Our El Primo Property and Your Premio Dardos Awards


I’d planned to have this post up on Sunday, but at the last minute we decided a bike trip to our mountain property, which we love so much, was a better idea than hanging around the house. The photo above is of “our” rapid on the Shenandoah River and the one below if of our “bike” (those are my husband’s riding chaps on the seat). It was a great, relaxing trip, but brutally hot. On the way back, we stopped at a favorite restaurant and had a great meal. I ordered the chicken salad plate, which turned out to be a yummy chicken salad (the recipe included red grapes—love that!) served over salad greens with cucumbers and a tahini-based dressing. I ate every morsel, drank my tall glass of ice water, and felt re-energized (for a bit). As we continued home with temperatures on the way down, one bank thermometer showed 96 degrees—yikes! I’m sorry to admit that I experienced fanny fatigue fairly early on this trip—that was disappointing. I guess I’m out of practice! I better start “training” (i.e., riding weekly), so I’ll be ready for our annual motorcycle trip later this summer!


As I mentioned in a previous post, Anali (Anali’s First Amendment) honored my blog with the Premio Dardos Award recently. premio_dardos_award1As she stated on her blog, “Premio Dardos means “prize darts” in Spanish. It is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.” Per the rules, I am selecting 15 blogs. Granted, 15 is a lot, but there are so many wonderful blogs that I read, it’s actually hard to narrow it down that much. The criteria for the award fits most every blog I read; that’s exactly why I read them. Without a doubt, these blogs make my life better … most making me laugh, many sharing the gluten-free philosophy, some educating me, and some challenging my beliefs. There are also many equally wonderful blogger awards, so, recipients, please don’t feel obligated to carry on this Premio Dardos award. If you’d simply like to place it on your sidebar, then please do so, but again don’t feel obligated to do even that. (Guilt is a waste of precious time, in my opinion. Well, unless, of course you can use it successfully to motivate your children. LOL … kidding … sort of.) Those of us who blog are all busy sharing our particular passions via writing posts, making terrific food, taking stunning photos, engaging in awareness projects, and, of course, just doing the drill of living our daily lives—an award can be a very neat thing or it can mess up the works a bit. Here are my choices, and, just FYI, these are not all gluten-free blogs. Also, Anali’s First Amendment is not included because she has already received the award. Thanks again, Anali!

By the way, I had another very pleasant surprise today … Z,  awarded me with the Lemonade Stand Award on her From This Point Forward blog. This award goes to blogs that show great attitude and gratitude—love that concept.  : – )  lemonadeaward11Since there are blogs I didn’t get to recognize here for the Premio Dardos awards, I may do another post soon to recognize other worthy blogs with the Lemonade Stand Award. Thanks, Z!




Premio Dardos Award Selections:

A Year of Crockpotting  Stephanie committed to cooking in her crockpot every single day for a year starting in January 2008. Obviously, her year is long over, but while she’s diversifying to other activities (including her new blog, Totally Together, and her book of the same name), she still shares a great crockpot recipe about once a week. She’s charming and funny, and her recipes are easy and usually very economical. Dust off your crockpot! (I tend to use my crockpot more in the winter, but it makes sense to use it during the summer to keep the heat down in the kitchen. You can even plug it in on an enclosed porch, so no heat in the kitchen at all! :-)

Banana Coconut Gal  Coconut Gal is a sweetheart. She shares her experiences living with Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis—a rare gastrointestinal condition that really limits her food choices. Yet, she remains strong and positive and shares some terrific, easy recipes like BaNilla Nut Ice Cream. Go check that recipe out … you know you want some!

The Brian Williams Tie Report Archives  Nance entertains me Monday through Friday critiquing NBC anchor Brian Williams’ tie choices. A high school English teacher, she can cut to the quick for a poor selection of Mr. Williams or take a nice cravat to even higher levels. It’s all in good fun, but Nance offers excellent commentaries.

Compost Studios  Veronica is an outstanding writer, but there’s much more to V-grrrl (as she’s also fondly known) than that. As her blog’s name suggests, she is always re-inventing herself through prose, poetry, art journal pieces, or photography. (FYI—Veronica also has a new professional site where she offers her writing skills “to connect people, businesses, products, and ideas.”)

Elana’s Pantry  While I don’t make all of Elana’s recipes, I do appreciate them all for their simple elegance. Plus, I envy her photography skills! Her recipes require few ingredients, but the ingredients used are just the right ones to offer the best combination of delicious and nutritious. Some will surprise you with their ingredients … like the Purple Velvet Torte. Look forward to an adaptation of one of Elana’s salmon recipes (three ingredients) on my blog soon. For baking, Elana uses high-quality almond flour, almost exclusively, as her new cookbook demonstrates.

