Saturday, June 29, 2013

GF All Purpose Flour Mix and Zucchini Recipes

So...I was on the hunt for some zucchini recipes because we have a ton right now from our garden and I wanted to use them up. I typically make a GF all purpose flour mix out of a cookbook I have, but EZ has packed that cookbook away and so I was then on the hunt to find one.

I read Gluten Free Girl & the Chef quite frequently, as she always has good recipes (typically a little more extravagant than what I need, but always good). And she posted this blog post a while back on making your own mix. And it was easy and turned out awesome!

OK, so I have to be honest. I have never used my scale that I own to measure flours. And you know what, it wasn't bad. And in fact, what was even better is that her recipe is so simple to use whatever flours you have as long as its in the 40/60 ratio. I had such a wide variety of flours on hand and not too much of many of them. This turned into a ridiculous combination. My 40% whole grain flours were probably 250gr of sorghum, 100 gr of buckwheat and 50gr almond flour, My 60% starch flours were something like 200gr potato starch, 150 gr tapioca starch, 200 gr sweet rice flour, 50gr rice flour. Again, because I literally used up all my sorghum, potato starch, tapioca starch and sweet rice flour.

But I did it all on my scale, actually I just put one huge container (I normally store my flour in) on the scale, and then just kept adding the flours in. First just making sure I hit 400gr of the whole grain flours and then just kept adding what I had of my starch flours for the remaining 600gr to finish it up.

And then I made zucchini muffins. I choose these zucchini muffins from "Cooking With my Kid". And they are amazing! So so sooo good! The only thing I did differently is I didn't use a full 2/3 cup of melted butter, it was probably more like 1/2 cup. That was only because I have butter out of a tub from a creamery and I scooped out a bunch and melted it and that's what it made and I didn't feel like making more.  I do think they have quite a bit of sugar in them though. But they are good none the less, and with 4 cups of shredded zucchini in them, they have some healthy benefits!

I then wanted to make something else with my zucchinis and decided on this Zucchini Cherry Sunflower Bread from Gluten Free Girl. What is funny is that these two recipes are actually pretty identical. The only difference being the added dried cherries and sunflower seeds. I didn't have cherries so I used dried cranberries. I also just used the GF mix I had mad and subbed in equal weight of the flour to her total amount of flour in grams. I made a couple muffins and one big loaf of bread. And the muffins are awesome. They do tasted exactly like the other ones just with the added cranberries and a bit of crunch.

I don't know why I have been so hesitant to make my own flour. And I was even more scared when I had to used 6 different flours to make my mix (of 7 cups total). But in the end, it worked brilliantly and wasn't hard at all. And I think the muffins/bread are also a serious winner!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I have a lot of goals, for all areas of life. Before we had kids, EZ and I sat down and made goal lists for ourselves. We had different categories and different time frame-5 year/10 year, ect. Kids do change a lot about your life. I don't have time to do a lot of things. In fact I sometimes wonder what I/we did with all my time before kids. I do remember writing down a few specific running/sport related goals.

Goal #1: Break 22 min in a 5K. And I can now say I have checked something off that list. I have had a PR of 22:08 for so long, that it was something I felt I knew I could do.

Goal #2: Run the Boston Marathon.

That means I must qualify...and so I signed up to run a marathon. It's still a ways away-March 16th, 2014. I will put my heart into training for the 4 months leading up to the race to see if I can do it. (I will need to break 3:40). And if WHEN I do, I will run Boston in 2015.

Goal #3: Finish an Ironman. Umm...yeah. Here in the Zack world, I need to focus on one goal at a time. So this goal will wait. But I don't think for too long. Thinking Fall 2014/2015.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yogurt Popsicles and PB Granola Bars

I've been trying out new recipes (thanks to Pinterest) for all sorts of things. And here are two of the latest.

Homemade Granola Bars:
So my sister had sent me the recipe to these "Super Speedy, No Bake Omega-3 Vegan Snack Bars". And she made them last summer when I was up visiting. I've had most of the stuff in my house to make my own and just haven't done it. Well there is a link in this post to another granola bar recipe: "5 Minute No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars", and I chose to make those.

