A little update on my life….

my little Audrey Hepburn…

No Halloween is complete without Superheros….

And baby robbers on the run….

And unhappy jailbirds…. We had a fantastic time this year, what did you dress your kids as?  I’m always looking for new, creative ideas for the kids.

Happy Halloween!

So here we are again, months since my last post.  A lot has happened, some good, some not so good.  After receiving several emails of concern from readers, I have decided to finally get on here and share …. brace yourself for my longest post to date.

Beginning of May, Fiona was about six months old, I began having symptoms of a Crohn’s flare and did my usual routine:  Strict SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) intro diet for a few days.  It mainly consists of consuming homemade chicken broth, eggs, super ripe bananas, and other protein like salmon.  Not too fun, but it usually does the trick.  But this flare was really kicking my butt… I was basically on bed rest, still breastfeeding (because I’m stubborn and always put my kids first)… My mom was coming to stay with me during the week to help take care of my other kids, while I attempted to ride out the flare naturally.  But eventually, after emailing with my GI, we decided to do a round of prednisone.

……Uhhhh, I hate steroids, they make you crazy, irritable, angry, hungry…. not to mention the terrible long term side effects it can do to your body.  But nonetheless, it is sometimes necessary to take, as much as I hate admitting, this drug can help curb a flare.  Unfortunately, after a quick round of steroids, we saw little improvement.  My GI prescribed a second round and this time I had started going back to Acupuncture.  My Chinese medicine doctor was very concerned that I waited so long to see him, so we began treatment right away.  Within 2 weeks of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, along with my steroids I was already on my way to remission.  I felt a million times better, was beginning to gain weight and get my energy back.  I was also going to the chiropractor weekly.  I know that this protocol may not work for everyone, but I just want this to serve as an encouragement to you all or those you know who suffer from auto immune or digestive disorders.  I have no intention of ending my acupuncture or chiropractic treatments.

I also believe its important to have an open line of communication with your GI.  At my last check up with her, she seemed so pleased with my current condition that she said there was no reason for her to put me on any type of maintenance medication and to keep up with what I am doing.  She has always been supportive of my diet (SCD) and is now recommending acupuncture and chiropractic treatment to her other patients.  She is the first GI that I have ever had to acknowledge the correlation between diet and Crohn’s disease! Make sure you find one who believes that too, it’s so important to have a supportive doctor behind you.

I looked back thru the years and made an eye opening discovery:  All of my major Crohn’s flares were all between 6-8 months postpartum.  My very first flare, when I was diagnosed, my son Andrew was 6 months old.  Then another large flare after Juliette and of course the most recent flare after Fiona.  These have been the only flares that have ended in a hospital stay or needed medication to curb.  Needless to say, I don’t think it is in my best interest to have any more children.  I am very thankful for the 5 little blessings I have :)  I guess only time will tell if my theory is true….  I’m curious if any of you experienced the same thing postpartum, perhaps a change in hormones?? Please share, I’d love to hear  your story and experiences!

So I was sick in May-June, then super busy with the kids home ALL day EVERY day of summer… I thought to myself, oh I’ll get back to blogging again once the kids start school…. well school started, and so did soccer, and chess club and student government and homework and bible study. Then, I finally broke out my camera to photograph a new recipe and my zoom lens wasn’t working!  Seriously, best. luck. ever.

But I’m determined to get back on track…Many more exciting things to come! I have been creating and compiling tons of new recipes to share with you all! Some things coming up: crepes, caramel walnut tart, slow cooker pork roast, and of course Thanksgiving recipes and tips will be included.  I just need to get cooking, grab my camera and get to work.

By the way, I know I didn’t respond to all of your emails, but I truly appreciate your concerns and encouragement during these past few months.  Just sorry it has taken so long to get on here and share that I am really doing okay!  Very healthy and happy, but as always my motto is “Family first”  and that will never change.

Say a little prayer for my daughter Juliette, who is 3.  We are in the process of testing for Celiac.  We believe she may have DH (Dermatitis Herpetiformis), which is a rash-like manifestation of Celiac on the skin, often mistaken for Eczema.  I’m hoping for a clear diagnosis, so we can fully change her diet.  She has been mostly gluten free for the past year, because she developed what I thought was eczema and it became worse when she ate gluten. I had never even heard of a rash associated with Celiac until a family friend mentioned it.  If you have DH, it confirms you have Celiac, but not all of those with Celiac suffer with DH.  If her test is positive, the switch to gluten free will not be a stretch, but we will obviously be more careful about cross contamination. Do any of you have DH?  For those with children who have Celiac, was it hard to get a proper diagnosis? Please share your stories and experience in my comments.  I’d like to think that we are a community and can be here for eachother. Whether it’s Crohn’s, Celiac or IBS.  This journey is never easy, but we are not alone.

For getting 3 viles of blood drawn yesterday, she still seemed pretty happy:

Don’t forget you can keep up with me on my Facebook page and also for my day to day life on Instagram- under the name shelley608!  Warning, I post pictures of kids and food all the time… And you can pin my recipes to Pinterest with that little button below my name that says pin it… Okay, I promise it won’t be another 4 months til my next post!!

