Category Archives: Vacations

Eating on the Run, GFCF

Last week I took my kids camping. In the woods. With no electricity. And nary a flush toilet in sight. Those who know me were quite shocked to find out that I was VOLUNTARILY embarking on this trip: I’m just not what one would call the outdoorsy type. To add to the shock factor, I actually went out there sans hubby; Flamenco Dad wasn’t able to join us until we were well into Day 2.¬† I packed up all our gear, loaded up the kids and the grub, and ventured out into the wilderness.

What we encountered once we made it to the campsite was not what I expected. I didn’t realize it ahead of time, but we were in for what experienced campers would call “primitive camping.” When we arrived, we were informed that we could not drive to our campsite, instead having to hike over 1/2 mile whilst schlepping our gear. By the time we made it to our campsite it was dark out, meaning I had to assemble our tent in the dark. It was the first time I ever assembled a tent on my own, never mind the fact that it was hard to see out there.

I’ll save the rest of our camping adventure for another day, but you may be wondering why I’m sharing all this. It’s because with all that packing, hiking, and tent building, I also needed to be mindful of what we were going to eat out there.

Three days of no access to refrigeration (save for a medium sized cooler) and only a small camp stove make for some unique food challenges.

Dining on the run (or away from home) can be difficult, especially when one has to be mindful of food sensitivities. It’s not like I can just walk into a 7-Eleven and grab whatever’s on the shelf. Besides Zoe’s gluten and dairy intolerance, that stuff it usually just plain icky and otherwise unhealthy. So when it came time to prepare for our camping trip, I needed to be ready with healthy foods we ALL could eat and enjoy.

What I did was modify a recipe for banana bread that I found in Carol Fenster’s Cooking Free. The result was a not-too-sweet, tasty, and healthy pumpkin bread that was out of this world. I gave myself props for not using any refined sugar and giving my kids a breakfast/snack that was chock full of Vitamin A (courtesy of the pumpkin puree).

Pumpkin Bread (recipe modified from a recipe in Cooking Free):

Ingredients:

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/8 tsp. baking soda

2 large eggs

3 Tbs. canola oil

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour blend (I made my own)

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 ripe mashed banana

1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 3 mini loaf pans. Combine syrup, baking soda, eggs, oil, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the pumpkin and banana. Divide the batter among the three loaf pans, then bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into loaf comes out clean. Cool thoroughly before cutting.

Advertisements

Back In Town

We’re back from our vacation, and what a wonderful vacation it was. Once I get around to uploading the photos, I’ll be sure to share a few pictures. We had a blast, and I’m sorry the trip had to end…but alas, it’s time to get back to the real world.
Oh yeah, and there should be some cooking going on on this blog, right? Today I picked up a package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix (wow, that was a mouthful) to try out. The kids will be home from school soon, and I can’t think of a better thing to come home to than the smell of fresh baked goodness.
This weekend we’re hitting the pumpkin patch and the costume shop. Halloween is just a week away, and this slacker has yet to look for costumes for Ayden and Zoe. Party City here we come!
I’m thinking of making this picture my new profile picture. Thoughts?

Looking Forward to a Vacation

Well, it’s almost that time of year again…the Flamenco Family is headed on another road trip! I know, I know, I’ve been gone from this blog for so long…everyone probably thought I was taking a permanent vacay from this thing. But no! I’m still here, I’ve just been a slacker.

This weekend we’re renting a cabin in Ellijay, Georgia, which is about an hour away from Atlanta. As luck would have it, the Georgia Apple Festival is this weekend, so we’ll be there at just the right time. Our cabin has internet access (how rustic!); I’m planning to post at least once while away. Our itinerary includes visits to attractions like Amicalola Falls State Park, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the Appalachian Trail (we hope), so I’m looking forward to some picturesque views and many photo opportunities.

