Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIAW | Winter Staples

I started off the new year with the best intentions. I scratched out goals - goals for myself, goals for this blog. One of those being to participate in each What I Ate Wednesday link-up, another being to write a weekly wrap-up post on Sundays. I had plans to review 2012 in a variety of ways. You'll have to forgive me for not getting to any of those things just yet. We lost our funny, sweet, baby boy last week and my heart has been too broken for any new goals, new blog posts or really much of anything. I've been trying to write about it, about my baby Scrap, for days but it hasn't yet worked itself out. So, I thought I would try to get back into the swing of things with a WIAW post. Easy enough, right?

While I spent the start of the year with camera in hand at dinner time, I don't seem to have the energy to download or edit photos just yet - you'll forgive me, won't you? Instead, here is a look at some of our winter staples via Instagram. If you'd like to see more of our past eats, you can see old WIAW posts here - or, you can check out this week's link-up on Peas and Crayons for more colorful, interesting winter meals.

On Christmas, we spent the day driving. When you spend the holidays alone, well, there isn't much else to do. We're quite thankful for that drive though since it brought us our new favorite "restaurant"in Montana. Just outside of our town is a road that leads toward "Wisdom, MT" but it also leads to the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area (a snowy dream in the winter) and the Sugar Loaf Lodge. The lodge serves multiple purposes - it houses travelers, it rents cross-country skis, it has its own gift shop of local Montana-made wares, and most importantly, it is home to the Soup Shack. Each week the cozy little cafe serves a few different homemade soups, each served with a thick slice of sourdough bread and whatever you'd like to drink (I'll take chai, please). And, they even make pecan pie! (one of these days, I'm going to cheat and have a slice). Since discovering our new favorite find, we've gone every weekend for a big, hot bowl of a soup and a look at the new snow.

At home we've been enjoying the same dinners over and over again. It has also seemed funny to me that avocados are ripe and plentiful during our winter. Thankfully though that has meant homemade tacos and nachos for weeks. I can't get enough guacamole so when avocados are available, we make the most of it. We try to keep things interesting with different toppings and combinations each week. So far we can't get enough.

We also recently discovered the best breading for gluten-free fried foods. With the ease of breading things, and the cheap ingredients needed, I can't believe that I went so long without trying it. I will post a recipe and tutorial, soon, but in the meantime, we will be busy enjoying breaded pork chops, homemade chicken nuggets and chicken parmesan.

Another dinner staple we've grown to love is risotto. I know that I already told you to make this recipe but it's so good that I have to say it again. We've been trying different varieties and my new favorite is italian sausage with spinach and tomatoes. I know that a lot of people struggle with risotto or look at it as time consuming or difficult but I've grown to enjoy making it. Risottos are gluten-free and easy to make without dairy, too. Plus they use few dishes and I happen to enjoy the slow-paced stirring required. If you have any great risotto recipes or favorite combinations, please share!

I promise we do eat more than dinner here but lately breakfast has been a struggle. Trevor can't have eggs or dairy, I shouldn't have oatmeal, and really, that leaves few options. We've been trying to pass off cookies and hot drinks as meals, instead. For Christmas we received a big box of gluten-free snacks and inside were the little gingerbread men you see above. I was nervous at first but now, I'm upset that I can't find them in Montana. My mom also tossed in boxes of chai tea and apple cider pods. While I've never liked hot chai lattes before, I seem to have fallen in love since Christmas - I can't get enough.

As for lunch, I'm on my own since Trev leaves by 5:30 and that has meant leftovers, macaroni and cheese, and my favorite - hot corn tortillas with ham and melted cheddar cheese. I wish I was kidding but those tortillas? I eat them daily.

Do you find yourself eating the same foods time and time again? We seem to rotate just a few basics with some variations. Lately I've started to look for more crock-pot dinners. If you have any recipes for quick, easy,  and gluten-free dinners - do share!

I hope to be back soon with stories of what we've been up to  but please excuse the quiet in the mean time.


  1. Shut up, can I have all this food, now? Thanks :)

    I nominated you for a Liebster award over on my blog, hooray!

    1. It's what, an 8 hour drive from Seattle, just come over for dinner. No big deal!

      And I saw that - thanks lady! I will try to do my post tonight - just the inspiration I needed to actually post something.