I did not have any brown rice syrup though. And in the original recipe, he uses agave syrup, so I figured I could substitute it. Um...nope. It was the only substitution I made, plus leaving out the chia seeds because I didn't have them. Let me say that these were really really yummy. I ate them out of the pan, but the agave I think wasn't sticky enough, so my bars didn't really hold together (also why I ate them out of the pan). I will make them again and try maple syrup maybe or buy the brown rice syrup.

A couple months ago we bought popsicle molds and have used them just by pouring 100% juice into them for P. She LOVES them. Her typically post dinner question now is can she have a popsicle. But my plan has been to make my own popsicles not just using juice. And so I stumbled across this recipe from Jamie Oliver for Yogurt Pops. I made mine with blueberries, and they are YUMMY!! Definitely be making these again and so healthy too!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Update in Photos

Playing at the park:

Snack time:

T was wearing three tutu's in this photo:

Water Play:

Oh the joy of laundry baskets:

Helping sweep up grass clippings with dad:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Father's Day

We had a very low key father's day around here. I had this neat idea of taking photos of the girls, each one holding a "D" separately and then together holding an "A". I was going to edit/crop/ect these together so that it said "DAD" and give as a gift to EZ.

I have absolutely NO photo editing skills. First of all, we don't have photoshop or anything on our computer. I spent the better part of 2-3 hours trying to figure this out. It didn't happen. I instead got onto snapfish and used one of their collages and put the photos in. But I couldn't find one with 3 across, so I just added in a photo of all of us and the "DAD" kind of goes across the whole picture. Ah. EZ still thought it was good enough!

Reading with the girls:

Watching the US Open and feeding T pirate booty:

Night time with dad:

Monday, June 17, 2013


Good news...everything looks good. My regular doctor ordered chest xrays-they were normal/clear and bloodwork-also good except for my vitamin D is low (no biggie). Biopsy of large mass removed looked goo and all margins were clear. So they think they got all the caner! I go back every 6 months for the next 5 years of my life for checks. My regular doctored thinks I should do chest x-ray once a year for the next 3 years. All is good.

I did however come down with strep throat. Blah.

And on the flip side, I decided to ride my bike for the first time in a year. 22 miles on some crazy hilly route and miraculously I felt good. :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


What a terrible word. It provokes so much anxiousness inside me that I can't begin to describe it. Although anyone who has lost someone close to them from cancer knows what I mean. I know that many people live with cancer for many years and it doesn't really affect their overall life expectancy and that I should actually focus on this aspect. But then I am always brought back to my mother when I hear the word. She had cancer, it wasn't bad, it was one of the "better" cancers to have, the ones that are the most "curable". But it didn't happen and she left this world so very quickly with what seems like not enough notice from "she's going to be ok" to "she's not going to make it another week".

I cry a lot about different things related to her and that time. About regrets, things I wished I has done and said, especially in those last few days, and about missing her now, about wishing I could ask her things about when my sister and I were little like my two kids are now. Things my dad really probably doesn't know the answers because he was working and she stayed at home with us. I sometimes cry because I wish I could call her and talk to her like I always did, a few times a week.

And then I get a call that I have cancer. And that word opens such an emotional place in me that it's hard to contain. To be fair, I have melanoma, currently only in one location. But at the time when the doctor says those words to you on the phone and you know nothing except that your mom and papa passed away from cancer in the last couple years, it all seems too fresh, too real.

I cried a lot that day the doctor called. I couldn't contain any of it. I didn't know much about melanoma. Only the doctor telling me 10 year survival rates for what I have are really good (around 90%). But my mom's survival rates were pretty good too, maybe not that good, but still good. I went through A LOT of thoughts over the first few days of getting that phone call. I have two very young kids, what would 20 year survival rates be like, because that would be when my children are graduating from college (I hope), would I be around to see my own grandchildren.