The familia is in some serious need to time out of town. Flamenco Dad and I have been working hard, and the kiddies–especially Miss Zoe–have been putting in lots of time on school work. Ayden is loving kindergarten, and he already has a group of buddies to call his own. We are also bringing my mother-in-law along. She doesn’t get to travel much, so we thought it would be nice to take her with us.

We’re all really excited about the upcoming trip. I’ll try to post here at least once before we hit the road.

Is It Over Already?

So today is Zoe’s last day of school. I’ve been so busy with schoolwork that I really didn’t see this coming, and I’m feeling a bit under-prepared. I try to have at least a vague game plan for what we’re going to do for the next 2 1/2 months…and that hasn’t happened yet. This is especially important for Zoe: she’s so used to having a schedule that going through summer without at least a few things planned out is a recipe for disaster! Although I must say that I got a few things taken care of: I foraged through the kid’s rooms (more specifically their closets) and I found a veritable treasure trove of crafting kits and art supplies that we’re going to make use of this summer. Most of these items were either gifts from family and friends over Christmas or stuff I picked up from craft stores while rummaging through the sale bins. Either way, I’ve got the antidote for boredom this sumer!

Yesterday I looked into a kids’ yoga class for Zoe and Ayden. Turns out there is a yoga studio directly in front of the studio where I take flamenco lessons. How convenient, right? Zoe is really into yoga these days, so I thought that might be something fun for the kids to do every so often. Ayden will be in preschool for part of the summer, so he’ll be pretty busy for about 6 weeks during vacation this year.

Aside from that I will certainly have to make time for cooking with the kids. Zoe is particularly interested in learning to cook, so this might be a good time to get her started with a few simple things. She’s already a pro at salad, and she’s itching to try to make other things.

The kids are hoping to spend some time at the beach. Flamenco Dad teaches on Fridays at a school near the gulf, so that might work out. What about you, internets? Any plans this summer?

Some More Photos

I thought I’d share just a few more photos of the trip. Above is Stone Mountain, and though the photo doesn’t give a great detail of it, the face has a bas-relief sculpture of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. The sculpture took 55 years to complete.

Here we are on top of Stone Mountain. There’s a skyride that takes passengers from the park up to the top of the mountain.

Here’s Zoe catching a (plastic) fish at one of Fernbank’s interactive centers. The museum has a variety of activities for children of different ages to try. They give the older kids a scavenger hunt activity at their Discovery Center.

Here’s Flamenco Dad and the kids sittin’ on top of the mountain. The kids swore they could see the entire world from up there.

Why Don’t They Tell Us About That?

I’ve heard that a foolproof test of the strength of a relationship is to travel your significant other; if you can survive the trip, then you’re golden. If not, well that’s a subject for another day. Flamenco Dad and I have been getting along extremely well on this trip, so I suppose that puts us in the first category.

What they don’t tell you is what to do when, three-plus days into your vacation, your kids start to drive you out of your skull! When you’re at home and your kids start to rattle you, you can always send them off to play in another part of the house, put in a movie, or send them into the backyard to let off steam. On vacation though, it’s twenty-four-seven in your face time. Mama needs a break!

I ADORE my children. Actually, I’m not sure there’s a word strong enough to convey how I feel for my babies. But I’m really craving some me time–as in me by myself time. Guess it’ll have to wait till we get home.

All complaints aside, we visited the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta today. We saw lots of great dinosaurs, sea creatures, and a pretty neat frog exhibit. We saw the IMAX film entitled “Sea Monsters,” which was an interesting and well-done film. I enjoyed it even though my son was acting like a bit of a monster of the two-legged variety. The museum has many interactive exhibits that are great for inquiring minds and little hands. There was also a fascinating exhibit about different cultures and the various ways cultures use adornment to tell stories about their history. Pretty cool stuff.

Tomorrow we load up the Flamencomobile and head back to the hacienda. Once I’ve unpacked and gotten the mountain of laundry started, I’ll work on getting some photos and video up here.