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Gluten Free Cheez-it crackers

So I'm pretty sure I haven't shared this before but I have an Auto immune disease, called Hashimoto's. Which basically means that I have a disorder in which the immune system turns against the body's own tissues. In people with Hashimoto's, the immune system attacks the thyroid. Because of this I have lots of inflammation and in order to avoid feeling sick and yucky all the time I eat gluten free. But that also means I don't get to eat any of my regular stand by favorites, like Cheez-its. 

I love the taste of them, they really are the perfect salty cheesy snack. The only problem is that they pretty much made from things that will make me sick. About 30 minutes after eating them my symptoms set in — first a headache, then the stomach ache, and then just generally feeling like doo. But sometimes I still crave that salty, cheesy, crunchy snack. So, I decided to find a Gluten free Cheez-it crackers. 

I got this recipe from Real Food RN (link HERE) on Pinterest but I doubled it, changed the flour and added a bit more cheese because the amount of crackers you get from one batch was just way too small and would have lasted like five minutes in this household. So enjoy! and let me know if you like it, my husband is sold and says it's definitely a taste alike.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup all purpose gluten free flour — We used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend (See image below) and we bought ours at Sprouts
  • 2 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar, we use grass-fed raw cheddar (Kerrygold from Costco)
  • 8 Tbsp cold grass fed butter, cut into pieces. I use Kerrygold which I buy at Costco
  • 4 Tbsp cold water
  • Sea salt for sprinkling on top

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a food processor, combine flour, cheese and butter
  • Pulse until its a crumbly texture, but well combined
  • Add water and process until a dough forms ( see image below for reference)
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  • Divide dough into two balls and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge, or until firm (not longer than 30 minutes)
  • Roll one ball out on the counter, we have granite so I'm not sure if that helped but it didn't stick and came up super easy
  • Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into squares and trim off uneven edges (you can add extra dough to the next ball)
  • Transfer cut squares to baking sheet
  • Sprinkle with salt, lightly
  • If you want to, poke little holes in the top with a toothpick to make them look even more like Cheez-it crackers ( I did)
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are bubbly and browning on the edges slightly. 
  • Repeat with second dough ball

I put the individual pieces on vs, baking in a rectangle so that all the sides would get crispy. And you don't need to cut them apart again once they are done baking. 

I hope these come out as well as they did for me, they definitely helped ease a craving and with so few ingredients it was easy to make!

 

Hugs

Taryn

Matthew Nagy's Santa Clara University Graduation 2017, Santa Clara CA

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I had such a fun weekend! Eddie and I drove up to Santa Clara on Friday (we left at 3:45am!), to be there for one of the biggest days in my little brother, Matthew, adult life.  In addition to celebrating Matthew's graduation, we also were celebrating Eddie's Birthday, Matthew's birthday, Father's day and my parents anniversary. It was a big schbang weekend!

 Graduations are always such a fun celebration, with family coming together to celebrate the end of an era and the beginning of what feels like endless possibilities. And for parents it's the culmination of all their hard work of getting their kids there. We got to spend some quality time with main family (the five family as Matthew used to say), my cousin Rachel, and my Grammy (she flew from Maryland) which always makes me so thankful for the amazing people in my life. 

I am not very eloquent so I'll say quote someone else's wise words “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” —Arthur Ashe

 I am so excited to see what my baby brother chooses to do with his career and just his life in general. Congratulations scheene scheene bear, I love you!

Hugs,

Taryn

Eddie's Birthday Weekend at Big Bear Lake

"You'll never shine if you don't glow" - Immortal words from the classic song All Star by Smashmouth. This line is the ultimate one liner from our weekend in Big Bear. 

We (Eddie, Megan and I) arrived Friday afternoon in Big Bear, and after 3+ hours in the car we were ready to unwind. We were not prepared for the adventure of just getting to the camp site itself. We were lucky enough to arrive during the day, so the perilous journey down the 6 miles of dirt road was exciting and fun, till Waze took us to a spot were there was no camp ground. Luckily for us, our friends (Nicole and Dylan) found and rescued our car, and we finally arrived at the campsite and got our selves organized. 

We needed more firewood and few items we had forgotten at home so Eddie and I drove back into town, and on our way back to the camp, we saw a BEAR. And this is where I tell you what a bad photographer I am, and that I was totally unprepared and did not get one good picture of the bear. I fumbled and got so freaked out that I had the wrong lens on, and then started clicking and realized I had no memory card in the camera. All I managed to get is one blurry picture of his butt as he ran away. But it did make us all hyper vigilant with our food storage for the rest of the trip.  Anyways this site was amazing, we all set up our tents in amongst the trees, created a hammock tree area, and created a central kitchen gathering space for everyone.  (story continued below)

We built a fire, let the pups run wild, and made dinner while we waited for the last of the Friday crew to arrive. We all started to get worried when it passed 10pm and they still hadn't arrived. At about 11:15, we finally saw some headlights heading down the road, across the meadow from us, but it looked like they missed the turn off! Eddie and I ran down the road in the dark, trying to flag them down. We ended up running back to the car, driving down the road to flag them down and bring them back to the camp. Stephanie, Jesyka, and Brandon we're exhausted when they got there, and stressed as well because the had brought Eddie's Birthday cake in the car and the dirt road was not kind to the cake's construction. 

The cake, which was beautiful by the way (you'll see pictures below) had made it but not in quite the same shaped it had been when they left home. But the fact that not only did it stay together but the girls were so amazing with their cake skills they were able to repair the frosting and you couldn't even tell it was damaged in any way. If you ever need a birthday cake, wedding cake, cupcakes, any kind of cake, check out Night Owls Baking Co. . After they got their tent set up we all went to bed, trying to prepare for the rest of the gang arriving the next day.

We woke up, made breakfast, and hung around in hammocks most of the morning. At around 9:30am Teague and Tom arrived. We got their spots all set up, got sunscreen'd up, and went for a hike up to the Grand View Point right from the trail next to our campground. Mae (who is not a champion athlete) did start to overheat so Dylan graciously gave up his back pack so Eddie could carry her and got a ride back down the mountain.

After our Hike we were all hot and sweaty and ready to jump in a freezing cold lake! So we quickly ate lunch (Teague made her gourmet avocado toast w/ sprouts that everyone was jealous of), and Dylan and Jax arrived. We all decided to head down to the lake, and get a little beach time. We ended up at Boulder Bay Park which is right down the road from our campsite and had a great little cove and beach.

We threw the dirty pups in the water (Harper and Mae were not impressed) and jumped in to wash off the dust and sweat. The water was cold but honestly way less so then I was expecting. I'm sure it was because the cove was pretty shallow.  Brandon even tried to fish a bit, but unfortunately didn't catch anything. 

After our sunny active day we were all ready to have our group dinner and play some games. I was so busy eating our dinner that I forgot to take pictures of it, so you'll just have to trust me that it was beautiful and delicious. Then we all gathered around Eddie to sing Happy Birthday, which he hated/loved. He doesn't like all the attention to be on him. :)

After dinner we sat around the fire and Dylan brought our glow sticks on strings and we took turns impressing each other with our "glow" skills and hitting ourselves with them. Honestly it was the best weekend I've had in a long time. We got to spend real quality time with friends and be totally unplugged and it was amazing. I can't wait to plan our next camping trip! Thank you to all my sweet friends who came and I hope you all love these images from our trip. Now that I'm clean and showered I could definitely go back to the camp ground today and do a few more days. :)

Hugs 

Taryn