Friday, October 26, 2012

gluten-free gravy, class snack, and more...

Ok yes, a strange title for a blog post. But I've been thinking about something lately... 
Every single day someone says to me "I'm not creative." Sometimes several people in a day tell me this. IT DRIVES ME NUTS! Since there are rules against me flicking them on the forehead and shouting "YES YOU ARE!," I will resort to rambling about it here... lucky you  :} 
Stop and think for a minute - not that hard, don't hurt yourself!  ;)  We are all creative, we just don't really pay much attention to it. 
When a baby gets fussy, we find creative ways to entertain the baby.
When dinnertime gets boring, you create new recipes. 
When it rains and cancels your outdoor plans, you create indoor fun for your kids, like building a pillow fort or inventing a new game.
When your child informs you that they have a science project due the next morning, well, you get really creative.
When someone in your family has a food allergy, you get creative with your meals and find ways around certain ingredients. My son, Benjamin, is allergic to milk and eggs. We've explored lots of recipes to find creative ways to make yummy treats - some work, some don't.
When you eat a low-carb diet (no comments unless you want to congratulate me on losing 40 pounds so far), and you hardly ever eat anything made with flour, you have to be creative, or you'll go crazy. Now, I can make beef gravy from scratch that's so good, you pretty much want a little bit of meat and potato to go with your bowl of gravy. But, since that's a no-no for me, I went on a mission to find something that resembles gravy to go with my always yummy chuck roast. Success! You'll find the recipe at the end of this post.
When your child needs to bring a snack for class, you get creative to find something that's both healthy and appealing. Maybe you "google it" or search Pinterest for ideas. 

My point is, that we all have the ability to be creative. We watch and learn from others, we look at common objects in new ways, we experiment, or we use research to help us. If something doesn't work, we toss it and start over.
The same is true in paper-crafting. You don't have to be Van Gogh to make a card. Anyone can cut a sheet of card stock in half and start putting "stuff" on it. Take this simple Christmas card for example: 
Choose colors you like, or use traditional combinations (like red and green for Christmas). If you don't know where things should go, do a little research for card sketches and templates, or ask someone to show you. I happen to know a few people who can help  ;)

I guess my whole point in this really long post, is that the next time someone compliments you on your creativity, invite them to come "be creative" with you, and if they say no, flick 'em on the forehead!  ;) 

Aaron's peaches for snack-time today. Thank you Pinterest for the idea! 

Um, yeah... I didn't get a photo of the gravy. We were sooo ready to eat, that I forgot to take a pic! But I do have the recipe for you. First, I sauteed onions in butter and oil, and then seasoned and seared the roast. Next, I added some water and cooked for about 3 hours. 

After removing your roast from the oven, pull out your meat and veggies; set aside. With your pot on the stovetop, bring that beefy water to a boil. If you want a stronger beef flavor, you can add 1/2 tsp of Beef Soup Base, but read the label - I know mine has wheat gluten in it. Add beef broth to the pot to make the desired amount of gravy you want. Return to a boil for about 5 minutes so it will reduce out more water. Then, whisk in some Xanthan Gum about 1/2 tsp at a time - this stuff works pretty quickly, and you can always add more. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken; it will thicken a tad bit more as it cools. 
That's it! If you give it a try, leave me a comment and let me know what you think  :} 

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