Thankfully, I have had some great conversations with some wonderful people and friends. I have learned a lot about melanoma. I probably will be more paranoid than I already was about sunscreen.  I have a huge wound on my back with some stitches currently where they cut it out. I knew they had to cut out a lot, but for some reason I wasn't ready for a cut 4 inches long, in the shape of a lemon, around 2 inches at it's widest and then cut close to an inch deep. One big massive chunk they removed. Because of the levels of skin the melanoma went through they had to take out all skin and the fat pad. EZ did say it was kind of cool to watch.

I go back Friday to get half the stitches out and to do a full body examine to look at any other spots anywhere else. I should know then if they think they got all the cancer out on this one spot on my back. I know it will be probably  be a long time worrying about every little spot anywhere one me, and I have a lot of freckles which makes it hard. Maybe that will never end. I'm not sure. Only time will tell. All I can do now is keep moving forward, keep looking up, keep focusing on life, keep hugging my children, and telling them that I love them.

 Here is the post wound picture...we shall see what kind of scar will evolve from this.

Friday, June 07, 2013

The Beach

Alright...a hodge podge assortment of some beach photos! They both had a blast despite T coming down with a little sickness and some crazy rash!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

5K Races

We headed down to the beach and my friend ran a half marathon while I ran a 5K. I have posted on here about my goal of trying to break 22min for a while. Anyway, we took our families to stay for a long weekend on the beach and ran a race while we were there. She did awesome for her first half marathon and well, here's a recap of my 5K...

JF starts her half at 7:10, I watch her start and then head of too warm up (5K is suppose to start at 7:40). I run a little, go to the car, change into my racing flats and job back towards the stop, making a pit stop at the bathroom. I come up round 7:27 by my watch and notice a bunch of people going through the start with blue bibs on, the same color I had on. I thought this seemed weird, because the 10K was suppose to start at 7:20. So, I ask someone on the side which race this is and they tell me the 5K. I asked if they were sure, he says I think so. I girl standing next to him is wearing a blue bib and doesn't seem like she is going, so I ask her and she says its the 10K. The two of them have a brief back and forth about which one it is.

I then ask someone as they are crossing the start (at this point we are at the back with the walkers) what race they are doing and they tell me 5K. Whaaaaaat! No way. My GPS was still searching, there was no timing mat at the beginning, and I didn't even know what to do at this point. Well I started, but don't know when I started, didn't even have a guess since my watch didn't have a time on it and I just ran, hard, but not all out. I was just frustrated. By the time I turned on my GPS to check my there wasn't much left, but it clocked my last 1.26 miles in 7:08 pace. Whatever.

I was already planning on running the This Race Blows 5K June 1st benefiting the cyctic fibrosis foundation. It is run at 6pm at night (means HOT) and it is a crazy hilly course. Finishing uphill too. Total of 5 good hills over 3.1 miles does not leave much flat. I told myself I would run hard and run what I could and whatever happened happened, but I had not goals of breaking 22 min at the race given the course and the temperature.

What do you know...I won the race in 21:19. My GPS did say it was only 3.05 miles, but even if I tack on 20-25 seconds, I'm still under that 22! I was pretty much in shock. Mile splits were not even at all...6:35, 7:03, 7:18. I was dying at the end and up the last hill which is the steepest, but I finished and won and my friend who only started running a year ago had an amazing PR and was second.

I don't know whats up next. Except for the fact that I signed up for a marathon next March. :)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Life gets so busy sometimes, so here is a little update. I'll blog some more now that I have a bit of time.  I finally got my tenure stuff turned in yesterday! Yeah!!! One big check off the big to do list of things going on! I don't actually find out until September, but my two very full 3inch binders filled with the last 6 years of my professional career are no longer in my house.

We've been having fun around here despite T's ear infection and eczema flare up. We were back on antibiotics for 10 days and just went in for her check up and no fluid in the ears (so no tubes) and eczema looks good (so no allergy testing for now).

Swinging at the park together:

I LOVE bananas!

Mommy and P time: