Surprise Date Night!

Mike and I went on a surprise date night last night to the Natural History Museum of Utah. It was a hopping place! Mike was more interested in dinosaur bones (they do have some cool new discoveries), but I was fascinated by textiles and fossilized plants. Of course. They even had displays on how yarn is spun, baskets are woven, shoes are made, and how blankets are woven.

It was a beautifully laid out museum with tons of interactive exhibits for kids (and kids at heart), and we'll definitely be headed back there soon.

After dinner, we went to Vinto for our "usual" dinner of the V Salad and the Tuttabella pizza. Delicious (and gluten-free) as ever!

Weekend Links

Happy Memorial Day! I've been planning on a day full of work (womp, womp) but it looks like I might get a day off after all. Last weekend I pulled weeds until I was sore and sunburnt, and then we had a surprise flash trip down to Moab for a little craft fair. Hopefully you are getting to rest up, connect with friends and family, and of course remember the service of so many to our country.


Not that I need another scarf/wrap/shawl, but this is gorgeous. Also, I saw the most beautiful lavender-colored Shetland shawl this weekend, and now I must knit one for myself. Obviously.


So...I totally don't wear gloves when I garden. It's gross. Usually I scrub, scrub, scrub for a couple days after an intense garden session, but next time I'll be trying this trick.


Not quite DIY, but definitely helpful. The dirty on getting clean.  Also, I am very tempted to buy this book, since I vaguely know all the basics about sewing but can never quite remember the details.


Somehow I'm at that point in the year where my frozen and canned supply of fruits and vegetables is starting to let me down. As in, I saved almost exactly enough for a year, which is perfect, but now I can't just grab random things out of the freezer to fix dinner. I can't wait for my garden to start really producing (and for the farmer's markets to start), but in the meantime, foodgawker fills in the gaps with inspiration for what to do with what's left in my freezer. I've been using this site for so long, I forget that people don't know about it.

What links caught your eye last week?

Happy Birthday to Odie!

(Almost) two years ago, my little guy looked like this:

Now he's all grown up...mostly. He still loves to do silly puppy things, and he'll always be my "little baby puppy."

Odie is two today. We'll be celebrating with lots of playtime and puppy treats. Happy birthday, buddy!

Weekend Links

It's been a crazy couple of, work, and more work, and last weekend Mike and I went to Moab to chill with some friends. Except we didn't really chill, we hiked in the already baking May sun. It was a great time, but I must say, why is everything sore?

Anyways, here's what's been catching my eye:


This pattern. Everything about it is lovely. Color, shape, stitch pattern...


Don't know what to do with all those herbs in your garden? Here's how to dry them.


Loving this honey body wash. Also, I just finished reading Modern Pioneering. It's pretty much a DIY-gardener-cooking fanatic's dream. I highly recommend it.


As always, Shauna Ahern says it best. Recently I've had some scary run-ins with ordering gluten-free at restaurants. She explains why joking about gluten-free people is really endangering our ability to eat well, while managing not to go off on a rant like I would. On a lighter note, this looks amazing (minus the pistachios).

What links caught your eye last week?

Our Italian Restaurant(s): Venice, Part Three

Let's be real. The best part about Italy was the food. It seemed like we started the day with a big spread at our hotel (where there was always hot cappuccino, and gluten-free options for me), and then we spent the rest of the day figuring out what our next culinary indulgence would be. In between, we checked out some famous - and amazing - historical sites, museums, and churches, but it was really all about the food. In this series, I'll share the amazing meals we had, just in case you're planning a trip to Italy anytime soon ;)

 Our last day in Venice was spectacular. We finally found the gluten-free grocery store, called Mea Tutti Libre. We stocked up on gluten-free bread, pasta, and cookies to take home with us, and the guy made some restaurant recommendations - complete with good directions for finding them in the crazy streets and alleys that is Venice!

At lunchtime, we finally found Risto Bar - which is actually a generic name for a type of Italian restuarant. Here's how unassuming it is - not even a sign on the awning:

Our dishes were probably reheated frozen meals, but they were delicious. I had cannelloni beita e ricotta (cannelloni with chard and cheese), and it was delicious. I don't know about you, but it's been ages since I've had cannelloni since it's so hard to find large gluten-free pasta. The dish even made me re-think my stance on chard. The chard was chopped so fine, the texture was manageable for me - usually I think it's too chewy and give up.

Mike enjoyed another gluten-free rarity - tortellini panna e prosciutto (tortellini with cream and ham). The photo's not great, but it tasted amazing.

Best of all was the dessert - a gluten-free tiramisu, which I had been craving the entire trip. This one was definitely frozen and then thawed, but it was still delicious.

 After lunch, we took a gondola ride. Mike negotiated for a much better price - forty euros instead of eighty - though it didn't hurt that we went during "off" hours. The gondolier pointed out the palazzos of people like Marco Polo and Casanova, which are now occupied by banks and insurance companies. It was chilly, and even though it was definitely all it's cracked up to be, we were glad to get off the water when it was over.

