Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Dairy/Soy Free – One Day Done November 21, 2015

Filed under: Cooking Experiments,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 3:47 pm

When I wrote Graham’s one month blog, I was still reeling from the news that I would have to eat a dairy/soy free diet the entire time I breastfed him. I have known people who have had to do this, but it’s one of those things that you assume would never happen to you. I guess I wasn’t so lucky. I spent the afternoon going through our pantry and fridge to find out what in our house I could eat. Each item I discovered that was dairy/soy free was a victory. However, there are lots of things that I am going to have to say good-bye to. It’s hard to find items that are both soy and dairy free. It seems like soy is in everything.

Thursday evening, my hubby and I braved the stores with our kiddos to find some new options for our family. I’m extremely blessed to have a husband who tackled this change head on. I would have sat and wallowed and starved thinking that I can now eat nothing in the whole world. Jeremy got me into the stores and was by my side through all the label checking. I spent a good part of my afternoon/drive up to Olympia researching substitutes for butter, milk and favorite foods. I am happy to say that after a few days of looking, I have found a substitute or alternative to most thing.

Owen will continue to eat his regular diet. There is no way that I’m cutting milk and cheese and crackers from his existence. That would be cruel. I also don’t expect Jeremy to follow this diet fully. We have a lot of food that has dairy and soy in it and we need to eat that up. It’s now Jeremy’s job to make those foods disappear.

I have now tried almond milk for the first time in my life. I cooked with coconut oil for the first time too. I never saw myself using these products, but here I am. It seems that making things at home won’t be the challenge. My big issue now will be going out to eat – at a restaurant or anywhere else. If I don’t make it then it will be hard to tell if it truly dairy and soy free. I did some research and I have a few options for eating out, but it’s small the number of things that I can now order. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, most of the meals are potluck style and I won’t be able to know what used to make most dishes. Social eating is going to be tricky. I will probably be bringing my own food with me where ever I go. Not ideal. I also feel bad that we stocked up our freezer with meals before Graham was born. The thought was make life easy with a new baby. Those meals all contain dairy and soy.

Yes, there are some downsides to this. It’s going to make life complicated. However, I have a feeling it will get me into my kitchen more and using real foods. This is a positive thing. My attitude is slowly improving as I process things and see that there are alternatives. I made pumpkin muffins yesterday to prove to myself that I can still bake and enjoy seasonal treats. I have had lots of friends and family show me support. I have a couple friends who have been through this same thing and they have given me tons of advice and suggestions on what products to buy and where to find things. In fact, I have coconut milk ice cream in my fridge right now. Jeremy will be out of town for a couple days next week and he told me to splurge and get some just in case I need it for emotional support. This new diet won’t be the cheapest, but at least I have options. I am thankful for the love that I’ve been shown as I wrap my head around this big life change. I’ll keep you posted as things continue. It’s all still new and I’m learning daily. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about this diet as the days tick on.

As a random side note, I am glad that I had one month of bad eating before we discovered that Graham had this intolerance. I was able to eat lots of cheese pizza, milk chocolate and even got some cheesecake before I was told to cut these foods from my diet. I got one month of comfort food and all the bad things I love. I look back on the last month and think fondly of all the foods that I got to eat. I am glad I ate them. I appreciate them now even more. Someday I will eat them again. I might just have to have a cheese and chocolate party when Graham can officially have dairy/soy again. I think there should be banners, streamers and party hats involved.

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First full day of no dairy/soy. Breakfast – Honey Nut Cheerios with almond milk. Lunch – Chicken tortilla soup with chips. Dinner – pasta and sausage. Snacks – Red Vines, apple and a fruit snack. Dessert – pumpkin muffin. All yummy and gave me hope that I can do this!

