Monday, July 30, 2012
Crazy Week and Beanfields' Chip Winner!
Better later than never right? That's my motto this week for sure! Craziness has begun!

The winner of the Beanfields Chip give away is Heather from Where's The Beach!

Heather said she looks for "Definitely flavor, crunch, and ingredients" in a chip. Congratulations Heather, you are going to get just that!

A heads up for the rest of the week. I am going to try to post these...

I made doughnuts for the boys this afternoon and they were eaten almost faster than they were made!


It's a crazy week here with school starting on Monday. I have to finish shopping for the boys, I have to cut their hair (yes, I cut all 3 boys'  hair), we have dr.'s appointments for vaccinations, two open houses to attend on the same day, regular work stuff, clients to train and well...the last bit of summer fun to enjoy!




Hopefully a little more of what we had Sunday!




Oh and never underestimate the fun you can have with two dollars worth of foam noodles!

I will be in and out of blogging when I get a minute and hope to get the doughnut recipe at the least typed up and shared. They took a total of 30 minutes start to finish and they were definitely a crowd pleaser!

(I'm actually holding Jay's arm to take this picture!)

Who else has a crazy week planned? I'm not wishing this week away yet though. I can't believe summer is over for us!


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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:42 PM   13 comments
Friday, July 27, 2012
Hanging Out In The Kitchen!
***Don't forget to enter my giveaway for Beanfield Chips! I seriously love these chips! You know you want to try them!!!

I am blown away with all the support and kind comments I received yesterday! Thank you all so much for being there for me. Your comments really did make me feel better! Going through all those pictures and blogging about my boys really helped me get past the crying part of the life changes. I do have incredible kids and I am enjoying every stage with them! I'm seriously an extremely lucky girl!

I decided to spend the afternoon in the kitchen with the boys...


they played Monopoly while I baked cookies...


I made a batch of my gluten free oatmeal cookies, took out the dried fruit/nuts and added chocolate chips and hemp seeds (love me some Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds)...


Doesn't everybody put hemp in their kids' cookies? It has been too long since I baked cookies! They were so excited to have these! It just goes to show you that it really is the little things...


I also made lasagna (for them)...


and I made pizza (for me)...


This was green peppers, banana peppers, fresh tomato, onion and zucchini all on top of an thick socca crust!

In the mix for the topping was, 1 TBSP chickpea flour, 1 tsp nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and enough apple cider vinegar to make it pourable...YUM! 



I really did spend the rest of the day in the kitchen and it was a lot of fun just hanging out with my men. It's nice that Tony and I both work from home too, so we get to experience so many things with our family!

After yesterday, I will not be spending any time in the kitchen this weekend...I am working all day today and then I've already asked Tony if we can go back to our little private island spot at the lake for the weekend! Two more weekends until school starts back. We are going to make the best of it! 

Any fun plans for the weekend? Do you prefer the lake or ocean? I used to think I was an ocean girl, but after finding such a great spot at the lake and spending time at Tony's parents' place at the lake...I'm a convert to a lake girl especially since our new favorite spot has waves!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:27 AM   19 comments
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Reflections, Milestones, Memories and Looking Forward...
I blame Tony for this feeling. We were watching The Muppets on YouTube last night when I got a glimpse of an Elmo clip. I won't post the clip, but Elmo was Jay's absolute favorite and I can recite every word from every Elmo movie from that time period to this day. This song made me a blubbering mess. Truth be told too, to add insult to injury, I may or may not be emotional for hormone reasons too (whatever!)...

So, yeah, I'm having one of those kind of days. Not a bad day, but a remembering day. I am feeling the passage of time pretty hard these past few days. You see, today I took Jay to his first full day at the high school. Today is a day for the 9th graders to spend the day at school to go through the motions of their upcoming year. I drove up and dropped my baby boy off at high school...

Fall 1999

 I did not take a picture of him today because in my mind, he looked like this.

Fall 2006

I have so many friends that are just now having kids. I love reading about the stages they are in, but it really does make me miss my little guys. Don't get me wrong, I love that I don't have to keep an eye on them at parties, I don't have to wipe butts other than my own, they can and do help with things around the house when asked (most of the time) and the fact that I can sleep through the night...

 Fall 2010

but it really makes me realize that time goes so fast!

