apple cider donuts

Two weeks ago we made our first venture to the apple orchard.  Kinley, Ashley and I drove to a local orchard the first week it was open to get the just-ready apples.  Gingergolds and Paula Reds were ready to be picked and we ended up with an entire bag filled to the top with red and gold apples.  I definitely seem to up my apple intake when there are fresh apples around – there is nothing quite like the taste of an apple in the fall, especially when you know they’re local, organic, and fresh off the tree.  Writing this post makes me want to go and get more even though we still have a bunch left in the fridge!  I know there are more varieties now just waiting for us to go pick some more.  I better get eating :).  And you’ve got to make sure to pick up some apple cider on your next trip to the orchard so you can try out these donuts!
Apple Cider Donuts
  • 3/4c oat flour [ground from rolled oats/steel cut/oat groats]
  • 3/4c sweet rice flour
  • 1/4c coconut flour
  • 1T organic sugar
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1 1/2t baking powder
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/8 t allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 1 c apple cider
  • ~1/4 c unsweetened almond milk

1. Preheat oven to 375′.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oat flour, sweet rice flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (you could use apple pie spice instead of the different spices if you have it on hand).

3. In a larger bowl, mix together the egg, applesauce and apple cider.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined.  If the batter is too thick, add ~1/4c unsweetened almond milk to thin it out.

5. Spray a donut pan (or muffin tin) with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with additional sugar to coat.

6. Spoon the batter into the donut pan (or fill a plastic bag with the batter, cut off the corner and pipe in).

7. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

We didn’t add any additional sugar to the top – just what was in the pan, but you can definitely melt some butter and top with additional cinnamon + sugar, or make a glaze with powdered sugar + apple cider.  Whatever way you choose, you will enjoy these and be baking them up all Autumn long :).

butternut squash pizza

Last winter I was eating so much butternut squash and pumpkin I swear I was a tad orange – it was brilliant.  I am so glad that the grocery stores have squash piling up in the bins now – no more scrounging at the bottom to pick a good one ;).  This particular squash, however, did not come from the grocery store.  We grew it in our very own garden!  It was actually picked a few weeks ago but today was finally the day to roast it and make something delicious.

Butternut squash on pizza might sound strange at first, but let’s be honest, butternut squash is delicious on almost anything.  The first time I had it on pizza was at Fire & Stone in Covent Garden in London before seeing The Lion King.  I had ‘The Melbourne‘ with mozzarella, tomato sauce, brie, sweet roasted butternut squash and balsamic red onions, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.  Such unique pizza toppings but it could not have been more delicious.  Of course when we have a new box of Nature’s Hilights brown rice pizza crusts in the freezer and a butternut squash on the counter, I was reminded of that pizza I had over a year and a half ago – only with far less gourmet toppings, and both gluten free and vegan.

Butternut Squash Pizza

  • 1 butternut squash
  • nature’s hilights brown rice pizza crust
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • daiya mozzarella style shreds
  • basil
1. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cube into pieces.
2. Roast in a 400′ oven for 40 minutes, or until squash is cooked through.
3. Prep the pizza crust according to directions.  Pre-bake if necessary.
4. Top the crust with oil, roasted butternut squash, daiya and basil.
5. Bake for 10 minutes until the daiya is melted.

Serve with the leftover roasted butternut squash ;).

$75 of groceries

To be honest, I am not a big fan of grocery shopping. Every once in awhile I’m in the mood to wander the aisles to see what I can find, but mostly I would rather be at home either cooking or eating the food ;). Ever since going gluten free, and being more conscious of getting products marked ‘certified gluten free’, our shopping habits have changed significantly. With that, our consciousness of prices has increased to make sure that our shopping bill did not change significantly as well. It is my responsibility to buy most of the groceries and I do not have a grocery budget set, per se, but obviously with being a debt-stricken graduate I have to be conscious of the bill. We have found our favorite products and have figured out a way to stagger buying them so we can still enjoy them and have enough money left to buy our other groceries!

The following list of products represents $75 of groceries we got last week. We also have quite a pantry stocked up with dried beans and grains as well as grass-fed beef and free-range chicken in the freezer for our meals. We tend to average about $100 per week of groceries purchased, but with the fact we rarely eat out that ends up being $7.15 per person, per day. And with both of us being fairly big eaters that is definitely not a bad amount! Especially if we were to eat out lunch just one time, it would more than likely be over $7 for the day just with that one meal, not three meals and 2-3 snacks.

There are three main stores we frequent for our groceries. Woodmans (for most of our dried goods and snacks), Trader Joes (produce, almond milk, almond butter) and Outpost (meats, eggs, random products such as daiya). We also go to Whole Foods occasionally, but that would then replace one of our other stops.

Here’s what we got for $75 last week!