For dinner, we went to Ala Vecia Cavana. They gave us a grapefruit juice cocktail and a delicious sampler plate of gluten-free bread with wonderfully crunchy breadsticks.

Our first course was mussels and clams in a light tomato broth, and our second course was pasta carbonara. Both were absolutely perfect. For dessert, I had another tiramisu, which was exactly the same as the one at Ristobar, but with a lovely presentation.

If you ever make it to Venice, I definitely recommend  stopping by Mea Libera Tutti, Ristobar, and Ala Vecia Cavana. 

That's it for our Italian Restaurants! To see all of the places we dined while in Italy, just click here.

Our Italian Restaurant(s): Venice, Part Two

Let's be real. The best part about Italy was the food. It seemed like we started the day with a big spread at our hotel (where there was always hot cappuccino, and gluten-free options for me), and then we spent the rest of the day figuring out what our next culinary indulgence would be. In between, we checked out some famous - and amazing - historical sites, museums, and churches, but it was really all about the food. In this series, I'll share the amazing meals we had, just in case you're planning a trip to Italy anytime soon ;)

On our second day in Venice, we visited the island of Murano, where the famous Murano glass is made. After our visit, Mike was hungry for lunch, but I wasn't so we went to a dive bar where he had pasta that was definitely microwaved. Eeek!

For a dinner appetizer, we stopped at what looked like a chain - Rosso Pomodoro, where we had some wine and a meat and cheese appetizer. 

But it was at a restaurant called Muro Venezia San Stae where we learned a new trick for ordering gluten-free food at Italian restaurants. Previously, we had always asked if the restaurant could do gluten-free, and heard either "no" or only "pizza and pasta." There was even one restaurant where the owner wouldn't feed me a salad because it wasn't pizza or pasta! This time, we decided what we wanted to eat - fish, since we were in Venice, after all - and asked the waitress which dishes could be made gluten-free.  We wound up with the most delicious salmon drenched in a creamy white wine sauce with herbs. What a win!

Next week: Our last day in Venice, two delicious meals, and a gluten-free grocery store!

Gluten-Free Tucson

Impossible cacti, blazing heat, mountains ... and great gluten-free food. Mike and I hopped down to Tucson for a weekend to celebrate a friend's wedding. After stepping off the plane, we headed over to Piezano's for a gluten-free pizza. We were the only ones in the restaurant, so the guy running the show was more than happy to make us a half "big and meaty" and half Hawaiian pizza. We inhaled it, and didn't regret it one bit.

Then it was time for the rehearsal, and rehearsal dinner at the Old Pueblo Grille, where we had a lovely cocktail hour and sat down to dinner. I had the Avocado Chicken, which they made specially gluten-free for me, and it was mighty tasty.

When we booked our hotel, the Hacienda del Sol, I knew it would be nice, not just because of the price tag, but because they made a note that I'm gluten-free for their in-house restaurants, "just in case" I decided to dine with them. I did - while Mike was out with the groom before the wedding, I ordered myself room service - my very first room service ever.

It was a salmon salad, and the hostess made sure to check with the chef before even placing the order, just to make sure it was totally gluten-free. It was, and I was so glad. The salmon was delicous - grilled to a crisp on the outside, but still moist and tender on the inside. The dressing was good too - light and creamy and just right. At first, I thought the corn was raw, it was so sweet and crisp, but it was actually charred a bit on the grill, then chilled. Yum!

Finally it was time for the main event, which was absolutely beautiful. After the ceremony, we headed back to the hotel, where the reception was, for a wonderful party. We checked with the servers, who checked and assured us that all the menu items for the evening were gluten-free! We had steak and salmon, and both were amazing.

The next morning, we trudged over to the airport to go home. I didn't expect to find much, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Cibo Express Market at the Tucson airport. They had a range of gluten-free snacks, and some were even nut-free. My favorites were these gluten-free cookies that tasted just like Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies. They even had healthier options, like red pepper-artichoke spread, and cut fruit.

I'm sure we'll be heading back to Tucson soon. Have you eaten gluten-free there?

Weekend Links

We had a wild weekend over here...well, in Tucson, anyways. We went for a friend's wedding and had a blast. The best part, besides watching two amazing people tie the knot? I was able to eat gluten-free at every meal, including the wedding dinner. More on that later. Anyways, it was great seeing old friends, making new friends, and celebrating looooove. Now it's back to work and real life!

Here are this week's links:


Because I can never remember which way the yarnover goes. (You'd think, after almost 15 years of knitting, I could remember a thing or two about it!)


I'll be consulting this website to try and identify some more of my weeds next weekend. After a couple of weeks away from home, they're starting to take over...again.


I tried to do a photo transfer like this way back in high school, and it didn't work so well. I'm excited to maybe try it again. Also, I'm thinking of making some DIY air freshener, because the canned stuff smells...canned.


It's going to be another crazy-busy couple of weeks at work, but I still want to do everything I can to eat real food. You can bet I'll be consulting this list for quick meal ideas.

What links caught your eye last week?