 Fall 2010

Fall 2010

He was so confident walking into the school today.

 Summer 2010 First Roller Coaster

 Summer 2010 Survived First Roller Coaster!

I am so proud of both of my boys. Next week I get to walk my littlest baby into middle school for the first time...

Summer 2010 

Max is still a mama's boy and I still get cuddles, but I know this will be changing soon...

Max Summer 2009

Jay Summer 2009

Spring 2008 (Max is not really sad, that was the stage where that look was his picture face! The Christmas pictures are that fantastic too!)

Summer 2009 (Favorite picture of all time of them!)

summer 2009

Today (after this post), I am going to work on enjoying the moment and focusing on now, otherwise I will blubber my eyes out. A friend of mine said the other day that Tony is going to have to tranquilize me when Jay drives off to college. Yes, he probably will. I realize that he is not gone and that the boys will always be close to us, but the passage of time is not especially easy to take in. I enjoy them so much and while it's not always easy to raise children, it is really nice having my best friends (my 3 men) around me everyday. No, I don't care about getting older since I know this all means that I am inevitably getting older. I actually like growing older with Tony. He seriously makes everything more fun. I am truly one lucky gal!

Do you remember starting high school? I do since I was in band and band camp was a HUGE thing for me since we stayed in a college for a week. Tony didn't start high school until 10th grade though and he was the youngest of 3, while I was the oldest of 4. Looking back, it was a HUGE milestone for my parents too, but since my sisters were so much younger than me (one is still in college) I don't know if it hit them as hard.  

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:43 AM   22 comments
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
My New Favorite Chip and a Giveaway!
Guess what time of year it is...it's almost school time again! The boys have less than two weeks now until they are back to the daily grind. Getting back into the swing of things is going to hurt this year. They stay up later than me on most nights and wake up at about 10am...ah, the life of a teenager not yet old enough to have a job.

So, my brain is already working on packing lunches. We are now a gluten free family and that means packing lunches is a must. I'm kind of lucky though, my kids are so used to thinking outside of the box with food that I can get some really nutritious snacks in them without all the lip some people probably get. This has taken time though with Jay. He was my picky eater, but now he is willing to try anything!

So, back to lunches...

Have you ever heard of Beanfields? Truthfully, I hadn't until they reached out to me to try their products. I am so glad they did! I am always on the lookout for healthy snacks and these definitely fit the bill for me and my family! The first ingredients are black beans, navy beans and long grain rice...my favorite foods all in one!


They kindly sent me the Nacho and Pico De Gallo flavors. I was actually pretty excited about these flavors since I haven't had a nacho flavored chip in years. I don't eat or buy a lot of chips because I don't really like greasy fatty chips for me or the boys. However, these chips are neither of those things!


These chips are super crispy, loaded with flavor and...


what I really love is that they are high in fiber (do your chips have this?), have a good amount of protein in them (4 grams per serving), are soy, gluten and dairy free! Even the chip connoisseurs here loved these!


They make the perfect addition to our sandwiches at lunch. This was our snack of choice at the lake on Sunday!


They also make the perfect crunchy topping to our chicken chili (recipe coming soon)! These chips are a great topper for soups and don't get soggy when dipped in salsa. A chip that has all the nutritional bonuses of Beanfields and holds up to dips makes a perfect chip in my book! You can buy them through their website in full size and snack size bags, through Amazon or at your local health food store. 

There's a bonus for you, my readers...Beanfields is offering one reader the chance to win 6 bags of their chips! All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me what you look for in a your perfect chip. 

For extra entries...
Like The Non-Dairy Queen on Facebook and Twitter
Feel free to tweet it too! Make sure you mention @BeanfieldSnack and @SarenaShasteen and leave a comment here telling me you did!

The giveaway closes Sunday, July 29th 12 midnight Eastern Time. I will announce the winner Monday morning. 

*The thoughts and opinions mentioned here are my own. I was given free product, but I was not compensated for my review. Trust me, you want to try these!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:57 AM   59 comments
Monday, July 23, 2012
Gluten and Dairy Free Monkey Bread!
This weekend was a much needed break from the everyday. It was so needed...

The party weekend started with this...


