April 2020

This has been a hard three weeks for all of us and even harder weeks are to come. We all should be working from home by now, with the exception of essential workers (thanks, Mom & Stacy!). Working remotely can be a challenging adjustment for many people who weren’t used to it before, and we’re all just trying to figure out if we really CAN take that WebEx meeting from our couch while wearing PJ bottoms and a button down. It’s weird. 

One piece of advice that I have for you right now is to mix up where you work every day. Some days call for sitting in your comfy La-Z-Boy by the window, while others require sitting at your desk staring at an Excel file for 8 hours. If you’re anything like me, no day is the same. The one thing that DOES remain the same is my background music. April’s playlist is the perfect mix of upbeat and chill tunes to get you in the mood for whatever day you have in store.

Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Wildflower – 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Believe (feat. Justin Timberlake) – Meek Mill
  • Maniac – Conan Gray
  • Forever Yours (Avicii Tribute) – Kygo, Avicii, & Sandro Cavazza
  • Kings & Queens – Ava Max
  • Never Seen the Rain – Tones And I
  • How To Be Lonely – Rita Ora
  • Forever – FLETCHER
  • Modern Loneliness – Lauv
  • Break My Heart – Dua Lipa
  • Better Days – OneRepublic
  • Last Time I Say Sorry – Kane Brown & John Legend (unexpected collab, but I’m cool with it)
  • Aftertaste (feat. Morgan St. Jean) – Loud Luxury
  • Like It Is – Kygo, Zara Larsson, & Tyga
  • I Love You’s – Hailee Steinfeld
  • Break Up Song – Little Mix
  • julia – Jeremy Zucker
  • Good Example – R3HAB & Andy Grammer
  • OK, All Right – David Archuleta (I smell a comeback!)
  • Hold Me Close (feat. Ella Henderson) – Sam Feldt
  • This City (Acoustic) – Sam Fischer
  • Upside Down – KANDY
  • California (feat. Fairground Saints) – Molly Parton
  • You should be sad (Tiesto Remix) – Halsey & Tiesto
  • Think About You (feat. Valerie Broussard) [Galantis Remix] – Kygo
  • Rojo – J Balvin
  • Better Day (feat. Aloe Blacc) – Young Bombs
  • One Touch – Jess Glynne & Jax Jones
  • Mistakes – Jonas Blue & Paloma Faith
  • Harder – Jax Jones & Bebe Rexha
  • Built to Last (feat. RORY) – Feki, RORY
  • Better Apart (feat. Dresage) – Jai Wolf, Dresage

As always, you can find this playlist and all others on Spotify and Apple Music by searching “baconama.” On Spotify, this month’s playlist is titled “Against The Grain_April 2020.” Apple Music users can find it titled “April 2020.” 

Enjoy and please stay home and safe. Cheers! 

Flo’s Desserts: GF Coconut Macaroons

I looooove all things sweet. It’s such a good day when I come across a gluten-free dessert recipe, and last week I had one of those days.

Florence, a colleague of mine, has become quite the baker. Similarly to me, she likes to dabble with new recipes, so when she brought her gluten-free coconut macaroons into work, I was hooked. This coming from a gal who used to say “I don’t do coconuts.” Trust me, they’re that good and are SO easy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 14 ounces (1 bag) shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 XL eggs used for egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • THAT’S IT!

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  • Grab yourself a big bowl and combine the shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Mix.
  • Separate your egg whites (This was new for me, but is super easy so if I can do it, you can too!) into another bowl and add in the salt.
  • Using a hand mixer, blend the egg whites and salt until it gets frothy and little peaks begin to appear. (I probably could have blended mine for a bit longer [see photo], but it is what it is.)
  • Gently fold in the egg whites into the shredded coconut mixture.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, place ‘dough’ onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat if you’re feeling fancy. (I was at my parents house and mistook wax paper for parchment paper – don’t do that. That’s bad. Wax paper can burn. Learn from me and don’t do that.) 
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes until they’re goldeny brown goodness.
  • Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let me know if you try out Flo’s GF Coconut Macaroon recipe! I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment here or on Instagram to share your experience. 

Bon appétit! 

