One of the first recipes I attempted to convert when I went gluten free was pumpkin bread. I had recently found a recipe I’d loved and was determined not to give it up. Needless to say, the resulting bread was a disappointment. Disappointing enough I gave up on GF pumpkin bread. It was edible. It tasted good, particularly for my first attempt at GF baking. But it wasn’t the bread I remembered.

Fast forward 3 years. My 3 yr old and I are shopping at Trader Joes and she spots the sugar pumpkins. She wants one because her brother came home with one from a school field trip the week before. When we get home, initially she’s just happy they both now have sugar pumpkins; however, it doesn’t take long before she’s curious about why it is called a “sugar” pumpkin. I explain that this is the kind good for eating–so she decides her pumpkin needs to be eaten.

I manage to convince her that she doesn’t want to eat it raw and that it should be baked. Next I have to convince her there isn’t time to cook said pumpkin that evening, that we can’t have it for dinner or dessert. (I failed. There was much tears and gnashing of teeth).

However, this afternoon we (I) succeed in baking, pureeing, and transforming the pumpkin into a fabulous pumpkin cake and my faith in pumpkin baked goods–even gluten free ones– is restored.

And after all that my daughter, thank goodness, t did think the cake was delicious. It didn’t hurt that we added chocolate chips to the recipe and served it with ice cream.


Fall, to me, feels like the beginning of the new year. School begins and summer habits must be reshaped. The air takes on a smell of decaying leaves and even chimney fires and evenings grow quieter. Patterns and routines are regained. And so I find myself revisiting menu planning. My first born has made it successfully through the first week of kindergarten and I’ve made it through the first week of packing lunches; however, dinners involved too much food made by others (i.e. Thai food, take out Gf pizza, etc).

I also find myself, like last year at the beginning of fall, hitting a low ebb physically. I’m tired and achy and I’m not sure why. Last year I went to a nutritionist and a massage therapist who specialize in abdominal massage in hopes of continuing to aid my body in healing after years of living with undiagnosed Celiac. This year as I approach the third anniversary of my diagnosis I mostly feel confused and discouraged as to why I don’t feel better. (It might possibly have to do with my energetic 5 and 3 year olds or just possibly with the effort I’ve put into starting my own business this year but it seems to be something more than even those account for).

I hope to regain some energy so I can savor this favorite season of mine and I so I’m going to return to the basics: enough rest and good food. So, on to the menu plan! It looks like this week’s Gf Menu Plan Monday item is apples. Since a friend just gave me a bag of local apples and our tomato plants are loaded with green tomatoes, I’m going to try my hand at a Green Tomato and Apple Pie. If anyone has a favorite GF pie crust recipe, please pass it on. I’ve made OK crusts so far but nothing outstanding. I’m still hunting.

Ok, the rest of the week:

Monday–Roast chicken and potatoes w/ sauted red chard

Tuesday–spaghetti w/ green salad w/ the option of eating the sauce over spaghetti squash

Wednesday–Thai stir-fry w/ jasmine rice

Thursday–homemade GF pepperoni pizza using Bob’s Red mill mix

Friday–fried green tomatoes (yes, we have a lot that aren’t ripening this cool Seattle summer), grilled corn cut off cob and mixed w/ bell peppers sauted w/ bacon…and I’m not coming up with a meat to go with it. Maybe make a salad, cook a few extra strips of bacon, and call it good.

Speaking of good food, I just learned a gluten free dessert place is opening walking distance from my home! One more reason the season feels it is full of new beginnings.