 

Good food, Good Times October 1, 2014

Filed under: Cooking Experiments,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 4:02 pm

This last week has been a good mix of being out and about balanced with plenty of down, around the house time. Owen and I have kept occupied, but nothing too crazy. Jeremy was gone for a good part of the weekend at two different conferences. My mom came over while he was away and brought with her dinner and a fall craft for me to do. On Sunday Owen and I went to the birthday party of a wonderful 3 year old. It was fun to celebrate Lucas’ birthday and to see my friend, Kaly and her family.
The week held some errand running and what not. We have a 1st birthday party to get ready for and just random shopping that comes up with life… like buying a new purse because the handle on my old purse was apparently coming apart. I’m not an accessories girl so I literally wait for things to die until I replace them. This defines my life with purses and shoes. Poor things. I make them give it their all.
Looking back at the pictures on my phone, there aren’t too many amazing shots, but there are a lot of pictures of food. So instead of a what I’ve been up to blog, this will be more of a what I’ve been eating blog! Yum!

Pancakes with maple syrup from Canada - YES!

Pancakes with maple syrup from Canada – YES!

Craft time with my mom

Craft time with my mom

My attempt at homemade Nanaimo Bars. They were super tasty and I hope to make more in the future!

My attempt at homemade Nanaimo Bars. They were super tasty and I hope to make more in the future!

A seasonal favorite - pumpkin spice doughnuts from Krispy Kreme

A seasonal favorite – pumpkin spice doughnuts from Krispy Kreme!

Climber and Book Lover

Climber and Book Lover

Class snack tonight - Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake. Thanks Pioneer Woman for the inspiration!

Class snack tonight – Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake. Thanks Pioneer Woman for the inspiration!

And that about sums up life right now. In other exciting news, I got a new phone last night and I’m still in the middle of learning all the new things it can do. I’m not super techy, but new stuff is always exciting. I’m looking forward to using my new phone to take pictures this coming weekend as we celebrate Owen’s big birthday milestone with friends and family. There will be lots to share with after the party weekend and of course, his actual birthday – which is next Wednesday… One week away! Crazy! Oh, and it’s officially October – my favorite month of the year! Good times, indeed!

 

Berry Season August 10, 2014

Filed under: Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 1:25 pm

I’ve been working on the art of perfecting my berry crisp recipe this season. It started in June with a strawberry/blueberry crisp and we’ve moved on to triple berry crisps as of late. I’ve been using blueberries, raspberries and marionberries that are home grown from Jeremy’s garden and my father-in-law’s garden! Bill has us well stocked with raspberries and blueberries! I love baking with fruit! The colors are so pretty and the taste is so tart and sweet. Jeremy and I were watching an episode of Pioneer Woman together when we discovered the crust recipe I’ve been using all summer. Jeremy made a comment about how he thought he would like that crust because it doesn’t have oatmeal in it. I happen to love oatmeal in crisps and I never knew that Jeremy didn’t prefer it. The crust turns out perfect each time. The biggest thing I’m needing to master is how make the berries less watery. I’ve tried adding different thickeners to the recipe. The crisp I made this weekend turned out less watery than the last, but it still wasn’t as thick as I had hoped. Oh well. It’s a learning process and I’m happy to keep experimenting!

I love berry season!

I love berry season!

Yum!

Yum!

 

Cooking Marathon June 20, 2014

Filed under: Cooking Experiments,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 6:53 pm

Jeremy and I always talk about how we want to be more intentional with our meal planning. We often look at each other just before 5:00pm and ask what the other wants for dinner. A lot of times we go for quick fixes because we are too hungry to wait for anything to be prepared. Owen was super sick yesterday (he is doing much better today) so we knew today was going to be a home day so Owen could rest. We made a quick run to the store and stocked up some cooking supplies. We proceeded to spend the afternoon making freezer meals and other goodies! We made pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, Jeremy made a loaf of cinnamon apple bread and I continued to perfect Pioneer Woman’s baked fudge recipe. Our freezer is now stocked with five 9×13 pans of yummy meals that will each feed us for days. I made an enchilada casserole from Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. Jeremy made 2 lasagnas, an egg bake and chicken spaghetti. I’m super excited to pop these in the oven over the next couple of weeks. I’ve heard of people taking a day to make a bunch of freezer meals and I always thought it sounded like too much work. After today, I am amazed how much food can be prepared in just one afternoon. I’m positive this won’t be the last time we do this. Plus, it was so much fun working side by side in the kitchen with my hubby. We’re so domestic!

Stocking up the freezer

Stocking up the freezer

The goodies we enjoyed today!

