Wednesday, October 22, 2014

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup - gluten free

A little over a week ago I got the idea in my head that I wanted to try to make French Onion Soup. You wouldn't think that having celiac disease, and having to eat gluten free, would limit the world of soup for you, but it certainly does! Wheat flour is a cheap thickener and it's in almost EVERY SOUP! (There are a couple of good canned soups out there, but then you get into the whole BPA lining thing... and I just don't want to go there in this post) Lucky for me, the Lettuce Restaurants (Mon Ami Gabi and Wildfire) both have French Onion Soup on their gluten free menus, so I knew that a good GF French Onion Soup was possible, so I took my crazy idea and ran with it!

I started where all good cooks start - google.

Google returned this recipe by Tyler Florence and it looked pretty easy so I decided to jump on it! But then, I had to see if I could make it in my crock pot... and I found this post from How Sweet It Is, that also referenced the recipe from Tyler Florence... so I figured I would go the traditional route first... with some modifications. :)

French Onion Soup - gluten free

Modifications for Tyler Florence's French Onion Soup Recipe:
  1.  It takes like an hour to caramelize onions, not 25 minutes. So just keep cooking until they are all brown and caramelized!
  2.  I couldn't find fresh thyme, so I used a sprinkle (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of dried
  3.  You're drunk if you think 1 cup = 1/2 a bottle of red wine. 1/2 a bottle is closer to 1 1/2 cups... so just keep poring :). Also, the onions won't get dry for real, the wine just reduces.
  4.  It's a gluten free version, so I used Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour
  5.  I didn't spend an hour caramelizing onions to make 32 oz of soup... USE DOUBLE! Also, I've never found gluten free broth, so I always use Kitchen Basics Stock in all of my recipes that call for broth. I added 2 boxes (64 oz) and it was MAGICAL!
  6.  10 minutes of heating... more like 25. Basically this recipe is from another dimension with a different time scale.
  7.  And last - I used Against the Grain baguette. Ohmigoodness! It is sooooo good! I suggest that you cut it and toast it as much as possible before floating it in the soup and covering the soup with SO MUCH GRUYERE!

I also served my favorite Apple and Endive Salad.

French Onion Soup - gluten freeFrench Onion Soup - gluten free
French Onion Soup - gluten freeFrench Onion Soup - gluten free
French Onion Soup - gluten free
French Onion Soup - gluten freeFrench Onion Soup - gluten free

So... how was it, you ask? It was literally the best French Onion Soup I have ever had! Other than being a slightly time consuming recipe (and really it's JUST the onions that take forever and those could be done ahead of time), it was REALLY EASY. I think this is one I will be making multiple times over this coming fall/winter!

French Onion Soup - gluten free

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Army Ten Miler (and some other runs)


On Sunday I ran the Army Ten Miler for the 8th time in a row (though it was officially my 7th, since the first year I ran wearing my mom's bib). It was also my fastest 10 miler ever. I PRed by 20 seconds with a time of 1:21:50. I realized while running that I don't like to be uncomfortable. I will run just to the point where things start to feel hard, then I back off just a bit... But I probably shouldn't. Racing and racing faster is about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. It's something that my training at 11-12 minute miles just isn't working for. My endurance, however, is amazing!

I say that because I was able to dance at the finish line of the ATM for a full hour (first waiting for Lauren to finish, then with her) after the race. So with the Marathon coming up in a week and a half, I know I'm ready to endure the marathon, I just don't know at what pace. I'm actually getting anxious just thinking about it, so I guess it's time to just trust my training and tell you a little about how it's all been going!


Amanda, Joanna, and I hit the trail on Saturday the 27th for a 14.5 miler that left both of my running buddies with knee pain that laid them up for the following week's "last long run." Both of them have gotten into the high teens/ low 20s on long runs during this training cycle, so they'll both be able to complete the marathon, but feeling pain 4 weeks out isn't great for the nerves!


The next day, Lauren and I ran the You Decide 10 mile run in Reston. Gotta hand it to PRR for putting on another fabulous race!! I just LOVE their runs! I took Lauren out fast (again...), but this time hung with her until the final mile. It was a great pacing run and I felt pretty AMAZING afterwards! Lauren was even within a minute of her PR (which is hard to do in Reston because of the hills!)! :)

I really liked the couple of long runs, followed by races that I did this year. Like running the South Lakes 10k the day after a 16 miler and I think it really helped me for my tri (which I still need to post about!).


Then Crescent and Sarah joined me and Lauren for the aforementioned "last long run" of 22.3 miles. It was fun to have new runners in the group! I hope these ladies join us in the future for long runs and shorter runs and more RACES!!!

Speaking of races, I started thinking about I did with my 2014 race schedule (with my limited training in 2013). At this point last year I was running, but not really running well. By comparison, I think I am having the best fall race season that I have had since 2009 (pre marathon training). I think I am going to stick with my crazy race schedule for 2015 and maybe even step it up a bit!! It's exciting!!


