Day 2: Dinner

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DW and I love good food, but dining out can be kind of tricky with my Celiac issues. Generally, we stick to asian restaurants (less gluten dishes), vegetarian/vegan/raw restaurants (because they tend to be more gluten-conscious), or dedicated gluten-free places. Mostly though, we cook at home. We keep it fun and fresh by making special trips to farmers markets or organic butchers with a meal in mind. I also bake a lot, as trying new gluten-free recipes is a hobby of mine, and I must say, my homemade baked goods are better than anything that I’ve tried in a store. Recently, I’ve been on a cornbread kick.

We both like all types of cultural food too, which I’m grateful for. We have friends who are strictly into “North American” food, and it is difficult to coordinate dinners out anywhere other than at a pub or chain restaurant. There’s this awesome Caribbean restaurant in a super shady part of town and I’m craving their chicken curry with rice and beans right now. We love Indian food, but have to watch out for gluten contamination. I have yet to find an Indian place in Toronto that I can trust to have gluten-free dishes. Damn, I’m craving Chana masala right now.

The last time we went out for dinner was our date night. It was about 12 days ago, and we’re due for another dinner out soon- maybe Valentine’s Day? We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day with gifts and special whooing, but it’s kind of fun going out for dinner and seeing all sorts of awkwardness as people in various stages of relationships try to romance each other.

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Day 1: Caramel Apple Spice

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One of my greatest daily cravings is a hot drink. I used to have an americano (espresso + hot water) every morning on the way to work, then another after lunch, and then one more in the evening after dinner. Writing this out makes me realize that my caffeine habit seems much like a smoker’s smoke breaks.

For some reason, caffeine didn’t affect me as much 5 years ago, but I started noticing a couple of years ago, that I was a jittery mess if I had caffeine after noon. So while I kept up my 3x a day coffee habit, I switched to decaf in the PM hours. (Note: espresso usually only contains about 75mg of caffeine).

Of course, I didn’t purchase all of my drinks at Starbucks. In fact, I rarely do. DW and I have a professional espresso machine that gets a lot of action in our house. We also purchase the syrups used in Starbucks drinks and make our own espresso-based lattes, tea-based lattes, and caramel apple ciders.

During all of my IUI’s and IVF#1, I allowed myself my daily morning americano or latte, until the TWW when I didn’t consume any caffeine at all. This was rough, as you can imagine. After my miscarriage, I didn’t allow myself to get back to having an espresso habit, so I started replacing my coffees with teas or tea lattes, which only partially satisfied me. The rare time I would have coffee, I would limit myself to the decaf freeze dried stuff, hoping that I’d forget how marvellous espresso was. It didn’t work, so now I just torture myself by taking big whiffs of DW’s glass jar of freshly ground espresso beans. Ahhhhhhhhh……

A couple of years ago, DW and I discovered Starbuck’s Caramel Apple Spice drink, and tried to “figure out” a similar recipe to make at home. The drink tastes like a caramel apple crumble in your mouth! It’s dessert in a drink. DW and I used to have Caramel Apple Spice dessert dates at Starbucks before we figured out our own recipe.

Mama et Maman’s Hot Caramel Apple Spice:

You’ll need:
20 oz unsweetened apple juice
Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
Whip Cream
Caramel Sauce (the topping kind, not the drink flavouring kind)

1. Steam 20 ounces of unsweetened apple juice.
2. Add 4 pumps of Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce syrup to the hot apple juice
3. Pour mixture into two pre-warmed mugs.
4. Generously add whipped cream to each mug, creating a thick top layer.
5. Generously drizzle thick caramel sauce in a crisscross or swirled pattern over the whipped cream
6. Enjoy a lovely sweet desserty drink with your valentine!

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(Images from: the Starbucks website and http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/caramel_apple_spice_full.jpg)

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What is your favourite hot drink?

My 14 Day Blog Challenge!

Well I’m officially PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise), which is wonderful but also a bit like purgatory. Our beta isn’t for another 10 days, so I thought that now would be a great opportunity to create a blogging challenge!

I invite anyone who is interested to join. I made it 14 days, mostly to give people in their two-week-waits something to keep their minds occupied. I think writing is a great way to be creative and connect with other bloggers. I have always loved reading these kinds of posts.

How it works:

There are 14 questions to be answered, one each day, in the form of a blog post- it can be as short or as long as you would like.

It can include words, a video, or photos.

1. Copy and paste the “How it works” and rules provided.
2. Post the photo of the questions.
3. Tag me in your posts so I can follow you.
4. Answer a question each day.
5. Nominate one blogger friend each day to join in the fun (optional, but encouraged).

Have fun!

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