So, what is the Mom Writer about?

I haven't posted for awhile. Life has been so busy and I have been caught up in so many ventures. 

I got caught up in the direct sales world for a good two years. I know now that direct sales is nothing I ever want to try again. It's just not for me and that is okay.

 I love The Mom Writer but for so long, I had no clue of what to write about. Over the past year I have had more physical problems then I think I have ever had in my life. 

In March of 2014, the muscles in my legs and arms stopped working the way they normally were working. I developed weakness and pain like I never had before. Standing is a problem for me. It feels like my muscles are being put on a table and stretched out.

I was diagnosed with Lupus when I was 15, so I thought it was a Lupus attack until almost everything came back normal in my normal three month check up. I had no idea of what it could be. So, I went to visit my primary care physician. For some reason the doctor covering for him ran a mono test. The results were positive. Everything was being blamed on mono. Which made no sense to me. I was told to give it a few months and see how it goes since mono can cause these symptoms. I was also told that I could be one of those that always test positive for mono. I was diagnosed last fall with myasthenia gravis and another doctor told me he disagrees. He thinks I have fibromyalgia with lupus. To make a long story short, the muscle weakness I developed has never went away. I am still suffering a great deal everyday. 

Back to the subject of The Mom Writer. I am a mom and I write. I may write about autism, food, crafts, crochet, loom knitting, television shoes or crochet. A mom does many things and plays many roles. My solution has been there the whole time. I love being a mom and I do not want to give up on the Mom Writer. I love it too much. 

I am preparing new ideas for post that include a little of everything. I am excited and hope you will join me in conversation. I have included some of my favorite pictures of my four kids. I hope you enjoy them. 

Can you relate to this post? Leave me a comment and tell me one thing that you have struggled made it through as a mom. 
Thanks for reading and here's to being a little bit of everything, a "MOM".
Love, Gina (The Mom Writer) 

Adveture in Cake Pops


Our adventure with Valentine Cake Pops. 
Making cake pops looks easier on videos than in reality for us. I could not get the chocolate to stay on the pop. I was not letting the chocolate dry first before I dipped it into the chocolate to cover the pops. We have adorable little heart molds to make our cake pops in, so hopefully we will be able to make a video.

We are going to try again and hopefully have better luck. The cake pops tasted delicious and the mommy / daughter time spent together was priceless.

Have you ever made cake pops? How did they turn out?

Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata with Goat Cheese

I hate cold weather, but I love fall smells and foods. Pumpkin is my favorite! I have made a lot of things with pumpkin this year and last. Pumpkin scones are delightful. I love pumpkin soup. I have already made pumpkin and sweet potato soup this year. It is delightful. I also love sweet potatoes.

One of my favorite things my mom used to serve on Thanksgiving was sweet potatoes. I really don't care what time of year I have them. I love sweet potatoes. I love making frittata's. Breakfast foods are my favorite and frittata's can be made for breakfast or dinner. They also fall into the "gluten-free" list.

I use ALLWhites Egg Whites  instead of whole eggs. Using egg whites make the meals lighter and healthier. Their website says they are gluten-free.

What I use:

2 cups of spinach
8 ALLWhites Egg Whites
1 large egg
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion diced
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon gluten-free Dijon mustard or regular Dijon mustard if you are not gluten-free
1 medium sweet potato (Cut into 1/2 pieces)
salt and pepper 

Using a skillet, pour olive oil into the pan on medium heat. Add the onion to the pan. While the onion is cooking, add egg whites, Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar in a separate medium bowl. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper. Add spinach to onion. Sprinkle a dash of salt, pepper, and stir. Cook onion about 5 minutes. Do not let it turn brown. Spinach should be wilted. Slowly add the egg white mixture. Add goat cheese. Oven should still be on medium heat. Let frittata cook in pan for 7-8 minutes until the edges turn brown. Use a spatula and slide frittata onto a plate. Invert the frittata carefully back onto skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Frittatas for Dinner

My husband is in a golf league on Tuesday nights. It starts in April and doesn't end until October. I like to have something waiting for him when he gets home. Although, depending on the day I have had, that is not always the case. Lately, I have been sick and not felt like cooking much. But, I am getting my grove on again and feeling like cooking again.

