Category Archives: culinary cravings

Culinary Cravings: Gluten Free Pizza Crust

The thing I miss most about being gluten free is pizza — doughy, delicious,  satisfying pizza.  Froze gluten free crust tastes pretty much like cardboard topped with cheese.  Not good.  Austin’s Pizza has a gluten free crust that is pretty good, but I don’t want to have to order pizza every time I have a craving. In our house, pizza nights are a weekly thing.

I had almost given up on finding a great pizza crust, but then I discovered Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix.  It is doughy and delicious.  My husband, the carb-lover,  was impressed with it too; however,  after I wouldn’t stop talking it, he had to tell me, “Sydney, it is good, but I think you just haven’t had real pizza in a long time.”  So, maybe it isn’t as good as real pizza crust, but it is pretty darn close.


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Throwing a Bridal Shower

Last weekend my mom, sister, and I threw my youngest sister a bridal shower.  She had two requests: no games and champagne.  A girl after my own heart.  My mom and I schemed for weeks about what we were going to serve, how we were going to decorate, and what we were going to do  — besides drink champagne.

My sister is studying to be a baker, so I went with a baking themed bridal shower.  These invitations from The Perched Owl Etsy shop were perfect.  I also included recipe cards for each attendee to fill out with their favorite recipe.

Bake and Shake Couples Wedding Shower Invitation

My mom and I then decided to have a mimosa bar.  Who doesn’t love mimosas?  My personal champagne drink of choice is a champassion — champagne and passion fruit juice topped with raspberries.  This was most people’s favorite.

We decided to have mini finger foods.  We had Greek salad bites, goat cheese and truffle potatoes, mini potato skins, a cheese plate, fruit plate, and mini quiches.  It was all easy to make and only two required the oven.

Since my sister will be a full-fledged baker soon, I thought it would be fun for us to all decorate mini cakes.  This was a hit.  You get to decorate and eat a cake?  Win!

Despite my sister’s coaching on how to decorate a cake, this is what I managed to end up with.  Obviously, I am not going to be a professional cake decorator anytime soon. A professional champassion drinker?  Maybe.

My very talented other sister was on hand to take portraits of everyone.  She is quite good at what she does.

She’ll take pictures of you and your dog, too.

Overall, it was a fantastic Saturday.


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Over the Weekend

My weekend was filled with new recipes, out-of-town friends, a pop-up shop, a bridal shower, an engagement party, and a bachelorette party.  It was jam packed, but so enjoyable.  On Friday I made a cauliflower pizza crust. It was really, really good.  So good that my husband ate about 6 pieces.  I think you should make this for dinner this week.

I changed the recipe a bit by adding more cauliflower and Parmesan cheese to the crust.  Next time I would heat my pan first so the middle will crisp up a bit more.  You would never know that this baked crust is cauliflower.

Topped and ready to be broiled.  Saturday I had a bridal shower in the morning and our h.g.s vintage pop-up shop in the afternoon at Blue Elephant.  It was great to meet new vintage lovers and see some of our customers from previous shops.

I’m wearing a vintage dress, JCPenny necklace, Banana Republic shoes, and hair that is finally fixed.

We had lots of great vintage bags.  I can’t believe that vintage Coach didn’t get snatched up!

This amazing embroidered jacket was found by Grechen.  
I ended Saturday with an engagement party and then a bachelorette party.   Overall, it was a fantastic weekend, but I am a bit tired today!  How was your weekend?





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Last Week

This past week it rained a lot here.  Every day we were lucky enough to receive buckets and buckets of rain.  After last year’s drought, this week of rain was more than welcomed.   Does anyone else see the figure in the clouds? I told my husband it was Falcor.  He didn’t know what I was talking about.

I spent the rainy hours reading  What Remains   in bed with this guy.  I laughed.  I cried.  I recommend it.

Friday morning was gorgeous, so we headed to the creek near our house for a morning swim.

