Wednesday, October 20, 2010


It's hard to believe that spring seems to be here...or in the very least just around the corner. I feel badly that I never got around to taking photos of the 5 feet of snow in the backyard or the 10 feet of snow in our front yard...but seeing grass peeking out makes me forget all about it!

I plan to get some seedlings planted in the next week (in the basement for now, of course)...and I can't wait until it's warm enough to sit out on my deck and enjoy our beautiful yard!

waiting: take two...

"Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet" -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

With only "two sleeps" until the closing on the purchase of our first house, I'm finding myself growing more and more restless despite the VAST amount of work that needs completing.

I don't like waiting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

gluten free banana pancakes....

Anyone who has tried eating gluten free knows how difficult it is to achieve that delicate balance in gluten-free baking which results in something that doesn't have the GF "tang" to it...I've found a solid mixture of starches and flours (I often include potato starch and tapioca starch) results in the best texture and flavour. In fact I have my own all-purpose GF flour mixture that works for everything from baking to thickening sauces (link to follow). 

This weekend, as part of my effort to relax and enjoy the day, I decided to make pancakes for DH and I. He requested banana. What follows is the recipe for the fluffiest, most tasty GF pancakes I have ever been able to make with a little banana thrown in for flavor (you can substitute berries or even just spices): this is one of the few recipes I now know by heart. 

Steph's Gluten-Free Banana (or any other flavour!) Pancakes
Yield: 4 large pancakes (easily double the recipe!)

1 cup GF all-purpose flour mixture (purchased or use mine)
2/3-1 cup milk (or unflavored soy milk)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. xantham gum
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tb. vegetable oil 
1-2 Tb. brown sugar
1-2 medium-sized bananas 
     (mashed and mixed with 1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla)
     OR raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
     OR 1Tb. more of brown sugar, 1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, vanilla
     OR 1 cup pureed squash or pumpkin, 1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, vanilla

In true NB fashion, serve with real maple syrup. (Hint: I like to put my syrup in a small dish and dip my pancake pieces in it. It uses less AND it's less messy!)               

waiting and relaxation...

...two things I am NOT skilled at. 

If I'm not mid-project(s), I'm planning to be. I fill my schedule so full with commitments, my "spare" time ends up being used to catch up on at-home tasks. If i *do* sit down to try to relax, I feel guilty for not being productive (even if that "productivity" is checking Facebook or emails). All the while, I'm living 2 months in the future instead of in the moment. All of these things I realize about myself. Thus, I'm endeavoring to learn how to slow down, live in today, and RELAX. 

I'm bringing back "me" time...even in the midst of accomplishing other goals. 

Relaxation -- Take One~
My husband and I move next weekend into our first house <picture to the left is from our front window>. The apartment is in complete and utter chaos, and there seems to be an endless list of things to take care of before/during the move. I'm terribly excited...but having to wait is nearly killing me! Well it isn't...but it's surely not easy. As a result of my borderline manic mode regarding the move, my DH required that I relax this weekend. 

Relax...what does that even MEAN when your mind is spinning with to-dos and excitement? 

I knit, I watched some TV, I played a bit of World of Warcraft, I cleaned my boys' cage (not really relaxing...but it needed doing), I baked a little...then I ran out of things to do and it was 8pm. I asked DH if I could stop relaxing now and pack just a LITTLE...and he said "No!" I was tempted to go to bed since, surely, *that* was relaxing...but decided to do a bit of a "spa" night for myself with the piles of ladies' products that we all seem to have in a drawer: it was great! I felt more on top of things being in better shape! Relaxing? I'm not sure...I'm still working on that....

Waiting -- Take One~
I started packing the day we got pre-approved for our mortgage...this is how well I wait :P  That was a month and a half ago...or was it two months? Either way, waiting to finally get into our house has been a real trial for me...but we're finally down to the wire! The sale closes on only 4 more sleeps until I have the keys! It will take the weekend to move everything that we can before we let the movers at the bulk of it on Monday. After that comes the UN-packing...but I'm certain that won't be nearly as painful as I *love* to nest. My co-workers really get the brunt of it as I can change my cube around without anyone's permission (whereas DH would like a say in the level of chaos I create with my need for change). 

How do I deal with waiting? I put myself - mentally - in the future and pretend I'm there. The problem with that is that I can't see that my shoelace is untied when I'm focused three blocks ahead...and I stumble. I want to learn to enjoy anticipation and waiting...just not sure how to yet. 

----So this is my life: compulsively active, negligent when it comes to relaxation and personal time, and hoping to learn a little something about myself by putting down some of my life here. But I'm happy :) 

this blogging thing...

The perfectionist in me aches for the perfect blog, with insightful entries and inspirational themes...several attempts at blogging over the years attest to the pitfalls of this approach. 

So here goes nothing!..........