Gluten Free for Good  Melissa is a food expert. Seriously. Her day job (or maybe it’s 24/7) is nutritional therapy and exercise science. And, she really practices what she preaches. That sounds boring, but Melissa is far from boring! She always injects humor, joy, and beauty in her educational and entertaining posts.

Gluten-Free Kay  Kay tickles me (and others) with her zest for life and terrific sense of humor. She shares her and her animals’ adventures (domestic and wild) on her Leaning Tree Farm. Gluten intolerant and diagnosed with other food intolerances as well, she often makes recipes that are naturally gluten free using food she has grown herself.

Gluten-Free Gobsmacked  Kate is warm and sweet, and makes some fantastic gluten-free food. Her blog posts are a bit sparse as of this writing because she and her husband just adopted a daughter! They are over the moon with happiness, but probably more than a little sleep-deprived these days. Check out her last few posts on the joy of bringing her new daughter home and look forward to the day when she’s back blogging for us. I’m thinking that will come once her little one is sleeping more and life has settled into more of a routine, but I’m happy she’s enjoying this very special time.

Gluten-Free Steve  Steve is a good guy. Unlike me, he is a person of “few words.” ;-) He shares recipes, his experiences eating out, food product reviews, and lots more. I recently made his lemon sponge cake and it was light and delish.

La Tartine Gourmande  Bea has a beautiful food (gluten free) and photography blog. Now she has her darling baby girl, Lulu, to teach all about food. She’s sharing their experiences in posts and pics. La Tourtine Gourmande is a “feel good” blog. Every time I go to Bea’s site, I leave a happier person.

No Gluten, No Problem  Pete and Kelli share so much valuable information in their frequent, concise posts … including recipes, restaurant reviews, product reviews, and discussion topics (e.g., how are food beliefs like religious beliefs? I loved that one). They also have a new cookbook, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking, coming out in a few months.

Noble Pig  Cathy shares her love of food and wine, and what’s on her mind. She and her husband are in the process of relocating to Oregon and opening a winery—no small task there. I wake up each morning to find a new post from Cathy. Usually, they’re recipes that have me wanting to lick the screen. Many are gluten free naturally, and others I’ve easily converted to gluten free, like the Katharine Hepburn brownies.

The Spunky Coconut  Kelly is a ray of sunshine. Her dishes are gluten free, casein free, sugar free, and often raw. If you look at the pictures of her dishes, you won’t be able to tell that. Plus, I’m certain that every one of them is delicious. Her homeschooling journal  shares the tales of her approach with her two daughters. I always love reading what’s going on with Kelly and her family.

The W.H.O.L.E. Gang  Diane’s enthusiasm for healthy eating (including gluten free and dairy free) is infectious. With her Friday Foodie Fix, she’s bringing everyone “on board.” Her ecologically-minded perspective is an added benefit of reading her blog.

Whole Life Nutrition   Ali constantly amazes me with her healthy, but delightful gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free (and more) recipes. She and husband, Tom, both with strong nutritional backgrounds, have one cookbook in print, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, and another one in the making. Ali, a former personal chef, is testing recipes and seeking input for this new cookbook as we speak. Ali and Tom have four young children, including twins. How does she do it all and do it all so well? Again, Ali amazes me.

I am so grateful to you worthy 15! Hope everyone reading will check out these great blogs when you get a chance!

Not just gf, but gfe!

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33 Responses to “Our El Primo Property and Your Premio Dardos Awards”

  1. CoconutGal on April 28th, 2009 1:12 am

    Oh thank you so much sweet Shirley!! You made my day :-D
    Your little trip with your hubb sounded fun! Glad you got to have a nice time together but too bad about the fanny fatigue! I’ve never heard of that before but it totally makes sense now that I think about it.
    This is a great post because now I have 14 other cool blogs to explore. Thank you so much for the award and sharing these other great blogs! <3

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 7:05 pm

      Hi there, CoconutGal!– :-) It is fun to be selected for awards … so much blog love abounds. Love, peace, and rock and roll … or something like that, right? ;-) Oh, the fanny fatigue was minor. I just didn’t expect it after 50 miles. Talk to me at the end of a 13-day 2500-mile trip. Towards the end of those trips, whenever hubby pulls over for gas or anything … I say PTL! I know you’ll enjoy those blogs. :-)


  2. Kay on April 28th, 2009 9:01 am

    I’m already friends with Melissa, Elana and Steve. Can’t wait to check out these other blogs!

