My Food and Lifestyle Blog. The beginning…

My work-life mix has always been focused and a deliberate effort of trying to balance and blend my priorities and interests in family, career, food, healthy living, creativity, and storytelling in a way that touches the people around me and reminds them of what is most important in life. Sorting everything out has always been a little chaotic and disorganized for me and generally for my family too, but in the end, that’s what has made our life an interesting and rewarding journey.

Like most families, we’ve had our challenges, our fair share of setbacks, and our best-laid plans and traditions have many times needed reinventing along the way.

In 2011 I was diagnosed with celiac disease; since then, my daughter has also received that diagnosis. For us and others who have celiac disease, eating gluten-free is not a choice but a necessity. For family and friends who join us at our table, eating gluten-free does not mean you need to compromise flavor, palatability, taste, and texture.

I began my gluten-free journey in 2007 when my doctors first suspected a gluten problem. But, like I already said, it wasn’t until 2011 when I finally received a celiac diagnosis. After my initial shock of an actual diagnosis of celiac disease, going gluten-free became a simple, compelling concept: enjoying well-prepared foods and meals made with fresh and wholesome ingredients, free of wheat, barley, and rye. Using certified gluten-free whole grains, starches, and flours as healthy alternatives to a more conventional and traditional fare – preparing meals with a focus on fruits, vegetables, beans, seed and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms, lean – non-processed meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Even to enjoy bread, other baked items, and pasta, although they now had to be made from non-wheat, non-gluten varieties. I then discovered that by eating gluten-free, one could experience a whole world of deliciousness, full of flavor and taste!

After everything I had experienced, I started thinking about the recipes I was making and how wonderful they tasted. My family loved them too! The more recipes I collected and the more foods I made got me thinking about sharing them with others. So I started talking with family and friends, and with their encouragement, that’s when the thought of having a blog was born.

Long story short, this blog offers solutions for anyone who wants to prepare delicious and generally-healthy gluten-free foods for themselves or their loved ones. Apart from most desserts and baked items, including casseroles, each recipe is written to be adaptable to be prepared to serve one-to-two or a family. Anyone can easily make them with basic cooking skills, and you can make most recipes in 30 minutes or less.

As you cook your way through G-Free Deliciously, you’ll find many recipes that are inspired by local home cooks who have shared their family recipes in church cookbooks, Wisconsin cultural and ethnic foods, and a few other favorite dishes I’ve discovered over the years through my travels.

These reinvented recipes from scratch result from personal trial and error in my gluten-free food and cooking journey. The recipes offer people who must eat gluten-free an invitation to sample traditional culinary fare done differently. Ways to experiment with a new technique or try a few new ingredients to build palatable texture and flavors using classic cooking methods. I believe that gluten-free food is just food re-imagined, prepared a bit differently to eliminate gluten – and I invite all food lovers to sit at the same table.

And, what’s a great meal without a great story? Notes from Lac du Nibiinaabe chronicles stories, thoughts, and observations of daily life here on our property and being part of a community known as The Holyland. The posts account the joys and sorrows of owning a home and property; our family’s more than 30 years of work involved in turning a once open field and ordinary house into a rural haven of trees, flowers, wildlife, bountiful gardens, and the beautiful retreat home that it is today; and a peek into the region and lifestyle that was conducive to making it all happen.

As transplants to Wisconsin’s Holyland from the lower peninsula of Michigan (yes, we were once Michigander trolls – having lived under the bridge – I’ll go into more detail about all that later), my family and I were not sure what to expect of our new life here. We came because of opportunities in new jobs, to buy our first “real” house, and with the hope of this place being a good area for our kids to grow up and have a bright future. The jobs eventually changed, the house grew into our home, and our kids flourished through all the possibilities that this area provided. Along the way, our family fell in love with Wisconsin, and in particular, my husband Mark and I fell in love with our property and the area known as “The Holyland,” and we wouldn’t dream of ever leaving.

If you follow my blog, you’re sure to get a glimpse into the Wisconsin Holyland. I’ll share some noteworthy content – stories, recipes, tips, what to see, and other great stuff you won’t want to miss if visiting. Content that reflects a bit of the Holyland’s heritage, the community, my family, and everyday living as it weaves itself through the thread of life here at our home and property we call Lac du Nibiinaabe.

I hope you’ll enjoy my blog!  

God Bless, XXO ♥ 

You can learn more about what makes me, me… HERE

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