Max's Friday night hair. He cracks me up with his hair. Seriously, how did I make such a boldy stylish kid? I was so shy and reserved as a kid...I wish I had just an ounce of his confidence.

Saturday it was so overcast and humid. Tony and I headed to the gym early to get in a workout. I hit the treadmill for a short run and then did some free weights. The run was incredible on my legs! Seriously, the Mizuno Wave Nirvana 8 were like angel slippers (and super cute to boot!).


My legs felt like they could keep going forever. My lungs however, they were not loving the humidity. I give props to all those who can run in humidity like we have been having. I just could not breathe even inside. It was like trying to breathe underwater...I am NOT a fish. Anyway, I am excited to get more mileage on those shoes! They seriously felt amazingly supportive and light! Perfect!

After the workout and getting in a little lunch at home, we decided to head to the movies to see Brave. When it's that dreary and overcast, there is only one thing to do...go see a movie. We all loved Brave. It was incredibly beautiful and being the girl that I am, I liked seeing a strong female roll in a Pixar film. Can't say I was incredibly thrilled with the amount of talking that was going on with kids (semi excusable) and adults (not excusable), but it was a good movie and sometimes you just have to overlook stupidity and enjoy the moment. When we came out of the movie...it was pouring! The movies proved to be a good call!

Sunday, well, that felt like a complete vacation! We went out on the lake, just the four of us. Tony and I have been checking the weather for weeks hoping to get out there and when I saw on Saturday night that there was a change in the forecast, I was so excited! Tony and I woke up Sunday morning, packed lunches and out we went! We found a beautiful beachy area complete with waves from the other boats going by and hung out all day. It was AMAZING! We stayed out there for 6 hours. I could have stayed out for longer! I'm hoping for another weekend like that next weekend!

As for my eats, well, we kept things really simple here this weekend. Sandwiches, salads and leftovers. However, I owe you recipes from this past week! One of the major highlights was the Monkey Bread.


Did you grow up eating this stuff? I sure did...well the gluten and dairy laden version.


Monkey Bread was one of those things that I remember making way back as a kid because all I did was cut up biscuit rolls, roll them around in cinnamon sugar and then pour butter all over them...heaven, right?! There's a little more to it these days, but the same happy delicious moments are enjoyed while eating it! I have a version where I use biscuit mix, but I wanted to try out making it from scratch this time since I didn't have any biscuit mix on hand. This is really easy to throw together and so delicious to eat!

Gluten and Dairy Free Monkey Bread
(makes one loaf pan)

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used Almond Breeze)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 cup brown rice flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup white rice flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Smart Balance Light
1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
1/4 cup Smart Balance Light, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bread pan with nonstick spray (I use olive oil).

Combine the almond milk and lemon juice; set aside.

In a bowl, combine the brown rice flour, white rice flour, gluten free all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt; mix well. Next using a fork, cut the Smart Balance into the flour mixture until it resembles a course meal (pebbles). Using the fork, stir in the egg whites and almond milk to combine the mixture into a dough. Set mixture in the fridge or freezer while you assemble the cinnamon sugar mixture and melt the butter.

In a tupperware, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Next, scoop the dough into tablespoon sized balls and put them in the sugar mixture a few at a time.  I used a small cookie scoop to scoop the dough to make it really easy. Shake the dough balls around to coat them in sugar and then put them in the prepared pan.  Do this with all of the dough.  When all the dough is coated in sugar, pour the melted Smart Balance evenly over the dough.  Place it in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread is firm to the touch in the center.

Here is the tricky part...wait 2 minutes to let it set and then flip it out on a serving dish.


This is doughy, sweet, gooey and cinnamony...YUM!


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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 12:59 PM   17 comments
Friday, July 20, 2012
It's FRIDAY!!!
First off, I think we need to acknowledge it's FRIDAY!!! Thank goodness it finally got here. Mind you, I have no grand plans since Tony will have to work this weekend to make up for the lack of work this week, but the fact that I'm not chained to the house and we will be actively making money definitely helps my mood. Maybe I will venture to a couple of Farmer's Markets to spend said money just so I can get out and celebrate! We have one car for many reasons and I don't regret that at all, but it definitely limits you sometimes. Oh well, let's focus on the positive...it's FRIDAY!

