Dizzy Dinner Rolls

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After making it through a few ugly days of the flu last week, I woke up a couple of days ago with an even uglier illness…vertigo.

If you haven’t had it, I envy you and you should probably add “not getting vertigo” to your prayer list because it’s something you never want. If you have had it, well, my heart aches for you and you know exactly where I’m coming from.

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However, I have to tell you that I’ve had it two other times in the past, and because I caught it early this time, it’s not nearly as bad as it could be. With the help of anti-dizzy drugs I managed to walk the dogs today , make home-made soup to settle my stomach, and to make these extremely easy dinner rolls. I’m not a pill popper and I don’t like to take anything that makes me feel weird in any way, but I must say, thank God for vertigo medication. Without it, I wouldn’t even be able to stand to look at my computer screen, or get out of bed for that matter, and here I am making chicken soup and rolls for myself. Meclizine gets two thumbs up.

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Don’t burn your towel while raising the rolls like I did. We’ll chalk that one up to the drugs.

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I was quite happy this afternoon when I finally felt like things were taking a turn for the better. The ground stopped moving and my brain stopped feeling like it was on fire. And I was hungry! I had been trying to gag down toast, tea, and apple slices just to get something into my stomach, which has to be one of the most unsatisfying meals on earth.

No matter what sickness I may have, absolutely nothing tastes better to me than home-made chicken soup. They’ve actually done studies on how healing it is, even just smelling it.

You can find my organic chicken soup recipe here.

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And of course, who doesn’t love a good dinner roll? Those of you who live the gluten-free life know exactly how hard it is to find a dinner roll recipe that doesn’t turn out like a hockey puck or resemble that salt dough we used to make Christmas ornaments out of in kindergarten.

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Search no more because this is by far the best one I have ever tried. I could eat them every day. They smell like a yeasty dinner roll, look like a dinner roll, and amazingly enough…taste like a dinner roll.

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Guess where I found the recipe? Pinterest. And it uses my absolute favorite gluten-free flour blend, Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend.

I’ve been told by anti-Pinterest snobby snobs that, “Pinterest is a complete waste of time.”

I think not snobby snobs.

 I. Think. Not.

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You can find the recipe for these awesome rolls right here at Mygluten-freekitchen.com.

I use bread machine yeast and allow mine to rise for 1 hour and bake them about 5 minutes longer than the time listed.

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Sunday Snackin’

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My husband’s work schedule is hectic, so like many people, we cherish the weekends.

We try our hardest to set aside time to hike with the dogs, do a little sight-seeing, and most importantly, relax and try to refuel for the week ahead. This weekend we were able to fit in several nice walks with the dogs, some leaf peeping, and a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon in front of the fire watching football.

During the pre-empty nester years, I was often focused on making a big Sunday meal and dessert. But these days, we’ve learned to kind of wing it and do whatever sounds good on the weekends. Sometimes I cook a big meal, sometimes we go out, sometimes we don’t eat dinner at all and are happy with linner in town around 2:30. And sometimes, it’s nice to just have a snacky afternoon in front of the fire with the sounds of football in the background.

What you’ll need for a snacky afternoon:

I didn’t measure anything, so I’ll give just give you the basics and then you can add your own flair.

Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings, Your Favorite BBQ Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Sriracha, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper. Grill them slowly so they don’t burn.

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Loaded Potato Skins

Baking Potatoes, Salt & Pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, Dairy Free Butter, Goat Cheese, Olive Oil Mayo, Dried Dill, Apple Cider Vinegar, Sugar, Diaya Cheese, Chives, Leftover Bacon.

Prick the potatoes with a fork and bake until done at 400 for about 1 hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Slice in half and scoop 3/4 of the potato out and save for another recipe. Baste the inside and outside with butter and garlic powder. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Place under broiler insides up first and broil until lightly brown and slightly crisp, turn over and do the same to the underside. Fill with cheese and bacon and place under broiler to melt.

While cheese is melting add a bit of goat cheese, mayo, and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl. Whisk and mash with fork until combined. Add a little sugar and dried dill and mix. Dollop a bit on top of the potatoes when they’re done and top with the chives.

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Your favorite Kielbasa or Sausage, BBQ Sauce, Tabasco, Maple Syrup.

Slice the meat into a small saucepan, add the BBQ sauce, a few (or many) dashes of Tabasco, a little Maple Syrup and simmer very slowly for 30 minutes.

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And a nice veggie salad with a crisp vinaigrette to balance it all out.

I just grated carrots and chopped red bell pepper, spinach, romaine, and tomato. I made a light dressing with olive oil, fresh lime juice, a bit of Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper.

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Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

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Nothing says Fall like apples, caramel, and pumpkin. I promised you pumpkin recipes, so I’m going to do my best to give you at least a few fantastic, dairy free and gluten-free ways to use pumpkin over the next couple of weeks.

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Are the trees changing in your neck of the woods? I have to say, it’s absolutely gorgeous here. New England does not disappoint in the Fall. We’re planning a day trip up to the lakes region this weekend and then another weekend trip to a resort in Vermont soon. I’m hoping to gather more beautiful pictures for you of what New England has to offer this time of year. But for now, it’s just apples, caramel, and pumpkin!

