What Kirsten Didn't Know . . .

(I tried to get this post written before I went to pick Kirsten up from the airport yesterday, but was not fast enough because of hunting down all the links. The fun outcome of not getting it written in time is that I can provide some follow-up pictures to go with the initial post idea!)

Our beautiful friend Kirsten is flying in the air right now. Her flight will land in just over an hour, and I'm leaving to pick her up after I finish this post. I thought, while she's in midair, it would be fun to let you all in on a little secret I've been preparing for her stay.

Some of you have followed Kirsten's story for a while and know that she had intense stomach issues last year. For others of you newer to her journey, I'll give you the skinny. She landed in the ER. She saw a gastroenterologist. She had an endoscopy and was diagnosed with a hital hernia and gastric mucosal atrophy. She still didn't get any better, nor did she feel she was heard, so she stopped trusting the status quo. She saw a naturopath instead, who put her on an intensely strict elimination diet. And she (finally!) got lots, lots better.

Because she felt so much better with that strict elimination diet, Kirsten decided to stick with a modified elimination diet long-term. She now lives a gluten-free life and is very careful about everything she puts into her body. I so respect that girl for this.

As you can imagine, for someone not keen in the kitchen (I'm talking about me here), plus not acquainted with the ways of the gluten-free world, this posed quite the quandary. What to feed this special girl while she's staying in our home? Of course, Kirsten was so gracious in every interaction we had about this subject, graciously assuring me that she was sure to find something she could eat no matter where we went. But still, I wondered about those meals we would share at home . . .

Enter a divinely inspired brainstorm! Up to the front of my mind came the memory of many elimination diet-related posts from Kirsten's journey through this process in which she shared many zany tales as well as favorite recipes she'd concocted out of her own ingenuity and creative, experimental spirit for this new experience in the land of food. I scoured all the posts she had labeled under "health" on her blog, and found a number of delicious-sounding meals we could create. All it took was a trip to the grocery store, special ingredients list in hand.

Voila! Here we have cubed, extra-firm tofu, sea salt, organic free-range chicken, crushed rosemary, limes, lemons, green beans, tomatoes, avocados, ground turkey breast, green peppers, rice vinegar, rice noodles, and much, much more. Some of these ingredients are a first for me!

Four recipes on the docket for this week . . . Turkey Pow, Mexican a la Kirsten, Southwest Chicken, and Thai Dish with Peanut Sauce. Sound good, huh?

Fun in the kitchen together. Isn't that girl on the right totally gorgeous?! I think so, too.

Ahhh, the delight of the prepared meal, complemented by a great bottle of wine. (We both got a little tipsy, which was a hoot. Kirk was our designated driver when it came time for dessert. Just kidding -- it wasn't that bad. Okay, it was. Kind of.)