVING ROOM/DINING ROOM

There wasn’t too much I had to do to my living room or dining room to make it my own.  Once again, everything was basic, beige and builder grade, so paint, window treatments, and replacing light fixtures went a LONG way.  The most challenging part with such an open floor plan was defining individual spaces while still keeping an open flow for entertaining.  I think I must have moved things around about seven times in the first three months we lived here until I was satisfied, and I’m not kidding when I say I used to lay awake at night playing mental Tetris with the furniture until I just couldn’t stay up any more.  Then one day, after the eighth shift in furniture, everything just felt perfect and I haven’t moved a thing since.  The only thing on my wishlist for this room is a larger couch to cuddle up on with my boys while I watch cooking shows for “research”!

Photos by Dan Buckley

Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Cupcake Mixes: Vanilla

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I feel that before I even begin I should mention that I’m not being paid to review this product and have not received anything for free.  However, if Williams-Sonoma or Cup4Cup would like to send me more cupcake mix, I would be happy to write a review for every flavor!

I threw my Mom and husband a little joint birthday party last weekend since both of their birthdays are this month (my lucky wallet).  I couldn’t decided whether or not to cater to everyone else and make regular cupcakes while I sat on the sidelines trying to get my husband to give me his icing; or to subject everyone to the cornbread-tasting, gluten free vanilla cupcakes I’ve had in the past.  That’s when I stumbled on Williams-Sonoma’s Cup4Cup gluten free baking mixes; I’ve heard amazing things about the Cup4Cup flour and if my kitchen were suddenly replaced with everything Williams-Sonoma I could die and go to heaven, so I thought “How could this NOT be good?”.  And to my delight, I was right!  These vanilla cupcakes are so moist and yummy that I don’t even miss regular cupcakes. The package says that it makes 12 cupcakes, but filling the liners 2/3 of the way full, I got 18 out of it.  I’ll admit the price is a little steep when you’re used to paying below $2.00 in your previous wheat flour friendly life, but the convenience of not having to mix a bunch of different flours for something that might not turn out that great is totally worth it.  (You know I’m all about convenience)  I did panic a little when I took them out of the oven and they collapsed a bit, but that didn’t change the way they tasted, and once I frosted them you couldn’t even tell.  Speaking of frosting, I made my own version of a marshmallow/buttercream  that went really well with the vanilla cupcakes because they weren’t overly sweet.

What’s your favorite gluten free baking mix?

Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting Recipe 

1 stick of unsalted, room temperature butter

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 seven ounce container of marshmallow fluff

1 tablespoon strawberry gelatin powder

1 tablespoon milk (as needed)

With mixer on medium, cream the butter until fluffy.  Turn mixer to low and gradually add the confectioner’s sugar one tablespoon at a time until completely combined, then add the strawberry gelatin powder. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With mixer turned back to medium add the marshmallow fluff, scrape the bowl once more, and mix until all ingredients are combined.  (At this point if you feel the icing is a little on the thick side, add milk a tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency)

I refrigerated the frosting for about 30 minutes so it held it’s shape better when piped.  I wish I had a picture of the finished product, but I was so busy playing hostess that I totally forgot!

NOT YOUR AVERAGE TUNA SALAD

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Pictured from left to right: Spicy Asian, Lemon and Olive Oil, Red Pepper BBQ

I love tuna salad!  When I’m hungry and don’t feel like cooking/don’t have time to cook, it’s my go-to meal.  I eat tuna salad on rice cakes, gluten free crackers, salads, and when I’m feeling really lazy, I just eat it out of a the container while staring mindlessly into the refrigerator waiting for its contents to magically change.  Since I eat so much of it I’ve had to take it a long way from relish and mayo.  Below are my three favorite ways to take my beloved tuna salad to the next level; if you don’t like tuna I would think it would be fine to substitute chicken, if you try it let me know how it turns out!

Lemon and Olive Oil Tuna Salad

One 11 ounce pouch of chunk tuna

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste (i LOVE lots of pepper in this recipe)

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Enjoy on your food vehicle of choice!

Red Pepper BBQ Tuna Salad

One 11 ounce pouch of chunk tuna

One red pepper; diced

2 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Enjoy on your food vehicle of choice!

Spicy Asian Tuna Salad   

One 11 ounce pouch of chunk tuna

1/2 cup broccoli slaw mix

1 tablespoon wasabi paste

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Enjoy on your food vehicle of choice!

Photo by Dan Buckley

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

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You will have a moment of panic after the first bite because you will be questioning whether or not these are actually gluten free.  These are quick and easy to whip up for the times you need last minute treats (Which is something I used to do to my mom all the time when I was little “Oh, I forgot I need cookies for class tomorrow” right before bed. Sorry Mom.) You usually have all the ingredients on hand and the most time consuming part is waiting for the oven to preheat!  If you bake them on the lower end of the suggested baking time, they end up soft enough for the most amazing ‘sandwich’ part of an ice cream sandwich (I recommend milk chocolate ice cream in the middle!)

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg; lightly beaten

Mix ingredients well, shape into twenty-four 1 tablespoon sized balls.  Place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Enjoy!