The goodies we enjoyed today!

 

Marshmallow Goodies April 23, 2014

Filed under: Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 2:28 pm

The last two weeks have been marshmallow themed when it comes to my Wednesday night class snack. Last week, I got the inspiration from Food Network Magazine to make a special cake. I used food coloring to make the layers rainbow colored then I frosted and covered the whole cake in mini marshmallows. I learned a couple of things from this process. First off, my cake carrier only handles a three layer cake. I had made four layers so the pink layer didn’t make it on the cake. Since I used the fruit flavor marshmallows, it would have matched better to make the rainbow layers pastel colored. I used neon food coloring, so my marshmallows and cake layers didn’t completely go together. It was sure a colorful explosion! The marshmallows on the outside of the cake made it pretty darn cute in my opinion! I like making these out of the ordinary snacks from time to time because my class gets really excited. It was fun to share it my girls.

Marshmallow Cake!

Marshmallow Cake!

This week, it’s Fluffernutter Chocolate Chip Bars for snack. My sister-in-law made these for me when I visited for a play date last month and they were so good, I asked for the recipe. Once again, another snack with mini marshmallows! These cookie bars for chewy and soft. The marshmallows are gooey and give the cookie bars a fun look. I can’t wait to bring these to class tonight! I’m hoping for some leftovers so I can keep munching on them! Here is a link to the recipe if you want to make them yourself – click here!

Fluffernutter Chocolate Chip Bars

Fluffernutter Chocolate Chip Bars

My Baking Buddy

My Baking Buddy

 

Christmas Vacation December 21, 2013

Filed under: Cooking Experiments,Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 4:14 pm
Cabelas is fascinating!

Cabelas is fascinating!

Jeremy likes to save some vacation days for the end of the year. This creates a “Christmas Vacation” for us, just like we’re kids again! There is nothing better than time off this time of year. There is always lots to do including being a little lazy! So far we’ve managed to accomplish a lot this week. Tuesday was the first official day of vacation and we spent it around the house working on projects and just hanging out.

Wednesday was a very special day. Our newest nephew, Keegan, was born Wednesday morning. Since we didn’t know boy or girl until the day of his birth, this meant me needed to go shopping for gender specific gifts! We took off into the stores which weren’t too crazy with holiday shoppers. Wednesday was spent doing a mixture of errands. Some for home and some for church. Owen had his first visit to Cabelas – the hunting super store. Jeremy was happy to see Owen staring in fascination at all the animals. It was really cute to watch him making eyes at all the creatures. The joy ended when Owen had a blow out diaper in Jeremy’s arms. We made a quick exit and did an outfit change in the car. Another diaper blow out later and Owen ended up spending the last part of the day in just a shirt and a diaper since all his other clothes were dirty. Don’t worry, we had plenty of blankets so his legs weren’t cold.

Meeting Keegan

Meeting Keegan

Thursday, we took off over the mountains to meet the newest Scott. It was so much fun to snuggle with Keegan. He is adorable and really cuddly! After visiting the hospital, we spent time with Keegan’s brother and sister and Nana and Papa. I am now the proud auntie of three nephews and one niece. I’m a lucky lady. I will admit that I am slightly excited that Keegan was a little boy so now the three cousins that were born in three months are all boys. I can only imagine the good times they are going to have in the future. Three little boys all born so close in age. I’m sad that the baby a month streak is over. It’s been a lot of fun welcoming a new Scott each month. Who knows, maybe the perfect storm will happen again and all three Scott ladies will be expecting at the same time. I doubt it, but I never thought it would happen in the first place!

Best Frozen Pizza Ever!

Best Frozen Pizza Ever!

Friday we saw some snow in the morning! Nothing but a trace. It’s still exciting anytime the ground turns even slightly white. After the weather warmed up we finished the rest of our errands for church. This time the stores were crazy! Jeremy and I braved the madness as quickly as possible. When we got home we had a great treat at our door. Earlier in the week we ordered pizza from our favorite place in Chicago. We’d been talking about it for years and we finally decided to do it! It was a very tasty and I’m glad we made the splurge. If only we were actually eating it in Chicago!