  • 2 bags gluten free oats from Trader Joe’s – the first time we’ve seen them and they are SO much cheaper than Bob’s Red Mill!  We didn’t actually need these this week but it was a good find!
  • baby carrots
  • bananas
  • 2 cans of tuna (lunch option)
  • light coconut milk (for a future curry dish)
  • puffed millet cereal
  • romaine lettuce
  • spinach
  • apple cider (for the chickpea cider stew and apple cider donuts!)
  • brown rice pasta
  • vegetable broth (for chickpea cider stew)
  • Talenti gelato – weekend splurge
  • 2 containers unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 container unsweetened almond milk
  • Smart Chicken maple chicken sausage
  • sorghum flour
  • Applegate Farms turkey deli meat
  • Ener-G buns – a somewhat interesting looking but delicious smelling and tasting gluten free bread option!
  • Puffins Honey Rice – an instant favorite.  So good on puffed millet with unsweetened vanilla almond milk!
  • Lentil Curls
Obviously, an entire meal couldn’t really be made out of these ingredients alone, but paired with pantry staples we have had delicious home made meals all week!  It’s so nice to finally have favorite gluten free products that I search out for in stores rather than be sad I have such limited options.
Tomorrow night is yet another grocery night for us – although we’ll be semi-stocking up for Kinley’s Appleton 1/2 Marathon this weekend!  Run Kinley Run!

Now what to do with all these oats… hmmm.


We have very unique recipes in my family.  Recipes I used to think of as “normal” but not ones that many other people would eat on a regular basis.  Johnny Cake (aka a sweeter cornbread) with baked beans + hot dogs, crazy pancakes (might have to re-create this at some point), Hungarian Goulash, Chipped Beef on Toast with peas… I could go on but I’ll refrain.  When my sister and I were no longer little kids, she took over most of the cooking so a lot of what we had eaten when we were younger mostly went away.  We would have something every once in awhile, but it was not a common occurrence.  One thing that continued to stay around throughout life was Pannenkoeken (I think that’s how you spell it?).  We would often have it after church when we were visiting the grandparents.  Grandpa would slice up a bunch of apples, cook them with a whole stick of butter, and then top it with an eggy, cakey topping.  All topped off with cinnamon, sugar, and of course maple syrup!  (Just hopefully not the water + maple extract that was once served… don’t ask) Last Saturday was our first trip to the apple orchard so naturally we were thinking of something to cook for breakfast with apples!  Luckily, my sister had a good memory and thought of the delicious pannenkoeken of yesteryear.  One major change was no gluten and way less butter (or butter substitute).  We also made it in four individual dishes from Crate&Barrel, but you could easily make it in a 9×13″ baking pan.


  • 4t butter (or equivalent)
  • 2-3 apples
  • cinnamon (+sugar if you wish)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c millet flour
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • optional toppings: cinnamon+sugar, maple syrup, powdered sugar
1.  Preheat the oven to 425′.
2. Place 1t of butter per dish and place in the oven to melt.
3. Core and slice the apples and layer on the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle with cinnamon+sugar (or just cinnamon) and ~1t water and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the partially cooked apples.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
6. Top with the toppings of your choice!
This recipe really brought me back.  I did not think it was actually going to be similar to what I had been used to, but it really was.  The cooked apples in the bottom make the entire thing so flavorful and delicious, and I think apples and maple syrup is one of my favorite combinations!  We each ate one of these for breakfast on Sunday morning and then heated up the other ones in the oven on Monday morning as a special Monday treat!

It’s so nice knowing that I don’t have to feel deprived from family memories revolving around food.  Although I’ll have to work on my grandma’s sugar cookie cutout recipes before Christmas!  Not sure how I’m going to survive without hers… ;).

meatless monday: chickpea cider stew

I have said it before, but I will say it again, Fall is my favorite season.  The weather is perfect and the flavors are the best.  Apples and pumpkin are definitely high on my list of favorite flavors and they both make an appearance throughout my eats the entire year.  You know what they say, “An apple a day…”.  One thing that I don’t quite have the appetite for in summer is thick soups and stews.  It’s just not the same eating it in the air conditioning than it is when you’re eating it to help stay warm ;).

Well, today is an air-conditioning type day, but last week fall was upon us and my craving for all things apple came on full force!  Luckily we made a trip to a local apple orchard this weekend to stock up and we have our first bushel of apples in the kitchen.  Since it’s Meatless Monday, I thought (well, this was actually Kinley’s idea but I made it haha) that having apples as the center of a meal would be delicious.  In the past, we’ve made a crockpot stew featuring meat, but chickpeas became the star of the show tonight and they were incredible.