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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Look Back: Fall 2012

I REALLY didn't post very much at all during the fall of 2012. I was preoccupied with training for my second marathon and finishing strong with Amanda. I think this was when my blog really went through it's mini-identity crisis and I realized that I just didn't have the energy to keep posting my outfits to a blog, when I really have so much more going on in my life!

I'm glad that I made the decision to start adding different kinds of posts in the mix. It makes it feel more representative of who I am. :)

Now I get to share my Gluten Free Food, my Real Life, and of course, my Beautycounter business!

As always, you can click on the photos to see the posts from way back when!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

belts and buns / denim and a dress

denim and a dress 14

I named these photos "denim and a dress" but then began to write the post naming it "belts and buns" - so rather than choose, this post has two names. It's a lot like my life in general. I haven't quite chosen definitively who I am or what I want to be when I grow up, so throughout my day I wear a lot of different hats.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beautycounter, butterflies, and my thoughts on business

more butterflies 12

My Beautycounter business has been on my mind a lot lately and here's why. I want to build a business, but I don't want to be known for selling skincare. My driving intention is to help share Beautycounter's social mission that we deserve better. We, as American consumers, deserve to know what is in the products we choose to use and surround ourselves with, and we deserve regulations that protect us. Right now, the personal care industry is largely unregulated. In the European Union, there are over 1300 chemicals that are banned from use in personal care products and cosmetics, the US only bans 11 chemicals. There are some companies that market products both places, under the same label and brand name, but with different formulations. They make a version that is arguably safer, for Europe and a "free for all" version for the United States.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

organic pedicure at Organic Nails with Lambeth

organic nails 2

I could live in this sweater, and pretty much have been since I picked it up at the outlets at the beach. I wore this outfit when I went to get pedicures with my friend, and Beautycounter buddy, Lambeth! It was Lambeth that originally introduced me to Beautycounter last November, before her second son was born. I immediately signed up as a member, but I waited to make product purchases because I wanted to do my own research on the information that was shared at the social and, as I've shared before, I thought I was happy with what I was using.

Monday, September 1, 2014

nachos and freezer mac and cheese (gluten free)

UntitledUdi's gluten free Mac and cheese with bacon!!!

Since it's Labor Day and we're all probably out BBQing, let's "taco" bout what I have been eating lately. (I couldn't resist the pun!) My two go-to meals are nachos and gluten free mac and cheese from the freezer section (though I still love some Annie's GF easy mac). As I explained in this post, I've decided to try all the different types of gluten free mac and cheese my local safeway decides to stock. So I thought I'd share my review the Udi's one too! So sit back, and let's talk food!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

once upon a pie (gluten free mini pecan pies, to be exact)


Once upon a time (last year, for Thanksgiving, when I wore this), I made some gluten free, mini pecan pies! These are more photos that got overlooked (remember when I told you I found a bunch of blog photos), but I remember these pies being so good that I figured since we're less than 3 months from Thanksgiving, why not share them now!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

outlet success

outlet outfit 4

While at the beach, Reid and I tackled the outlets. Reid was under the impression that the outlets are a magical place where you can find exactly what you are looking for at an amazing deal. What he learned was the truth about outlet shopping, you have to go with an open mind, looking for deal on things without a particular item in mind. Because chances are, you're not going to find exactly what you're looking for. The truth about shopping is that when you need a specific item, especially a wardrobe staple, it's best to shop in season and be open to paying full price. Not that you can't find amazing wardrobe staples on the sale rack! It's just that sometimes a full price item that is perfect beats out 3 sale items for the same amount that are almost right.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

two of my faves, coming together!

catalog 2

When I put on this outfit, Reid said "you look like you just stepped out of a J.Crew catalog!" It was an adorable compliment, though I really don't have any shortage of compliments coming from him! I love J.Crew and shop the sale rack whenever I can, since my budget prevents me from being able to afford full price items. But here's the deal, even at full price, their clothes are WORTH IT. They are made well, the fit is always nice, and they last! That's why I think it's super cool that select Beautycounter products are available on J.Crew's website! Of course, you can get your Beautycounter from me, but how awesome is it that they are helping our brand reach more people?

Beautycounter is just over 3,000 consultants strong (as of the beginning of August), so we're a very new company when it comes to the direct-sales, skincare industry. But again, the thing that sets us apart, and really into our own category, is that we are safe skincare that performs. You really can't beat it! I mean, who else out there has an anti-aging line that is safe enough to use on pregnant women and children!?! (not that kids need anti-aging, but if it's safe for them, it's safe for everyone)

Can you tell that I love Beautycounter? Just a little ;), right! It's that the more that I learn about the skincare industry, common skincare ingredients, and toxin free living, the more I respect Beautycounter! The Never List is the upfront promise that our products are safe, but we're also 100% transparent when it comes to our ingredients and the sources of them. That last part is important because some ingredients could be bad if they come from a contaminated source. It's nice to be part of something with a larger mission that just skincare! :)

catalog 8
catalog 12

When and Where:
  • Thursday, August 7th, 2014
  • to work
What I'm Wearing:
  • Sunnies - RayBan (and sacrificed to the ocean the following week... sadface!)
  • top, belt - Gap
  • shorts - J.Crew
  • flops - Old Navy

catalog 5

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