The mess!

The mess!

Today has been an around the house day. Jeremy usually makes cinnamon rolls when we’re on Christmas vacation and today was the day that he deemed to take over the kitchen. Jeremy and I have two very different styles of baking. I’m a clean as you go girl. I like to tidy my mess up as I make it. Jeremy on the other hand… He likes to make a mess and leave it until the very end. This made the kitchen quite the sight as he made many experiments. He made excellent cinnamon rolls as well as candied pecans and mini lemon meringue tarts (from lemons grown in his greenhouse).

As you can tell, we’ve been busy enjoying the holiday season together. I love having Jeremy home.  Having him around brightens my day. I know that Owen appreciates it too! As I type this, Owen is sleeping beside his dad, all snuggled and content. Christmas vacation is always a special treat! We are so blessed to have this time together.

 

Joining MOPS, Fall Baking & Maternity Leave September 17, 2013

Fall Baking

Fall Baking

I’m a big fan of pre-baby maternity leave! Originally, my logic was that I wanted to tie up all my loose ends at work. I didn’t want to be in the office one day and out the next having a baby. I knew I would be less stressed if I took care off the details in advance. It certainly made for a busy summer at work because I took care of the fall season at the same time. I feel good about how I left things in the office.  The plan seemed to work. However, I started to think about how I would fill my time once I was maternity leave. If you’ve been following my blog for any length time, you know that I don’t sit around watching TV and eating bonbons.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m using this free time to connect with a lot of people before the baby comes. I’m having my “Social September” and I’m enjoying time with loved ones.

It’s only been two days of “leave” and I’ve managed to do a lot around the house. I have done three major baking projects. The first was a favorite for Jeremy called Hello Dollies. He loves these and I always make them in the fall – usually around the holidays. I wasn’t sure what my holiday season would look like with a new little one, so I made these goodies in advance. He is enjoying some now, but we froze most of them so he can pull them out at will over the next few months. The second project was out of this month’s Food Network Magazine. I had the ingredients for Butterscotch Pecan Blondies and I needed to bring a snack for MOPS this morning. It seemed like a good opportunity to try a new recipe. They were a hit! I think they are slightly addicting so I’m glad I could share them with the MOPS moms and our staff at work. The final project was for my Wednesday night class tomorrow night.  I have fall cookie cutters that I try to use once a season and this was the time. I spent my afternoon making cookies, frosting them and covering them with autumn colored sugar crystals.

Snuggling with the puppy and a good book!

Snuggling with the puppy and a good book!

Other highlights apart from baking, I’ve had plenty of time to clean and tidy my house. My regular cleaning day for the longest time was Wednesday, but the last few weeks it’s been Mondays. I’ve also had time to read and relax with my puppy. I think that Toby is enjoying my new schedule since he gets to be out of the crate more. Yesterday I took an afternoon nap! I try to get those in as often as I can since sleeping at night has become harder.

Today was my first MOPS meeting. I’ve never been involved with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) because I’ve never been one. I still don’t really feel like I’m a part of the club. Maybe because my baby has yet to be born so the motherhood phase really hasn’t started. MOPS has always been a bit scary for me in the past. Moms intimated me. I’ve been told “Oh, just you wait…” so many times that I feel like they don’t validate my experience working with children. Anyway, this is a new opportunity for me and one that I’m hoping to grow from. Today was a good start, but I’m still unsure how the year will look. I felt like a kid on the first day of school. I really hope the other kids like me… We even had to take pictures for the directory so it felt a lot like back to school. I’m praying this new season of life will open up ministry doors that have been previously closed to me. By actually being a mom in the near future, I pray that I’ll be able connect and relate to this group of women in a new way.

In a lot of ways this season is about slowing down and just enjoying each day as it comes. I know that things will be different once the baby arrives, but for right now I’m just making the most of this pre-baby time. Doing things like baking and having quiet moments around the house really fill me up and give me what I need. In turn, I’m able to be social and add commitments to my calendar that I wouldn’t normally.  Even though I’m “out of the office”, I’m still serving at Bethel and it feels good to keep investing in relationships as we begin a new school year. Things are good. I’m enjoying this time.