Since I have started a gluten-free diet, I have had to find meals compatible with the diet. I am doing this diet full force for 6 months as a test. I read everything and make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks. Frittatas make a great gluten-free meal, so I decided to throw one together.

8 ALLWhites Egg Whites
1 egg
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1pint of button chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped spinach
1 pint of cherry tomatoes halved
1 bell chopped bell pepper
1 small onion cut into tiny pieces
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon flat leaf chopped parsley

Heat olive oil in a medium size pan. I use Giada De Laurentiis for Target 12" open aluminum skillet. Cook bell pepper, onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms 7-10 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Sprinkle oregano, garlic powder and parsley onto mixture. Carefully pour in egg whites into pan. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Remove pan from heat and transfer frittata on a plate. Carefully change sides of the frittata to cook. Cook for 5-6 minutes on the other side.

Serve room or at room temperature. I like to serve warm. Enjoy!

My Gluten-Free Project

I am starting a gluten-free diet to see if my lupus symptoms go away. Since 2010, my lupus symptoms have flared dramatically. I am at a loss and I am sick of feeling so awful. I have not had normal blood work for 2 1/2 years. I have microcytic hypochromic anemic. My ferritin level is 3. My complement levels are low. Almost everything is out of range, except for my thyroid levels. My thyroid levels are perfect!

I have read a lot about how lupus can be related to celiac. I feel like I am going in circles with my health. I get no answers from the doctors. I feel like sometimes there is no hope to feel better. I hate feeling this way and I don't want to continue living my life this way.

I have high hopes that some of my symptoms will improve. I will be documenting the experience as well as new and great recipes. I hope you will follow along with me in the experience. I am leaning a lot already. I am excited to share more with you.

Meaty Spinach Tortilla

I am a huge fan of Giada DeLaurentiis. I love her creations and enjoy making them for my own family. One of her latest recipes is Turkey and Spinach Taquitos. I had to try it. Although I did not follow her recipe completely, it still turned out delicious. I had to improvise with wheat tortillas because I did not have corn. A lot of times, I do not have the patience to wait until I go to the store. :) 

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 large minced onion
1 tablespoon sea salt ( Giada uses kosher salt.) 
1 pound of lean hamburger meat ( Giada uses ground turkey.)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 full cups of chopped spinach (Giada uses baby spinach.) 
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 package of wheat tortillas 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese 

For the filling: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Cook the onions, salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the meat and cumin. Cook until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the beans. Mash the beans until smooth, using a fork. Stir in the mascarpone. 

I used my electric grill, but you can also use your stove top in a sauté pan. Drizzle olive oil over tortilla. Sprinkle sharp cheddar cheese onto the tortilla. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling in the tortilla. Wrap and place on the grill 2-3 minutes.  The cheese should be melted and grill marks should be present. 

Unfortunately, I did not get to snap a picture of the finished tortilla. My husband loved it. In fact, he loved it so much, he had the leftovers the next day. :)


Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

My family loves banana bread. My little ones call it cake. Time is in an issue with everyone. Especially, when you have a house full of kids. Every minute counts. Normally, I like to make everything from scratch, however, this Chiquita Banana Bread Mix is unreal! My daughter compares it to Bob Evans banana bread.

I made a loaf of banana bread for my daughter last week. I decided to add my own twist after preparing the mix. I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of Hershey's Cocoa into the bread mix. I also added 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips. One cup goes into the mix and 3/4 cup goes on top of the mixture in the loaf pan. For the final touch, I added slivers of banana on top of the mixture. I followed the suggested temperature and time from the box mix.

I hope you enjoy this easy banana bread recipe as much as my family does! Thanks for visiting!

The banana bread mix I use:

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