March 2020

Happy March, friends! Chicago is finally seeing sunshine after months of gloom and grey skies. Temperatures are creeping above 45, which means midwesterners have already opened their windows and have swapped their parkas for jeans and a tee shirt. It’s inevitable that we’ll still have one more snow storm and cold snap, but for now, we’re embracing the sun and “warmth.” 

To get you in the Spring spirit, I’ve prepared a 2 hour+ playlist just for you. Here’s what you’ll hear:

  • ON (feat. Sia) – BTS
  • Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac
  • Sail Into the Sun – Gentlemen Hall
  • No Cars Go – Arcade Fire
  • Feel Me – Selena Gomez
  • Great Unknown – X Ambassadors
  • Intentions (feat. Quavo) – Justin Bieber
  • No Judgement – Niall Horan
  • Know Your Worth – Khalid & Disclosure
  • To Die For – Sam Smith
  • No Time To Die – Billie Eilish
  • Heartless (feat. Morgan Wallen) – Diplo & Julia Michaels
  • Oh My God – Alec Benjamin
  • Forever (feat. Post Malone) – Justin Bieber
  • No Shame – 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Birthday – Anne-Marie
  • Demons – Alec Benjamin
  • Mean It (feat. Wrabel) – Cash Cash
  • Therapy – Duke Dumont
  • Never Felt a Love Like This – Galantis & Hook N Sling
  • Better Off Without You (feat. Shift K3Y) – Becky Hill
  • Born To Love (feat. SHELLS) – Meduza
  • Moon Rider (feat. Wrabel) – Jai Wolf
  • Older – Shallou & Daya
  • Say My Name (feat. Zyra) – ODESZA
  • Lucky Me (feat. Great Good Fine Ok) – The Knocks
  • Nostalgic – ARIZONA
  • Keep It Simple (feat. Wilder Woods) – Matoma, Petey, Wilder Woods
  • The Reason Why – JP Cooper, Stefflon Don, Banx & Ranx
  • When We Were Young – Lost Kings, Norma Jean Martine
  • Younger – Jonas
  • Old Me – 5 Seconds of Summer
  • All Night (feat. Ally Brooke) – Afrojack
  • The Other Side – SZA & Justin Timberlake
  • Nights Like This – Loud Luxury & CID
  • Anywhere – Rita Ora
  • Follow You – Cheat Codes
  • Sun Models (feat. Madelyn Grant) – ODESZA

As always, head over to Spotify or Apple Music and search for “baconama.” This month’s playlist is called “Against The Grain_March 2020.” Apple Music fans, you’ll find this playlist under “March 2020.” Enjoy! 

February 2020

Is it just me or did January feel like it was 17 weeks long? It was tough, but we’ve finally made it to February, people! 29 days to jam out to this month’s playlist!

  • The Road – Faouzia
  • Anyone – Demi Lovato
  • Tusa – Karol G & Nicki Minaj
  • UCLA (feat. 24hrs) – RL Grime
  • What A Man Gotta Do – Jonas Brothers
  • Make You Feel My Love – JJ Heller
  • Wait (Chromeo Remix) – Maroon 5 [Also added this one to my Work Out playlist for those on Apple Music…]
  • Wherever You Are – Kodaline
  • When Boys Cry – Kiesza
  • In Your Eyes (feat. Alida) – Robin Schulz
  • Rare – Selena Gomez
  • I Lived – Ketreyah
  • You should be sad – Halsey
  • Ring – Selena Gomez
  • July – Noah Cyrus & Leon Bridges [Have had this one on repeat recently]
  • This City – Sam Fischer
  • Flames – R3HAB, Zayn, & Jungleboi
  • Stay – Gracie Abrams [Anyone else think Stacey Abrams? Too much politics for me? Okay..]
  • Get Me (feat. Kehlani) – Justin Bieber
  • Little of Your Love (BloodPop Remix) – HAIM & BloodPop
  • Only The Young – Taylor Swift [Have you watched the Miss Americana documentary on Netflix yet? Highly recommend: 11/10]
  • Physical – Dua Lipa
  • Sometimes – H.E.R
  • 11 Minutes (feat. Travis Barker) – Yungblud & Halsey
  • Dynamite – China Anne McClain [I realize this is a Disney pop cover of Taio
  • I’m On Fire – Chromatics
  • Tonight – Kesha

Head over to Spotify or Apple Music, search “baconama.” Spotify’s playlists are titled “Against the Grain_February 2020” and Apple Music’s are just “February 2020.”

