Monthly Archives: December 2008

Countdown to Spring

41ac5wxzk7l1I know it seems like I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here by calling this post “Countdown to Spring,” but I’ve got a good reason for it. The spring semester starts in a week, and I am trying to get myself psyched up for it. The fall semester was tough, but the spring promises to be even more difficult, with more reading and assignments aplenty.

So how’d I do this fall? I’m pleased to report that I earned straight A’s–four of them to be exact. This coming from a woman who hasn’t been a full-time student since the first George Bush was in office. I was truly excited and happy to see that I pulled off a really great semester. This semester is going to be an even bigger challenge. I’m taking four literature courses: Early Shakespeare, American Lit. from 1912-1945, The 19th Century British Novel, and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation. Oh, and I’m taking Ballroom Dance as a P.E. elective (for fun, exercise, and a major dose of stress-busting). You can see why I’m trying to get myself in the proper frame of mind to tackle my upcoming work. On the advice of one of my professors, I started doing some of my reading now. I picked up Wuthering Heights, which I’m hoping to complete by the weekend–that should be no problem if I keep a somewhat relaxed schedule of 50 pages a day. Ater next Monday,  I’ll be buried in books for the next 15 weeks.


The Aftermath

After the Demo Team Got to It

After the Demo Team Got to It

I knew that my gingerbread house would be torn down eventually, but I was still really sad to see it in a heaping pile of rubble on my coffee table. My husband and the kids took turns poking at it with the wooden spoons in the picture until all that was left was the mess in the photo. The good news is that this experiment in edible construction has given rise to a new family tradition: the annual Build-A-Gingerbread-House-From-Scratch-Then-Tear-It-Down-athon. My niece Lisa made me swear that I would build one every year so that the family could bask in the glory of tearing it down on Christmas Eve. I guess you could say the house was a hit!

Mmm, cookies...

Mmm, cookies...

And my husband thought it was most delicious!

Merry Christmas, Achoo!!

Merry Christmas from the Flamenco Family

Merry Christmas from the Flamenco Family

What do obscene amounts of food, wrapping paper “snowball” fights, 103 degree fevers, gingerbread house demolition, and too much sangria have in common? Well, they were all part of our Christmas this year. Oh did I neglect to mention that my daughter is WAY sick? And that my little guy is slowly following in his sister’s stead? Yup, it’s humidifier and Kleenex city in my house this week. Sigh.

In other news, Santa was really good to me this year; to all of us, really. We’re blessed to have been able to spend the holiday with our loved ones (boogers and all), and that all of us are happy, healthy (mostly), and safe. I’ll put up a few photos of my Christmas booty and the demolition of my beautiful gingerbread house. It brought a tear to my eye to see that thing come down, but the gang seemed to have fun playing wrecking crew with it.

Project Ginger

Planning and Baking

Phase I: Planning and Baking

So over the weekend I started thinking about things I could do with the kids during the Christmas break, things that would keep them from trying to hunt around the house in search of presents. Then I had an idea: how about we make a gingerbread house? Since we had to make the house GFCF I was unable to grab one of those nifty kits available at Michael’s or Target, so I went on the hunt for a suitable recipe.

 I found one thanks to the Christmas cookie roundup I saw on Ginger Lemon Girl. Only Sometimes Clever posted a big-batch gingerbread cookie recipe that is not only GFCF, but also suitable for gingerbread houses. After looking over the recipe and heading over to Bob Vila’s for a template, we got to work.


Phase II: Construction

Karen Joy was not kidding: this recipe makes a LARGE batch of cookie dough. I used about half of it to make the pieces for the gingerbread house. I baked the pieces last night, and today the kids and I got to work on the royal icing and decorating. This was a great project; it does take quite a bit of time, so if you’re thinking about taking this on, allot yourself enough time to get it done. Zoe and Ayden were beyond excited about decorating the gingerbread house, and they can’t wait to show the finished product to our family at our dinner party tomorrow night. Now the kids are looking forward to tearing it apart on Christmas Eve!


Phase III: Decoration

Ready to Eat..

Ready to Eat..

New Digs!

Hey there, thanks for stopping by! Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Mama has a new name, a new look, and has relocated to its new home at Nice place, eh? Anyway, I’m going to slowly try important old posts from the other blog onto this new site; however, things like importing files can get hairy here on the internets, so I’m leaving all the old blog posts at for the time being. 

I’m still working out the particulars of how to format the new blog. I still intend to have GFCF cooking and product reviews here, plus some other fun stuff. Stay tuned!