a view from the laundry pile…

…it's all about perspective.

Gluten-Free One Pot Pasta

I’m going on month 6 of my “food experiment” (no gluten/processed sugar for a year) and, so far, it’s going quite well. In addition to losing a little weight, I’ve managed to clear up one or two health issues (nothing serious, just annoying) — all while experimenting with new recipes.

I saw this posted on Facebook so I put my own little twist on it to make it fit my current diet.  Of course, you could always use regular wheat pasta and, I’m sure, it’d be just as good.

GF pasta dishGluten-Free One Pot Pasta


  • 6 oz. Corn & Rice Penne Pasta
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmesan (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 -14.5 oz. can Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (remember, the Parm is quite salty)


  1. Put everything (including the pasta) into a large pot/pan with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Cover and bring it to a boil then turn down to simmer.
  3. Cook until the pasta is done (about 13-15 minutes), stirring every 2 minutes or so.

This was one of the easy-peasiest, and certainly tastiest, gluten-free pasta dishes I’ve tried. Now to test it on Fred…

Note: Since Parmesan, like many cheeses, isn’t vegetarian, leave out or use a vegetarian/vegan substitute if that is your preference.

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Holy Macro!

My dear friend and photo buddy Crystal, who recently dug out her macro lens for her camera, showed me some of the photos she took with it. Grant it, she’s a professional photographer so I expected her photos go be wonderful, but I was truly impressed and wanted to get my own, then and there. However, after looking at the prices, I settled for a “tester” lens attachment that I found online for a very reasonable price.

The moment I received it I stuck it on my camera and was out the back door. I pointed and “clicked” and the camera went in and out of focus about a bazillion times as my arms were getting tired and my lungs were about to explode from holding my breath so long trying to stay still. Okay, so I exaggerated a bit here — but I just couldn’t get it to focus. After getting a few blurry shots, I drug myself back inside, spirits in the dumper, thinking I’d just wasted a bit of money. Then the lightbulb went on over my head and I put on my other lens, along with the macro attachment. Apparently it doesn’t work really well with a 55-200 lens (especially without a tripod) BUT, it works great with my 18-55! Woo hoo! I was happy again (yeah, it doesn’t take much). I’m excited to make some of these in to photos and photo cards for my online photography shop!

Small succulentssucculant sig

Yellow Daisydaisy sig

   Sleeping Beesleeping bee sig

Dandeliondandelion sig

Spider in miniature rosebudspider rose bud sig


Here’s Crystal’s website if you’re interested in taking a peek at her fabulous photos! http://www.crystalcraigphotography.com/

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The Carrot Experiment

The weather has been great this summer and our garden has been pretty good so far. In addition to lots of potatoes, lettuce, spinach, kale, & radishes, the peas were plentiful but are done (thanks to the little field mouse that devoured the last bunch. Hmph!) and the carrots are starting to show signs of bug damage so it’s time to pull them! I decided to try something new this year and store some of them in sand. I’ve heard it’s a very cost-effective and good way to store carrots for a long time for those who don’t have a root cellar. We will see!

c4The first thing I did was to carefully pull the carrots, cut the tops off (leaving about 1-2″ of the greens), check them for any damage (eat those now, don’t store them), and leave them in the sun for a few hours to make sure they’re good and dry.

c2Next, I put about 1″ of sand (use clean play sand only – anything else can have debris and/or unwanted chemicals in it) in the bottom of a plastic container (crate) and spritzed it with water. I read that good storage needs about 90-95% humidity, so it’s key to get it good and damp (but not dripping wet, as this could cause mold).

c1Once that was done, I started layering in the carrots. They shouldn’t touch (in case one goes bad, it won’t affect the others) and, after each layer of carrots, add another layer of sand and spritz away! I repeated this until the carrots were all tucked away. For the final layer of sand, I did add an extra inch for insulation.

I had Fred carry the crate into the garage for storage since I there was no way I could carry the 75 lb. box (I used 1-1/2 bags of sand).  The ideal temperature is 30-40F but the garage is the coolest area we have available. Fingers crossed this works!

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