Secondly, oh my gosh, you all are incredible. My mood instantly turned around with all the comments and emails I got making sure I was ok! I am, indeed, ok. This week definitely started with a lot of little crappy things that just piled up. I have a tendency to let those things weigh on me even though there was nothing I could do about them. I had to step back and think about the things I do have control over and realize that the other stuff just needed to be dealt with one day at a time...and then it was done. It doesn't help that the air quality has been so bad that my asthma is acting up. Not to the point I need an inhaler, but definitely to an annoying degree. Taking deep breaths is my way of clearing my head and relaxing...when you can't do that, it gets frustrating. Anyway, my week is definitely ending much better than it began, so I can't complain about that at all!

The third and last thing I will talk about this FRIDAY is my microwave protein cake addiction thanks to Stuft Mama. Seriously, every night I'm making a different version. My new favorite is this chocolate one that I topped with my peanut butter fudge topping (peanut flour mixed with a little water and stevia)...oh my goodness! Happiness in a bowl!



Chocolate Protein Microwave Cake

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Life's Basics), this was a serving of protein powder per their   measurements
2 TBSP cocoa powder (I used Scharffen Berger)
2 TBSP quick oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 packs stevia
1/2 cup chocolate almond milk (I used Almond Breeze)
1/2 cup egg whites

Mix everything together. Pour into a sprayed microwave safe soup size bowl. Microwave 6-7 minutes.


Side note to the protein cakes...a few people mentioned that the egginess turned them off on these types of cakes. I have used a couple of different brands of protein powder and Life's Basics is by far my favorite for the cakes. The other one I used was just a pea based powder, but I think the mix of pea, hemp, rice and chia really give these cakes a bready texture. I want to try a rice powder too. I imagine that would really make these more on the cake side. Also, I don't make the actual cakes super sweet because I put a sweet topping on them. If you want them sweeter, add more sweetener to them. 

Who else is happy it's FRIDAY! Any fun plans for the weekend? I'm hoping to take my new kicks out...


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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:38 AM   15 comments
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Mental Cooking Cleanse...
I'm ready for this week to be over. I would say I'm happy it's Wednesday, being that would mean that it's almost over, but no, I've wanted it over since Monday about 10:00am. Not that it's been horrible, but really the accumulation of crap has left me quite underwhelmed. Seriously, I had to find my happy place yesterday. In case you were wondering, that place is always my kitchen...

Slow roasted pork butt for my men...

Gluten free dinner rolls to enjoy the pulled pork...

Pulled pork sandwiches!

Gluten free monkey bread (revised from original)

Dark chocolate protein microwave cake with peanut fudge topping (blueberry version here)

Open face egg white omelet loaded with green peppers (from my garden), red peppers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast!

The last think anyone wants to hear is my silly frustrations with the week. Tony did indeed get picked for jury duty despite his attempt to look like lumber jack. What can I say, I have a thing for the mountain man look he's sporting these days. They asked him about how long he had been married and some personal stuff about work. I told him they picked him because he was reliable and loyal. UGH! So, this one car family that owns there own business doesn't get paid much this week. Luckily I have some online work to do! Being self employed has it's perks and this is not one of them. 

I will share the recipes from my mental cooking cleanse in the next few posts. How do you deal with stupid stress? Oh, my workout helped too! The baking really helped. 

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:00 AM   21 comments
Monday, July 16, 2012
Gluten Free Caramel Gooey Bars Revised and Summertime Chili!
I lost complete track of time this weekend. I thought Friday night was Saturday night...weird, I know, but we had some incredible friends come visit us on Friday, so my internal clock was confused (in a completely good way). We were supposed to go on the lake, but seriously, the weather here in Atlanta has been beyond fickle. One minute it's beautiful and sunny, the next minute it's pouring with thunder and lightening. UGH!

We decided to go bowling instead! You can never go wrong with bowling. After good times bowling, we went out for a quick bite and came back to our place to play pool! We are soaking up as much time as humanly possible with JD and Amy since they are planning to move to the other side of the country as soon as they sell their house or when Amy gets a job in the area they want to go. This led to a late night for all to soak up all those good times! 


Dessert was a huge batch of caramel gooey bars! I changed up the recipe just a little too*! I think this one set up better than any of the other gluten free versions I've done before!