Chickpea Cider Stew

  • 1 1/2 c dry chickpeas, rinsed and picked through in case of small stones
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 6-8 yukon gold potatoes, chunked into large pieces
  • 5-6 whole carrots, sliced
  • 2t salt
  • 3 c apple cider
  • 2 c vegetable broth
1. In a large crockpot, layer all ingredients from top-down.  I left the peels on everything and you would never notice.
2. Place crockpot on low for 8-10 hours, or until chickpeas are tender.

The chickpeas cook in the cider and soak up the delicious, sweet flavor.  The apples completely cook down so just their flavor is left and the potatoes and carrots are perfectly tender.  It was nice to start off with dry chickpeas (read: no prep) and end up with a deliciously cooked and flavored meal!  I was worried before I left that it was going to end up boiling over since it was so full – I even drove home at lunchtime to take a peek!  Luckily, it was for nothing (well, I got to see Croz for a couple minutes 😉 ).  The stew didn’t cook over, the chickpeas just displaced some of the liquid.  It was a perfect weeknight meal!  Extremely easy prep in the morning as well – you can even have everything chopped up and ready to throw together in the morning!   (Just be sure to NOT soak the beans in anything overnight – the cooking process is enough to rehydrate the dry beans).

hello, fall

Look different?  Seasons are changing and summer is nearing it’s official end (well, there’s still a few more weeks left 😉 ).  Schools are back in session, leaves are beginning to change, and the weather will continue to become cooler.  Hence, My Search of Summer is over.  Well, more like my search is changing.  Welcome to Living the Gluten Free Life!

Ever since I started My Search of Summer, I always had it in the back of my mind that one goal I had would be to self-host my blog to have more customization involved, as well as Google Analytics!  Little did I know when I started My Search of Summer that I would find out that I was allergic to gluten.  It was a tough transition but I am now at the place where I have accepted this is my life from here on out if I want to feel normal.  I may not be able to eat ‘normally’ (whatever that is anymore), but I will have the ability to feel healthy.

Living the Gluten Free Life is my life.  Recipes, travel, running, as well as anything else I end up doing.  My recipes?  All will be gluten free, but whether or not you are gluten free they will be able to be enjoyed by all.  Nothing gritty or grainy in this house!  My travel?  It has become increasingly difficult to eat out both locally and when going away, especially, but there are so many good gluten free restaurants out there that I need to try!  My running speed has increased significantly since not being weighed down by gluten and is something I continue to enjoy doing immensely – can’t wait for my upcoming races!  Even though I am not meatless anymore, I will continue to do Meatless Monday meals as it is now a routine in this household :).  Look back later tonight to see a delicious meatless stew!  It smells so good in here haha.

It’s hard to believe that since mid-May, I have posted 100 times.  In fact, it worked out perfectly that my first post on the new blog is post number 100!  That’s quite a few recipes and random ramblings :).  There are still a handful of changes to make to Living the Gluten Free Life, but I was too excited to show everyone and continue blogging to hold off making the switch!  I have technically owned this domain for a few weeks but kept second guessing my ability to get everything up and working.  So happy I prevailed and can see the finish line!

Things I am still working on?

  1. Logo – I apologize for the lack of name at the top!  I am meeting with my friend Emilee to talk possibilities tomorrow.
  2. Pages – re-formatting, editing, adding, etc.
  3. Side panel – working on getting some advertising up to connect more with the food community!
  4. Recipes, eating, running, writing…
  5. And much, much more I am sure!
Hope you all like the site and I would love any suggestions you may have!  Now off to write up tonight’s recipe :).


As you may or may not have noticed, it has been almost a week since my last post… the longest hiatus I believe I have taken since starting this blog in May.  It was completely unintentional – last Thursday I worked and then went to yoga, and by the time I got home there was just enough time for dinner, a shower, and then bed.  Friday through Monday are a holiday weekend blur – fun times with family and not so fun times with allergies!  And of course after a 3 day weekend, work has been just oh-so-enjoyable.  But, this past Monday marked my first ever PAID holiday!  I loved the fact that I could sit around watching Man v. Food and get paid for it – marvelous ;).

Other things I did this weekend?

Indoor rockclimbing – first time ever!

And I actually made it to the top a few times!

Sailing – and lost my favoritist sunglasses… they didn’t even make it a month with me, oi.  Lake Michigan, I hope you enjoy them.

Sheboygan County Fair

Yes, it included monster trucks!

And some Hot Wisconsin Cheese for the cousins!

Even though I didn’t blog yesterday, I was still surprisingly productive!  Room + bathroom cleaned, sheets + towels laundered, front lawn mowed, almond butter made… and I have also set a few changes in motion for my blog that will be revealed shortly… super discrete, I know ;).  But I am excited for the changes and will be busy making everything perfect over the next few days!  So I will be on continued hiatus until the changes are made – but then I will be back and be better than ever!  Well, if everything goes correctly haha.

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!  I can’t wait until Friday afternoon gets here ;).