FABULOUS FIND FRIDAY

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One of my favorite shops in Columbus, Ohio is Objects For The Home on Grandview Ave; the owners are super nice and they always have the neatest things, if you walk in just to check it out you will leave with something.  This lovely purchase was made by my husband when we were only supposed to be killing time before our dinner reservation down the street.  It’s just a simple wood cut-out with heart shaped pieces on Springfield (my hometown) and Columbus (his hometown and where we live now) but you can put them anywhere on the state you want!  It hangs on the wall as you’re walking into my kitchen and I just think it’s the cutest!

GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN SPICE PANCAKES WITH MAPLE CINNAMON GLAZE

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These pancakes were sort of a happy accident this morning. I woke up craving pancakes, so I walked down to the kitchen and started to make them from the recipe on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix package; until I got to the part where you add an egg. We are out of eggs. Luckily I quickly thought to use the leftover canned pumpkin from the pumpkin oatmeal I made earlier this week. I have no idea if this is an appropriate replacement for eggs, but I was half-asleep enough to try it. I also discovered that I didn’t have enough maple syrup to top both mine and my husband’s pancakes, so this maple cinnamon glaze was born out of desperation as well. (I obviously need to add “go to the store” to my list of things to do today.) I am happy to report that my “Ingredients Out of Desperation” pancakes were surprisingly yummy! Yummy enough to become a fall lazy Sunday brunch staple in The Stay At Work Housewife kitchen!

Ingredients:

Maple Cinnamon Glaze

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp almond milk

In a small bowl whisk ingredients until smooth. If mixture is too thick for a glaze, add almond milk one teaspoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Set aside until pancakes are ready.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

1 and1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix
3/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk is fine)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients and whisk until all lumps dissolve. If the batter appears too thick, add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. In a greased skillet, (I used butter) heated over medium heat, pour batter in desired pancake sizes. When bubbles start to rise to the top of the pancakes flip and cook the other side until it is golden brown. Top with maple cinnamon glaze and diced pecans. Serve hot and enjoy! (These pancakes go really great with an almond milk chai latte!)

 

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ALMOND MILK CHAI TEA

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The brisk fall Ohio days are starting to set in and nothing sounds more warm and comforting than a Chai Latte. Two things I did not feel like doing today: leaving my house on my day off, and paying $4 at a coffee shop for one. So I made my own!

In a microwave safe mug I combined 6 oz of unsweetened almond milk, 2 oz of water and microwaved it for one and a half minutes. Then I added a chai tea bag (I prefer Tazo Organic Chai) and let it steep for 5 minutes. When five minutes was up I removed the tea bag and topped my drink with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s that easy and it was delicious! Like fall in a mug!

FABULOUS FINDS!

When it comes to my home, I’m a curator, not a decorator, I collect pieces that I love. When I see something that catches my eye I buy it regardless of whether or not I have a place in my home in mind. I can find one. There isn’t a piece I have that was bought out of necessity, I didn’t have a desk in my office for about two years because I couldn’t find “the right one”. (I’m currently on the hunt for the perfect cake stand, who knows how long that will take me.) Every item has a reason behind it’s purchase, although some of my favorite things were inherited or gifts, and those also have a story behind them. I love sharing the stories with my friends and family who come into my home and now I’d love to share them with you! Be on the look out every week as I choose my favorite pieces from my home and share the stories behind them!