On Friday night I got the idea from Home Run Ballerina to make fingerling potatoes stuffed with goat cheese and truffle oil.  They were delicious. I think I ate 10 of them.  You should make them this weekend.  

How was your week?


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Summer Wines

I am a red wine drinker most of the year, but when it gets too hot, I usually switch to white. I have been really into Gruner Veltliners lately.  Specifically, this one.  It is citrusy, light, and quite refreshing.  

My other summer favorite is a Vinho Verde.  It is light, slightly effervescent, and fresh tasting.  Santola is my favoirte, but probably only because there is a cute crab on it. 

If I am going somewhere that glass is not permitted, I fall back on good ‘ol Target adult juice boxes.  They are cheap, come in containers that are boat-friendly, and are good for sharing.  I have tried many of them, but the white sangria is my favorite.  

I would love suggestions.  What is your favorite summer wine? 


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Update: Gluten and Dairy Free

I have been working on being gluten and dairy free for almost a month now.  Surprisingly, the ridding your diet of gluten isn’t that hard. There are tons of gluten-free products out there, and just as many of you said, tons of options at restaurants. I have only had a handful of slip-ups this past month and each time I have made the mistake of consuming gluten, I have noticed a negative side effect.    The biggest gain from removing gluten has been the state of my acne.  While I have still broken out a few times, I am no longer getting the huge, painful cystic acne on my jaw and my skin seems to be recovering quicker.  I have also noticed that each breakout  has always been about three days after a slip-up.  My doctor said that my acne along my jawline was caused by  my diet, and now I fully believe her.  I haven’t had a slip-up in over a week, and I hope not to have any more.

The dairy, on the other hand, hasn’t been so easy to remove.  I can go days without dairy and then give in to a pizza (with a gluten-free crust!), or queso at a Mexican restaurant.  I am trying to really limit my dairy because I notice that I do much better without it, but I don’t think I will ever commit to being entirely dairy-free.  Or at least I am not yet ready to give it up entirely.  For now, limiting it to a couple times a week seems to be working.

Thank you for all your suggestions and comments on being gluten-free.  I think without the kind words, I would have never taken the plunge.


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Culinary Cravings: Gluten and Dairy Free

I have been seeing a holistic chiropractor recently (feel free to roll your eyes).  She specializes in phrenology and spends a lot of our sessions feeling my head to see what minerals and vitamins I am lacking and how my body is reacting to the environment (feel free to do a double eye roll here).  I really like her and have felt so much better taking the vitamins she has suggested and my lower back pain that plagued me most days is gone.  She has been nagging me to go  gluten- free.   She thinks I am allergic, it will help clear up my skin, and will get rid of the bloat I have been carrying around for, I don’t know, like, forever.   I  am struggling with this.  I am totally fine at home, but when I head out to a restaurant with a delicious, warm bread basket, I weaken and give in.  There are so many options at the grocery store for those who forgo gluten, but some restaurants are harder.  Have you gone gluten-free?  Was it hard?

On top of trying to be gluten-free, I am attempting to go dairy-free.  I love cheese.  In all forms.  Queso, creamy brie, and hard, salty Parmesan.  I don’t play favorites.  I have proclaimed that life is not worth living without a cheese plate and wine.  And I still believe this, but I am trying it out in hopes of getting rid of my stomach issues once and for all.  But, again, I am wondering what to eat when I go out to eat.  I enjoy going out to eat with my husband on weekends and I am already that annoying person who asks “Is there chicken stock in the queso?” “Do your tortillas have lard?”  “Does the rice have any animal fat?”  Yes, I eat Mexican food a lot.  I live in Texas and Mexican food is fantastic.  So now I must be the super annoying person who asks about gluten and dairy too?  I am already annoyed with myself and I haven’t heard me quiz the waiter yet.

So, can I give into cheese and gluten at restaurants?  Is that undoing everything I am attempting to do?  Will it fix all my issues?  Who knows.  It is worth a try, right?  Have any of you given up these items?  How hard was it?  Any advice?


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