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Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

1 Box Simply Organic Gluten Free Carrot Cake Mix

1/2 Cup of Water

2 Eggs

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Butter, melted

3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed

2 Medium Apples, cored and thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan with non-stick spray. Melt the butter. Pat down the brown sugar in the bottom of the cake pan and drizzle the melted butter over the top.

Core and slice the apples. Layer the apples in a fan shape around the bottom of the pan on top of the brown sugar and butter.

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Empty contents of the cake mix into a medium bowl. Add the water, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree. Stir gently until combined.

Slowly and carefully dollop the cake mix onto the apples so as not to rearrange them. Then gently smooth the cake mix out on top of the apples.

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Bake for about 45 minutes, until cake pulls away from the sides and a toothpick tests done in the middle.

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Allow to cool about 90%. Too warm and the topping will slide off when you invert it onto a plate…too cool and the sugar will solidify and will stick to the pan taking the apples with it.

When you invert it onto a plate, have paper towels ready, just in case.

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You can serve it room temperature, cold, warm, plain, with whipped coconut cream, or with dairy free ice cream.

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Here’s a couple of photos of our “second wave” of children. New Hampshire is filled with old rail trails that are fantastic and beautiful for walking during the spring, summer, and fall.

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Sweet Miss Abigail

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And the ever playful and goofy, Romeo.

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Girl’s Week in New England

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Hello and happy Fall!

It’s in full swing in New England in the form of beautiful colors and a very slight chill in the air.

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I’ve just come off of one of the best vacations I think I’ve ever had. My mom came for a visit and we made it a girl’s only week. I had forgotten how necessary girl time is!

Here’s my beautiful mom, Meribelle. Getting ready to stick her toes in the Atlantic for the first time.

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We took a trip up the coast and spent several blissful days shopping, walking, sight seeing, and eating at some really fun restaurants.

You cannot do a trip up to Maine without first stopping in Hampton Beach to walk on the sand and let the water wash over your toes. Only during the week though…weekends are…yikes. Like sardines.

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We went up to Portsmouth to have a look around and spent one night. Then, we headed to Ogunquit, Maine where we stayed at the Anchorage Inn Seacoast. It sits right along the coastline, it was gorgeous. This is the sunrise view from the hotel.

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We stayed for a couple of days and looked at all of the sights and of course, shopped. And shopped some more. It was so convenient that the outlet malls in Kittery were right on our way to Ogunquit! (ha!) We also tried out some of the restaurants and admired the east coasters knack for landscaping and decorating in Ogunquit.

Ogunquit is a walking town and we had so much fun walking from end to end and seeing the sights. I have many photos of the amazing landscaping, but I hate to make you look through an entire album, so I’ll just give you a taste.

Yes, all of the pumpkins pictured are REAL!

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Right out the gate to the ocean at our hotel is a path called Marginal Way. It’s a 1.5 mile, paved path, that goes from downtown Ogunquit to the end of town to Perkin’s Cove. It’s beautiful and winds all along the edge of the ocean.

This is the entrance in town. We spent at least 10 minutes just examining the amazing flowers right at this spot.

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This is the view from the path in front of our hotel. That path winds around the point you can see and heads into Perkin’s Cove which is full of wonderful shops and restaurants. It was buzzing with walkers day and night. We felt very safe walking it in the dark.

The weather was perfect the entire time we were in Maine. It was in the high 70’s and the first day we arrived, it was over 80 degrees.

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This is the view from one of our lunch stops in Perkin’s Cove.

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This is the Ogunquit Memorial Library. It receives no funding from the town of Ogunquit and relies entirely on donations and endowments. Ogunquit has a long established art colony and keeps a collection of several paintings from local artists on display. We didn’t make it inside this time, but it will definitely be on the list for next time!

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The next day we headed into Kennebunkport for sightseeing and shopping. And eating!

This is St. Ann’s in Kennebunkport. Unbelievably gorgeous. And yes, they do have services from June until Labor Day. You may even get to see the Bush family who attend regularly when they are vacationing in their summer home, right around the corner on Walker’s Point. It has been a working summer chapel since 1892!

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The inside is filled with rock and stained glass and is breath taking. I can’t wait to attend a service next summer! They also have an outdoor service at 8:00 am every Sunday during the summer with the ocean as a back drop. The ocean as a back drop…can you imagine? Get there early, sometimes they can have as many as 400 attendees and once the parking lot is full, they have to close the gates.

Out of all of the stores we we went through in Portsmouth, Ogunquit, and Kennebunk…I would have to rate this one my favorite.

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This is the outside.

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And this…is the inside! There’s another room behind me as well. We spent well over an hour looking through every nook and cranny determined not to miss a thing. We both ended up leaving with several treasures and after lunch, I went back and bought one more item that I had had my eye on!

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Here is the view from our lunch table in Kennebunkport. There were doors along the entire wall of the restaurant and all of them were open. Leaves were falling from the trees, and as you can see, it was a beautiful day.

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This is off of Walker’s Point.

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And this is a lobster fisherman paddling to his fishing boat and then headed out to sea from Perkin’s Cove.

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I could show you all of our beautiful pictures of our adventure, but I wouldn’t want to keep you all day! So I’ll just leave you with a couple more Fall pictures until I see you again tomorrow with an Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake.

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By the way, this house is for sale, right around the corner. It looks amazing in every season. In winter it is the epitome of New England, covered in snow with a wreath on the door, a wisp of smoke spiraling up from the chimney…

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See you tomorrow!