SPLEEN QI DEFICIENCY

I have a confession to make: after almost a year of being gluten free I still don’t feel 100%. I have been eating very healthy; cooking with the fresh, organic produce from my weekly CSA bag, drinking a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie every morning, avoiding anything that could be making me sick, and getting plenty of sleep every night. Yet I still feel bloated, inflamed, achy, exhausted, and if I may get a little personal here, the salad that I eat for lunch every day still looks like a salad the next time I see it…catch my drift? I started feeling like I might as well go back to eating gluten if I’m just going to feel sick all of the time anyways. Don’t get me wrong, I do not miss all of the headaches, heartburn, abdominal pain and throwing up, but like I said, I’m not 100% and it’s very frustrating. I recently started getting acupuncture every week to manage the inflammation. I understand if you think Eastern Medicine sounds like a load of BS, but it has always fascinated me, and at this point I’m willing to try anything. I really feel like it is helping, but by my appointments are on Monday and by Saturday I’m feeling ‘blah’ again. This week I brought up that while I think that the acupuncture is helping to manage my symptoms, I’ve been thinking about doing a juice/raw food cleanse to see if that would help, to which he responded “No! That is the opposite of what you should be doing!”. Needless to say I was taken aback, what’s wrong with eating healthy?! That’s when he explained to me the traditional Chinese dietary theory of Spleen Qi Deficiency. In traditional Chinese medicine the “spleen” is actually your digestive system organ network, not just your actual spleen. A diagnosis of Spleen Qi Deficiency means that your body’s ability to generate Qi, (also known as chi or energy flow) from the food that you eat, is compromised. Some of the symptoms include lack of appetite (check), bloating (check), loose stool with the presence of undigested food (ew, check), and fatigue (check, check, check). Basically my digestive system is already compromised from my gluten intolerance and Spleen Qi Deficiency, and on top of that, I have been eating foods that my body has to work very hard at breaking down, using all of my energy and keeping me inflamed and bloated. I had created a vicious cycle because I thought eating cold and raw foods would ‘cool’ down my inflamed digestive system, like yogurt, salad, ice water and applesauce; when really I was creating more problems because my body had to work very hard at raising the temperature of the food and break down it’s tough fibrous walls to digest it. Here I thought I was being a nutritional saint! According to traditional Chinese dietary theory I should be eating warm, lightly cooked foods (to preserve their nutrients) so that the heat has already began to break down the food’s cell walls, making it easier to digest and therefore less work for my body! The ideal diet to heal your Spleen Qi Deficiency should consist of 40-60% complex carbohydrates and starchy root vegetables, 30-40% cooked vegetables, and 10-20% protein, with very little of it coming from animals. Dairy and sugar should be very limited.

Here are some examples of food beneficial for healing your Spleen Qi Deficiency (lightly cooked, roasted or steamed is best, as well as in soups and porridges):
Brown rice, oats, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, corn, peas, onions, leeks, garlic, mushrooms, kidney beans, black beans, chick peas, lentils, cooked fruits, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, small amounts of animal protein, honey, maple syrup, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, warm tea and room temperature water.

Foods that should be avoided with a Spleen Qi Deficiency:
Raw fruits and vegetables, salsa, citrus, dairy, iced drinks, smoothies, coffee, cold foods, salads, fruit juice, refined sugar, processed food, spicy food, fried food, and nut butters.

So I’m going to give it a try, if it works I’ll be absolutely thrilled, if it doesn’t there’s really no harm done! For those of you interested here is an example of a day of meals I have planned:

Breakfast: Pumpkin oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins
Lunch: Grilled portobello mushroom stuffed with roasted vegetables and brown rice
Afternoon Snack: Room temperature hummus on whole grain, gluten free toast
Dinner: Lentil soup and a baked garlic sweet potato
I also plan on drinking plenty of warm tea with cinnamon. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Has anyone else ever experimented with Eastern Medicine or Traditional Chinese Diets?

 

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THE COUNTRY LIVING FAIR

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Today I went to my favorite shopping event of the year: The Country Living Fair! Put on by Country Living Magazine, it’s full of vendors of everything from antiques, vintage furnishings, handmade products, clothes and food, they also have cooking demonstrations and craft seminars, as well as celebrity appearances; this year The Fabulous Beekman Boys were there signing their new book and I met Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash & Cari at her booth RePurpose! I could spend all weekend there, but my salon life does not allow for that, so I just go on Sunday, the last day of the fair, when the vendors are ready to make deals! Here are some of my amazing finds:

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I found a Cosmetology text book from 1954 in Flower Child’s booth, oddly not much has changed in almost 60 years except the styles.

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This centerpiece from Whiskey Joe’s is made out of reclaimed wood from a barn, I think it’ll look awesome with candles in it!

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I was excited to find Springfield (my hometown) and Columbus (where I live now) cabinet knobs by Daisy Mae Designs in the Wholly Craft booth. I already put them on my china cabinet!

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Unfortunately I don’t know which vendor this map came from because my husband was gone for literally two minutes and came walking back with it. But it looks great in my living room!

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It never fails that I find something from The Heart of Ohio Antique Mall, even at their Country Living booth! I’m obsessed with the blue color of this old seltzer bottle, and my husband had to have the scotch decanter.

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Gigi is one of my favorite movies so I was super excited to find this sketch book! The best part? I got to ask Cari herself what the price on it was at the RePurpose booth!

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Another find from Flower Child, a 1963 book for housewives. I thought it was going to be a cheesy book full retro housewife stereotypes, but I was pleasantly surprised! There were instructions for everything from patching your roof to building your own workshop bench!

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The best part of my day was meeting this lovely lady! This is the Amy D of Made By Amy D, the aprons that I LOVE are made by this woman! I have two and I seriously wear them every time I cook. They have a little pocket for a bottle of beer (gluten free hard apple cider for me, of course!) and a bottle opener on the side. Not only are her aprons awesome, she’s awesome too! She was pretty much the nicest person I have ever met and even gave me a hug when I told her I have her aprons! I’m definitely going to support her business more in the future and you should too!