When do you usually jam out to your playlists? While cleaning? At your desk? Have it on while you’re whipping up dinner? I want to know! Comment below with how you listen to these playlists 🙂 

January 2020

It never fails that every January, I struggle with writing the new year on my work. From writing the new date in the top right corner of my homework in high school to saving any new Excel documents for work, it’s inevitable that I put the previous year for at least the first week of the new year. Anyone else? 

Anyway… this month’s playlist has a lot of high intensity, high BPM, dance jams that are just ready to help you push through your new workout routine that you’ll hopefully maintain past February 15th. I’m not sure if I just gravitate toward these upbeat songs or if artists tend to release these hits around this time of year knowing that we’ll need an awesome workout playlist?

Here’s what’s on this month’s list:

  • Chills – Why Don’t We
  • Yummy – Justin Bieber
  • Where I’m Going (feat. Ronak) – Miles Away
  • Don’t Start Now (Kungs Remix) – Dua Lipa
  • Fades Away (feat. MishCatt) [Tribute Concert Version] – Avicii
  • Kiss Somebody (with Seeb) – Julie Bergan
  • Flames (feat. Jungleboi) – R3HAB & Zayn
  • Push My Luck – The Chainsmokers
  • No Good – Ally Brooke
  • everything i wanted – Billie Eilish
  • On Somebody – Ava Max
  • Hold On (feat. Michel Zitron) – Martin Garrix & Matisse & Sadko
  • Never Alone (feat. VCATION) [Angelo Huth Remix] – Felix Jaehn & MESTO
  • Magnetic – MONSTA X & Sebastian Yatra
  • Alone, Pt. II – Alan Walker & Ava Max
  • The Git Up (feat. Ciara) [Remix] – Blanco Brown [Okay, hear me out. It’s good. That’s it.]
  • Before You Go – Lewis Capaldi
  • Never Be The Same (feat. Rosie Darling) – Tritonal
  • The Power (Leftwing : Kody Remix) – Duke Dumont & Zak Abel
  • We Got Love (feat. Ella Henderson) – Sigala
  • Breathe – James Arthur
  • Falling – Harry Styles
  • Post Malone (feat. RANI) [Gattuso Remix] – Sam Feldt
  • Glitter – Benee
  • All Me (feat. Keyshia Cole) – Kehlani
  • Wide Open – FRENSHIP
  • On My Way (Rain or Shine Remix) – Tobtok
  • Swing Swing – ayokay

As always, you can find January’s playlist by searching “baconama” on Spotify and Apple Music. Don’t forget about the “Best of 2019” playlist, as well! 

Gift Guide: For The Celiac In Your Life

Pull someone who has Celiac as a secret Santa? Not sure what to get for them but still want to make it special? Below are just some suggestions on things that I’ve found handy over the past couple of years (and at various price points, too!)

UNDER $15:

Gluten Is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes, and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free

I received this book from a Secret Santa the Christmas after I was diagnosed with Celiac. The diagnosis was still fresh and this book helped make the news more bearable. Packed with gluten-free recipes, funny stories, and relatable advice, this book is a great ‘under $15’ gift for any gluten-free friend.

UNDER $20:

Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime

After my diagnosis, there was a huge learning curve on 1) how to cook in general and 2) how to cook for my new dietary restrictions. This cookbook has great recipes that are easy to follow and with very few ingredients. Between this and Hello Fresh, I’ve graduated from novice to basic chef. That’s a small jump, right? Anyway, this cookbook would be the perfect ‘under $20’ gift for a fellow Celiac.

UNDER $30:

Gluten-Free Spiced Apple Quick Bread Mix

Not into gifting books? That’s okay. A gift basket filled with GF treats would make any Celiac smile. These gluten-free spiced apple muffins are so good and so easy to whip up. Add in Williams-Sonoma’s lemon cake and pumpkin bread mixes and you’ve got an excellent ‘under $30’ gift. PS – They’re currently on sale!