It was a perfect treat to end a perfect day!

Saturday was a much needed lazy day for us.


I made a huge batch of my pinto bean chili (pintos make the best chili ever). I know, who eats chili in the summer time? Tony has been craving chili for a month now, so I had to make it. It actually completely hit the spot! I loaded it up on some lettuce, crispy celery (I know I'm slightly obsessed with the crunchy stuff lately), hot sauce, nutritional yeast and a baked potato.


This totally hit the comfort food spot! We watched movies (Tony and I)/played games (the boys)...it felt great to just relax. I swear we have not done that in what seems like forever...

Sunday was a much needed house work day. Tony and I cleaned out a huge bunch of stuff from the garage and did some much needed yard work. The landscaping had just about taken over! Seriously, the bushes would attack you when you tried to walk up to the front door. I love a lush landscape, but dang, that was crazy! The work we did around the house made us feel a lot more organized and we now I have plan for a yard sale this fall. We have quite a bit that needs to go!

Tony has jury duty today, so, since we only have one car, I will be accomplishing more around the house and getting a little work done too! I hope it's a great week for you all!


Gluten Free Caramel Gooey Bars Revised*
(for a dairy free version with gluten click here; for original gluten free version click here)



1 1/4 c Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Bob's Red Mill White Rice Flour
1 c Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Quick Cooking Oats*
1 c Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour*
1 1/2 c Brown Sugar, packed (dark or light)
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
1 1/2 c Cold Dairy Free Butter (EarthBalance)
2 c Dairy Free Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (I chopped up Scharffen Berger 62% Semi Sweet)
12 oz Caramel Sauce(use your favorite recipe - or let me know if you need one)
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill White Rice Flour*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups AP flour, 1 1/4 cups rice flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
Cut in butter until crumbly. Set half aside for topping.
Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
Whisk caramel topping and remaining 1/4 flour until smooth. Drizzle over top.
Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:00 AM   14 comments
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Blueberry Protein Packed Microwave Cake!
I am completely loving reading what people are thankful for from yesterday's post! It really is nice to hear such amazingly positive thoughts!

Yesterday was a crazy day! I lost the whole day or well, it flew by anyway. I blame Tony, of course. No, really, he went to a figure drawing class on Tuesday night that kept him out late. We had horrible storms and well, between him coming in late and me staying up late worrying about him and the storms, this all led to us not getting out of bed until 8:45am. Luckily, this week is mostly online client consultations so I can work anytime and shower as late as possible...which is what I did. Seriously, I was one gross gal by 7:45pm and a shower was really needed! Luckily people can't smell me through the computer...

Since we woke up later, breakfast was later, so lunch was later...

I made chicken corn chowder for the boys (I used this recipe subbing chicken for the shrimp)...


I had an amazing large grilled vegetable salad...


This all took place around 3:00pm which led me to hungryville at around 6pm. I wanted something different though...


I needed something with a good amount of protein since my salad was a little lacking in that department.


I was craving something a little sweet and I really wanted to use the blueberries left from this weekend!


I turned to my good friend Kristin at Stuft Mama for a little inspiration on this. The woman knows how to get some protein into her microwave treats! This was a massive blueberry protein microwave cake (mine was big, if you want a muffin size, half the recipe) with coconut cream and fresh blueberries on top!



This sucker got so big in the microwave! I love a fun kitchen science experiment!


I thought it made a funny face at me when all the air let out of it. I imagine it's saying "eat me"in a muppet voice! Does your food talk to you too? Humor me! 


Blueberry Protein Microwave Cake

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Life's Basics), this was a serving of protein powder per their   measurements
1 TBSP coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 TBSP quick oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 packs stevia
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (I used Almond Breeze)
1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 cup blueberries

Mix everything together. Pour into a sprayed microwave safe soup size bowl. Microwave 6-7 minutes. 

Coconut Cream
(original recipe here)

1 TBSP coconut flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 packs stevia
1-3 TBSP water (enough to make it all come together)

This tasty treat had 35 grams of protein, 35 grams of carbs (from high fiber sources) and 15 grams of fat (from coconut and protein). Not bad for a tasty treat. Good enough for breakfast too!

Have you ever made a microwave cake? Any favorite combinations?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:00 AM   42 comments

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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