WORDS OF WISDOM

Two years ago today my Dad and I went to visit my Grandma in hospice as she lay sick with cancer.  My father, a police officer, had just finished marching in a parade to honor the officers that lost their lives on September 11th and was still in his uniform. When my Grandma saw my Dad walk in she said “Don’t you look handsome in your uniform!”.  As he bent down to kiss her on the forehead she told my Dad something I will never forget: “I’m so proud of you, you have done everything you set out to do. Don’t ever let anyone tell you can’t do something.”

On a day like September 11th, where we take time to honor the lives lost twelve years ago and the unselfish sacrifices that were made that day, I think that it is also a good opportunity to reflect on you own precious life. Every day that you wake up is a gift, a gift that some people didn’t receive today, and a gift that you yourself can’t promise for the next day. You should be using every day to your advantage, to set out to make your life what you want it to be. If there are people who don’t believe in you, who say that you can’t do something, inner voice included, don’t listen to them; if only because my Grandma said so. Whether you choose to accept it or not, this life is short. Pursue your passions, make yourself happy, do something for you, then do something for someone else, seize the day!

When my Grandma passed away ten days later, I cried for my loss and my family’s loss, but I didn’t morn for my grandmother. She lived her life to the fullest, taking every opportunity to make herself happy and touch the lives of those around her. She lived an amazing life, full of traveling, entertaining, cooking and crafting, and she had the best sense of humor. I’m sure she went with very few regrets and “what ifs”. You should be living your life so that someday your loved ones can say the same about you.

Thank you for letting me share this memory with you.

 

My Grandma and I at my graduation from beauty school

My Grandma and I at my graduation from beauty school

 

SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES?

Well it’s fall and to me that only means one thing. No, it isn’t football, pumpkin spice lattes or the trees changing their colors; it means I have an Instagram and Facebook feed full of people from my hometown posting pictures of pumpkin cookies from a local bakery. These are not your ordinary run of the mill pumpkin flavored cookies, these are a simple sugar cookie, cut into a pumpkin shape covered with the yummiest, glossiest icing, and if you ask very nicely they will pipe milk chocolate frosting jack o’lantern faces on them. In my pre gluten free life I would eat these cookies until my mouth was orange and a sugar coma set in. This is the first year that I will not be able to enjoy one (or a dozen), which makes me very sad. Will the leaves on the trees even turn colors if I don’t have one?

This has got me thinking: Is there something you can’t have that you love enough to eat knowing it will be followed by a lot of pain, nausea and the dreaded gluten hangover, all purposely self-induced? I have not willingly ingested gluten in about 10 months, shortly after being diagnosed, when I was still in denial and thought it would be okay to eat fried chicken with gravy and cornbread. I paid for that by spending the day dry heaving followed by a week long headache and a sore stomach. I know that there is no food in the world delicious enough to feel that horrible over, but those pumpkin cookies are testing my will power.

So what about it? Is there anything you would eat that is amazing enough to suffer the consequences? Let me know what you think in the comments section!

ANTIQUING

I spent the past two weekends strolling around antique malls with my mom (our favorite way to spend time together!) and found some great stuff! I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I collect cookbooks;  old, new, gluten free friendly or not, and I found some amazing ones on these trips! The Woman’s World cookbook is from 1929 and The Good Housekeeping one is from 1939; I just love seeing what past generations were cooking and their ideas on the best way to feed their family. There’s even a chapter in The Good Housekeeping book entitled “Meals for the Business Girl”, I’d like to think that is the 1939 version of The Stay At Work Housewife! Although flour probably won’t end up in the canister again (unless it’s almond flour!) I loved the bright cheery yellow; and the glasses in the basket will probably have multiple purposes on my dining room table, filled with either candles, flowers, cutlery and whatever else!
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If you are ever near Springfield, Ohio I would HIGHLY recommend stopping by The Heart of Ohio Antique Center, it is my favorite place to shop for my home. My house is about 50% Heart of Ohio and 50% Ikea, haha! They have over 116,000 sq ft of antiques and collectibles so chances are if there is something you’re looking for, they have it. Even if you do leave empty handed, (which if you do you need to give me a lesson in self control) it’s really fun to just look at all of the different things they have and spend they day saying “I remember my Mammaw having one just like this!” or “Oh my gosh I forgot about these things!”, reminiscing is my favorite way to spend an afternoon. I’m definitely going to stop by their booth at The County Living Fair! Speaking of which….stay tuned next weekend for a post on my adventures at this year’s Country Living Fair!