UNDER $50:

Hello Fresh Meal Delivery Subscription

Like I said earlier, I quickly had to learn how to cook for myself (and Josh) after I got diagnosed. Ordering take out or going out to dinner wasn’t as easy as it used to be, so I had to adapt. Hello Fresh’s easy-to-follow recipe cards made the transition to the gluten-free lifestyle super smooth. They have so many recipes to choose from weekly, and many already come gluten-free. I always keep rice (an easy swap for tortillas to create a bowl) and GF pasta on hand, so whipping up meals for Josh and I is no problem! A subscription (or maybe just their first box) would be an awesome gift for a Celiac.

 

If you’re a fellow Celiac, what gluten-free gift ideas are you asking for this year? If you’re gifting a Celiac, what are you thinking about getting them? Comment below or on my Instagram post – I’d love to hear from you! 

December 2019

Well, folks. It’s here. The last monthly playlist of the year (and DECADE?!?!?!).

I’m going to let that one sit in for a sec.

 

Okay, now that you’ve fully come to terms with the fact that we are about to enter another decade (WHAAAAAAA?!), it’s time to see what’s on the December playlist. It’s a shorter one this month because if you’re like me, you most likely have NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays” + John Legend’s “What Christmas Means to Me” on repeat already and don’t have that much time for normal jams. Also, you’re probably busy watching every A Christmas Prince or Vanessa Hudgens Christmas installment on Netflix, so obviously can’t simultaneously listen to music and pay attention. It’s also hard to hear regular music over the sound of you munching on Christmas cookies. I’m just making it easier on you guys, really.

Here’s what you’d hear on December’s playlist:

  • Kissing Other People – Lennon Stella (Reminder that this is the girl from Nashville tv show with Hayden P.)
  • All This Time – Deorro
  • Luna – Bombay Bicycle Club
  • Up All Night – Khalid (He can do no wrong)
  • Watermelon Sugar – Harry Styles
  • Live Before I Die – Naughty Boy & Mike Posner
  • Mean It – Lauv & LANY
  • Gonna Get Funky – GRiZ
  • Feels Like – Midsplit, Proto & Chin Chilla
  • Say Hi – Codeko & Austin Mahone
  • Used to Love – Martin Garrix & Dean Lewis
  • Now I’m In It – HAIM
  • Say It Again – AJ Mitchell
  • Crash Into Me – Steve Aoki & Darren Criss (Had this one on repeat for a bit yesterday. Before reverting back to holiday music – I’m not a monster.)
  • One Foot – Walk The Moon
  • Fades Away (feat. MishCatt) [Tribute Concert Version] – Avicii
  • Put A Little Love On Me – Niall Horan (Once again, the OneD guys released new music on the same day. Do their agents talk? Is this planned? Would love to know.)
  • Family (with Kygo) – The Chainsmokers & Kygo
  • Adore You – Harry Styles

 

Alright, that’s it. Just over an hour of music for ya. As always, head over to Spotify or Apple Music, search “baconama.” Spotify’s playlists are titled “Against the Grain_December 2019” and Apple Music’s are just “December 2019.” Hope you enjoy and happy holidays, everyone!

What I’m Making For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays and it’s mainly due to the amazing comfort food (and the fact that you can get away with wearing stretchy pants and laying around after the meal, but I digress…). When I was first diagnosed with Celiac, Thanksgiving was super daunting to me because so many of my favorite dishes were filled with gluten – stuffing, gravy, pie… Luckily, we live in a time of heightened awareness of what’s in our food and so many food manufacturers are not only calling out allergens on their packaging, but they’re even creating separate gluten free product lines for Celiacs and anyone out there wishing to eliminate or decrease their gluten intake.

Stuffing:

  • This year, I’ll be using Schar gluten-free bread to make my breadcrumbs.
    • I like Schar better than Udi’s – I just think it holds up a little bit better. (Note that it does contain soy, so be careful if that’s a sensitive food for you).
    • If you’re in a rush, they also have pre-made breadcrumbs, but I like cutting up the bread and toasting the pieces myself for a larger crumb size.
  • Chicken broth (and most other broth flavors while we’re at it) can contain wheat ingredients. I’ve discovered the Pacific Foods brand and won’t go back to anything else. Their broths and some soups are dairy free, gluten free, soy free, yeast free, corn free, and the list goes on. I’m using this organic broth for my stuffing this year.
  • I haven’t purchased the sausage for my stuffing yet, but I’ll most likely be picking up this Boar’s Head robust Italian chicken sausage because it’s packed with flavor and gluten free. I plan on using a trick I learned from Hello Fresh and slicing off the casing to use the inside only.

