Tuesday, October 21, 2014

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: Happy

If you had asked me a year ago what made me happy I would have told you the health of my family.  If you had asked me what made me really happy - you know the kind - giggling, jumping for joy type of happy I may have said a new pair of boots or a great handbag, jeans that make me look skinny - you know the material things in life - I mean who doesn't love a great pair of jeans?

If you ask me today what makes me happy - I may tell you a new recipe, hearing my daughter laugh out loud or a chicken salad sandwich. It's definitely the little things these days.

In March my ballerina was diagnosed with Chronic Daily Migraines.  She literally has a headache 24/7.  She has sensitivity to light & sound & smells. She is constant pain. She is tired all the time.  She doesn't sleep.  It didn't start off as chronic but by the time we got a diagnosis thats where it was.  She was home schooled  for the spring semester.  She gave up ballet. She spent most of the summer in bed or on the couch.  We went from specialist to specialist and medication to medication - none of it helping much.  Every day is a struggle for her.  She is so unbelievably brave and stoic.  She has returned to school and ballet and does what she can.  She has missed a lot of school so far this year but she makes up all the work.  She just keeps moving forward ready to try the next thing.  She makes me proud - and she makes me believe that every day is a new day.  I wake up hopeful each day that this will be the day she tells me her head has stopped hurting and I have my ballerina back.  Hope is my happy these days.  I feel helpless and sad and sorry that I can't take her pain away but I keep trying.

One of her doctors suggested she give up gluten to see if that helped.  It didn't stop the migraines but now if she does eat something with gluten, the reaction is immediate.  Her head explodes, her body wants to sleep, she feels worse than before she ate.  She has a gluten intolerance.  I have been learning to remake all my recipes to be gluten free - easier said than done.  I didn't realize that flour is in basically everything I cook - from stews and soups to pasta & bread it's there. I am slowly remaking each of our favorite family recipes to be gluten free.  Today I mastered chicken pot pie and that makes me happy!  Here is the recipe:

2  t butter
4 chicken breasts - cooked and shredded
2 cups chicken stock
1 bag steam fresh corn (cooked)
1 bag steam fresh peas (cooked)
3/4 cup milk (I used lactose free)
3T corn starch

In a large pot, melt the butter - add the chicken and sauté for a minute.  Add peas & corn (& any other veggies you like - I used to add carrots until I realized everyone was picking them out!) Add chicken stock, a sprinkle of nutmeg & salt.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Dissolve the corn starch in the milk and slowly add to the chicken mixture.  Simmer until thickened.  Serve over rice or with Gluten Free bisquick bisquits.


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