The snow came down last night. Beautiful, glorious snow!
Little man's school was cancelled so weeeee, out the door we went for a little treat—compliments of TCBY®.
My love for frozen yogurt dates back to the 80's when Grandpop would take me out for yogurt on hot, humid Kailua nights. I would carefully pick my flavor and combo of toppings—something along the lines of walnuts, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Pure heaven.
This sweet memory of times with grandpa is one I've always wanted to recreate for my own kids, but it's not been easy. For those of us with dairy-free kids, it's hard to find an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop that caters to our kind.
Well, thirty years later the memories come swirling back as I fill my cup with non-dairy, vegan, soft serve frozen yogurt at our local TCBY (aka The Country's Best Yogurt).
TCBY and Silk® have teamed up to offer a dairy-free, vegan, vanilla almond frozen yogurt in shops across the country and today Little Man and I sampled it.
The new Silk Vanilla was pretty good. Quite sweet for my taste, but then I really don't do much sugar anymore. The little dude inhaled his—complete with gummy bears and gummy worms. I stuck with the boba—a dignified topping don't you think?
I really dig the whole self-serve set up at TCBY. You walk right up, grab a cup, fill it with any of the 8-10 flavors of the day (one of which is always dairy-free and vegan), proceed to the topping bar (there are a few gluten-free and dairy-free options—just ask), then the scale to weigh your treat and pay up.
I highly recommend TCBY simply for the fact that once in a while we need a little treat AND that we feel like a typical family when we go to TCBY—a typical family on a Friday night enjoying tasty frozen yumminess.
Hello dear friends. This is a recipe one I posted a couple years back. What I love about DIY seasoning mixes like this one is that you know what goes into them. So many of the store bought seasoning packets are laced with wheat, uneccessary fillers, and preservatives with names I cannot even pronounce. With this recipe, there is a little measuring to do up front, but you've also made enough seasoning for four batches of stew!
Get the recipe here or better yet, pick up a copy of Everyday Classics. You'll find the recipe and so many more basic gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and corn-free recipes like this one you don't want to be without!
Gluten-Free Stew Seasoning
1 cup superfine brown rice flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 teaspoons dried oregano flakes
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon dried dill
- Measure ingredients for Stew Seasoning into a large jar.
- Cover and shake to combine. Seasoning keeps for up to 6 months.
- This recipe makes enough Stew Seasoning for approximately 4 batches of stew.
2 pounds 1-inch cubed beef or bison stew meat
6 tablespoons Stew Seasoning (see recipe above)
2 tablespoons high heat cooking oil
5 cups water, divided
6 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups chopped or baby carrots
2 cups chopped celery
3 cups beef broth
- In a large bowl toss stew meat with 6 tablespoons Stew Seasoning.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet and brown half the meat on all sides. Transfer browned meat to slow cooker pot. Repeat with remaining meat.
- Deglaze skillet with 1 cup water, scraping up any crispy bits. Add this liquid to the slow cooker pot along with the potatoes, carrots, celery, broth and remaining 4 cups water.
- Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours, or until meat is tender.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Real quick, I wanted to express my thanks to all who have purchased Everyday Classics. The outpouring of support has touched my heart!
If you've been cooking from the book and would like to help others in their decision to buy it, please leave your thoughts in a review on Amazon. I appreciate it, big time! Short and sweet is fine. Here are a couple of my favorites from this week:
favorite cookbook! It's her go to book when she can't think of what she wants for dinner."
It was so unbelievable that it was gluten, dairy and egg free!"
The book price on Amazon has fluctuated wildly—today I took a peek and it was priced at $12.22, the lowest ever! So if you have yet to purchase your copy, keep watch for a good deal on amazon.com.
Personally, I think this book would make a great Valentine's Day gift for that sweet someone in your life who needs to follow a gluten-free and dairy-free diet or GFCF diet.
And speaking of Valentine's Day, I've been having fun with my Valentine's Day Pinterest board.
Finally, before I crawl back into my hiatus cave, I wanted to extend a big thanks to the following blogs for their support and reviews of Everyday Classics:
Of the 345 blog posts I have written this is one of the easiest—and the most difficult—to write.
Earlier this month I became inexplicably bothered in heart and mind. I grew edgy and unhappy and I couldn't figure out why.
So I took long walks.
I conferred with the dearest of the dearest people in my life.
I conversed with myself.
I consulted God.
And, finally, an answer came.
The Sick Little Boy
When I started blogging, I had a sick little boy (read here). Uncertainty and fear had set up camp on the doorstep of my psyche. Blogging became an outlet—a quiet escape from the storm. I needed to learn so much so quickly, and I gratefully received so much help, knowledge, and support from so many of you in this forum. Blogging has been a source of great blessing for through it I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. My work has been picked up, published and read by millions. It inspired me to write a cookbook that I am immensely proud of. I even got to speak with First Lady Michelle Obama.
So what was the deal?
Why, all of a sudden, did my laptop become a ball and chain. Why did the thought of sitting down to create another recipe, take another photo, and write another post leave me dejected? Was it a temporary case of blogger burnout?
The End of a Chapter
I came to the realization that the very thing that once centered me was now unsettling me and that as all chapters do, this one was coming to an end.
Each chapter in life comes with a new set of challenges, adventures and demands, and in each chapter there is a balance that must be found. I am afraid that if I continue at this pace, my spirit will break. Miss Type A here would love to be that mythical Super Mom who effortlessly can do it all—take care of others, take care of herself, keep a house, prepare three meals a day, run a business, volunteer at school and blog. But I can't. I just can't. And oh my, how liberating it is to push pride aside and admit that.
In many ways I feel like I have given myself the greatest of gifts. The OK to let go of things that need letting go of and to open the door to new experiences that will shape the next chapter of my life. And the beautiful part? By giving myself this gift, I will be happier and more capable of turning around and giving to others in new ways.
So what it all boils down to is that I will be taking a hiatus from blogging and stepping away from the computer.
I am going to learn to breathe again. I am going to be present for my husband, kids, and friends. I am going to go hiking. I am going to cook others' recipes. I am going to garden to my heart's content. I am just going to "be" for a while.
For how long? I do not know.
For four years we have met in this place and I am grateful. When I return to blogging and social media it will be because I feel it is time, and when I do you’ll likely see a little less "gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free" and a little more "composting, travel and yoga!"
Let's Keep In Touch
Not to worry, I am not dropping off the planet and you can bet I will miss you. So for those who would like to stay in touch, here's how we can do that.
Sign Up for Email Updates [click here]
When I do post here, be the first to know.
Pinterest [click here]
Check out my other interests.
Simply Gluten Free Magazine [click here]
I will continue contributing to this publication as an Associate Editor.
I hope you will keep up with me there.
My Cookbook [click here]
If you really get to missing me and haven’t bought my book, Everyday Classics,
pick up a copy and I'll be right there with you in your kitchen!
The content here at Lexie's Kitchen will remain and I hope you will continue to use it and my cookbook as resources in your kitchen. I will check in every once in a while and will reply to questions and comments as I can.
Geeesh, this is hard. If I could hug each one of you and thank you in person I would. For now, I will sign off with a big XO.
I love you and treasure you.