Gravy:

  • Since I’m not cooking in a kitchen near the turkey, I plan on using a mix to make my gluten free gravy – no judgment whatsoever to people who use the packets. It’s easy! I’ll be whipping up my gravy with this McCormick gluten free turkey gravy mix.

Dessert:

  • This one is simple – I make a sweet potato pie but just without the crust. I’ll share my recipe soon, but just know that it’s basically the same recipe as a normal sweet potato pie. Butter up the sides of your pan so that the sweet potato can crisp up and form a crust of its own.

What are YOU making for Thanksgiving this year? Do you have a creative gluten-free spin on a traditional dish? I’d love to hear what you’re cooking up! Reach out by commenting below or leaving a comment on my Instagram post.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

 

*Note: None of the links in today’s post are affiliate links. I’m not making any money off of them. I just really love these products and want you to love them too. 

November 2019

Well folks, fall is officially here and I have the inevitable post-flu shot cold that comes with the season. ‘Tis the time to stock up on apple cider and gluten-free donuts (shout out to the true MVP, Yates Cider Mill) and break out the flannel button downs and fuzzy vests. 

While you’re at it, why don’t you pop over to Apple Music or Spotify, check out the most recent ATG playlist and jam away? Perhaps while you carve pumpkins or sip your Captains and cider by the fireplace? Maybe even while you’re digging into turkey & gluten-free stuffing? Just a thought… Here’s what you’d hear if you did:

  • Spicy (feat. Charli XCX) – Herve Pagez & Diplo [90s chicks rejoice!]
  • Love U – Monsta X
  • RITMO (Bad Boys for Life) – The Black Eyed Peas & J Balvin [another 90s throwback]
  • Baila Conmigo – Jennifer Lopez
  • Hurt People – Gryffin & Aloe Blacc
  • Baggage – Gryffin, Gorgon City & AlunaGeorge
  • Nice to Meet Ya – Niall Horan
  • Lights Up – Harry Styles [Interesting timing that Niall and Harry (& Liam but whatev) would release new songs in the same week…]
  • Lose You to Love Me – Selena Gomez [No doubt this is about JB and I’m here for it]
  • Make It Right (feat. Lauv) – BTS
  • Problems – A R I Z O N A
  • Look At Her Now – Selena Gomez
  • I’ll Be There – Walk Off The Earth
  • Lose Control – Meduza, Becky Hill, Goodboys
  • 10,000 Hours (w/ Justin Bieber) – Dan + Shay
  • Sims – Lauv
  • Lie – Lukas Graham
  • Make You Mine – Public
  • Bruises (Live) – Lewis Capaldi
  • Need Your Love – Gryffin, Seven Lions & Noah Kahan
  • Trigger – Major Lazer & Khalid [More on the chill side for Major Lazer, which I don’t hate]
  • Faith (feat. Mr. Probz) – Galantis & Dolly Parton [Yes, you read that right]
  • Turn It Up – Hootie & The Blowfish [Yes, you read that one correctly too… what a strange world 2019 is]
  • Raising Hell (feat. Big Freedia) – Kesha
  • You Don’t Even Know Me – Faouzia [Someone get this chick on a track with Sia & Florence & The Machine ASAP]
  • Body Back (feat. Maia Wright) – Gryffin
  • Survivor – 2WEI
  • Mirror – Samantha Smith
  • Orphans – Coldplay
  • Blind Leading the Blind – Mumford & Sons

You guys can find this playlist (and all others!) by searching “baconama” on SpotifyI updated my photo so I’m easier to find. If you see a face with gold jacks-like earrings, you’re in the right spot. This month’s playlist is titled “Against The Grain_November 2019“. For my Apple Music followers (hi mom, Stephen, & Stacy!), search “baconama” and you’ll find the “November 2019” playlist. 

Affiliate Links

Hey, you! Heads up on those links you may see on some of my posts: They’re affiliate links! I’m only providing links to items that I use and love, so you can rest assured that I won’t be spamming you with a bunch of random items to make an extra buck. If you decide to purchase something that I’ve linked, I may get a small percentage of that sale from my affiliate partners. I’ll add a #ad to the bottom of the post so you know when it’s happening. Just putting that out there into the universe. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.