Many blessings, Michelle

Posted in Gluten Free, Life | 15 Comments

Fourth of July Recipe Roundup

Oh hello everyone, do you remember who I am??  I realize this is my first post in months.  I just wanted to share with you all that I’m still around and have no intention to stop blogging.  It’s just been, shall we say- a rough couple of months for me.  I’m going to wait until my next post to share my story in detail… for now, I’m just putting together a collection of recipes for your Fourth of July gatherings.

Fourth of July Recipe Roundup


These are some of my favorite, make ahead and easy to travel with, dishes and desserts.

Just click on the above photos and it will take your directly to the recipe or click on the recipes listed below:

And here is the latest photo of Fiona, who is now 8 months old!!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, be safe!


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Homemade Granola Bars

Granola bars are one of my favorite snacks and make a quick breakfast. This recipe is missing the usual main ingredient, oats.  Although some oats are gluten free, many are not.  So this eliminates any risk of consuming gluten and is also Paleo friendly.

I have made these several different ways, swapping ingredients for variety.  The bars pictured are my cinnamon raisin version, my favorite.  My kids are a big fan of peanut butter chocolate chip, figures :)

My secret to these bars, is actually the biscotti method – twice baked.  It is very essential in this recipe to follow my instructions or they will not hold together.  You MUST bake them twice.

Homemade Granola Bars

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 300.  Grease a 9×13 dish and line with parchment paper, then grease parchment.
  2. In a large pot on low heat, melt together honey, butter or oil and nut butter.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add all dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Pour into prepared dish.  Press down, and flatten mixture with spatula.  Try to spread into an even layer.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 300 degrees, until golden in color.
  5. Remove from oven and let sit until almost cool.
  6. Place on cutting board and cut down the center lengthwise.  And cut rectangles, about 18 bars total.  They will seem somewhat flimsy, so be careful.
  7. Gently place bars onto a lined sheet tray and bake again for another 7-10 minutes.  This will firm them up and make the bars nice and crispy.
  8. Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.  These also freeze well for an extended period of time.

* for peanut butter chocolate chip bars – use peanut butter in place of almond butter, replace raisins with chocolate chips, omit cinnamon and vanilla.

*for thick and chewy granola bars, double the recipe and still bake in a 9×13 dish.  You will need to add baking time and bake again after cutting.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Here is an updated photo of my babies :)  We are dedicating them tomorrow at church and I needed take a picture with all of them!  It’s tough getting 5 kids to stop moving and smile simultaneously.  This was the best shot.


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Chocolate Macaroon Pie

I’d love to take the credit for this amazing idea, but it came from the lovely Martha Stewart.  Her version kept showing up in my Pinterest feed and I knew I had to come up with my own rendition.

The crust is basically a giant coconut macaroon cookie and the filling is a creamy chocolate ganache.  I love the combination of chocolate and raspberries, but you could use any fruit you like or even nuts.  A dollop of whipped cream wouldn’t hurt either :p

Finally a dessert that is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and even nut free!

Chocolate Macaroon Pie

  • 4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or melted butter
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or room temperature butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine crust ingredients using your hands and then press into a standard 9 inch pie dish, that has been greased.  (it will seem like too much, but press it down and up the sides, creating a thick crust)
  3. Cover crust with a pie crust shield or make your own by cutting a piece of foil in a circle slightly larger than your pie, then cutting out a smaller circle which will allow the middle to cook thru.  Bake with shield on for 15 minutes.  Remove shield and bake for 5-7 minutes uncovered until golden.
  4. Remove from oven, let cool completely while preparing filling.
  5. Combine chocolate, coconut milk and honey over a double boiler.  Gently melt the mixture, do not overheat.  You do not want to burn the chocolate or cook the honey.  That is why a double boiler is very important during this step.  Once chocolate is melted and there are no lumps, remove from heat and whisk in room temperature butter or coconut oil.  This will create a lovely sheen.
  6. Pour chocolate filling into cooled pie shell.  Place in fridge to set chocolate.
  7. Top with fresh raspberries, store in fridge until ready to serve.
  8. Set pie out at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

*results may vary depending on variations of ingredients used, therefore the appearance may also be different than pictured, the longer the pie sits out the creamier the ganache will become.

I hope you all have a lovely Spring Break and Easter celebration.  You probably won’t hear from me on the blog until after Easter.  Things get pretty crazy when the kids are off school, and we will be doing some traveling visiting family and friends.

Oh, and I had to share an updated photo of my sweet Fiona, who just turned 5 months this week.  She is becoming quite the character and is now rolling.  The older kids really enjoy making her laugh and playing with her.

Many blessings


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Roasted Cabbage

Most of the time when you think of cabbage, you think of a boiled, soggy vegetable or a crunchy slaw.  Well here, I am going to share with you my favorite way to prepare it.

I’ve never been big on cabbage, I will admit.  However, I tend to love pretty much any vegetable once it is roasted.  And this is a perfect example.  Something about the roasting process brings out the natural  sweetness and delicate flavor of the cabbage.

So here is my super simple recipe for roasted cabbage.  A quick and easy side dish, for any meal, not just St. Patrick’s Day!

Roasted Cabbage

  • 1 head of cabbage, sliced (about 1/2 inch is good)
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Separate cabbage slices and toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread into a single layer on a sheet tray (you will probably need 2 trays for a whole cabbage)
  4. Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on how caramelized you like your veggies.  I like mine with nice color.
  5. Serve warm.

Have you tried my Shepherd’s Pie?  I think I will be making that for St. Patrick’s Day this year :)  What are you planning to make?


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