    Thanks for the award! I also won the “pot” on the first game in my bowling league last night. That’s never happened before. So this is a big week for me, and it’s only Tuesday.

    Hope I have time to live up to your hype, and post something soon. I’ve decided to expand my chicken ranch, before construction is complete. All the egg merchants at last week’s farmers market were sold out in an hour and a half – again! So I’m making room for more laying hens. I want an abundance of fresh eggs!

    I’ve also decided to correct some foundation issues with the barn. Instead of tacking up chicken wire, I’ve been digging holes and hoisting my barn up with car jacks. It’s been a trial-and-error process, mostly error. But I’m learning! And the barn is looking straighter.

    Thanks, again!

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 7:17 pm

      Kay-You’re most welcome! Wow, Kay, this is a good week for you. DO NOT pass go, DO NOT collect $200 … go buy a lottery ticket now! ;-)

      I’m betting you will have plenty of fresh eggs and more to “share.” This could be a new source of income for you (moot point, of course, if you win the lottery). It’s smart to expand now. Construction during laying time could affect egg production.

      We lived in a very old house when we first got married. The center was a Civil War era log cabin and the footings (i.e., posts) had rotted away over time. Hubby and a friend were using that same jack method you mention. I went upstairs to our bedroom for something … just in time to catch the television that was sliding off the table. But, you’re right, the method worked!


  3. Stephanie O'Dea on April 28th, 2009 9:27 am

    Thank you, Shirley, for thinking of me! I had a ball with the crockpot project, and learned so much about cooking in the past year.

    have a wonderful day, and thank you for your sweet words.
    xoxo steph

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 7:37 pm

      Hi, Stephanie–Thanks for stopping by to accept your award! You did all the hard work for us, Stephanie, always sharing your successes, failures (not many of those!), and what you’d do differently the second time around. That latter one is what cooking is all about IMHO … playing and experimenting with recipes or ideas of recipes. Your one-year commitment and your continuing crockpotting adventures show us that just about anything for any event (even crafts!) can be made in the crockpot. I loved it when you were on Good Morning America. :-) I still want to try your gluten-free Buffalo Chicken Lasagna. I’m sure my support group would be willing taste testers. :-)

      All continued succcess to you! Hugs,

  4. glutenfreeforgood on April 28th, 2009 11:01 am

    Wow, Shirley, thank you and I appreciate it more than you know. I’m so bad at keeping up with all my various blogging stuff that I’ll have to “pay it forward” later. But just know — I love all you guys! What a wonderful, caring and respectful little gluten-free community we have. Don’t you just love it!? I’ve learned so much from this experience. It’s the best.


    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 7:44 pm

      Melissa–It’s my pleasure to give you this award! Hey, girl, I see you all over the place commenting with your always positive feedback, so I have to beg to differ about you being bad at keeping up. Pay it forward in whatever way you like–no pressure. ;-) (Paying forward is one of the best concepts ever IMO.) We do have a terrific gluten-free blogging network. Everyone has something different to offer, and as corny as it sounds, that really does make the world go round. :-)


  5. Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) on April 28th, 2009 12:54 pm

    Thank you Shirley! I enjoyed reading about other blogs I had not heard of yet, I am excited to check them out sometime. And your property looks amazing! Sounds like a fun day you had.

    Happy days! -Ali :)

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 7:49 pm

      Hi, Ali! You’re very welcome. :-) I’m sure you’ll enjoy the other blogs … so many different perspectives, good info, writing, recipes, photos, etc. Sometimes I wish I had more time in my day because there are just so many wonderful blogs. ;-)

      Thanks for the compliments on our property. You’ll be hearing more about it and seeing more photos as summer arrives. It’s our retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. My cell phone won’t even work there. ;-)


  6. Nance on April 28th, 2009 4:14 pm

    I’d like to accept this award on behalf of Brian Williams….

    I’d *like* to, but I bet he’d rather interview Britney Spears au naturel (him or her, doesn’t matter!)than toss kudos the way of The Report. LOL.

    Thank you, dear Shirley, for giving The Brian Williams Tie Report Archives its first ever bloggy award! (I can’t believe it either…! Are the Interwebs broken or something?) I shall display it proudly. And the whole thing is Guilt Free Easily, too! Thanks for THAT as well.

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 8:02 pm

      Nance–LOL … how are you going to get in BW’s good graces with comments like that? Too funny. But, see that’s one of the reasons why I love the Tie Report, you don’t “pull any punches” !

      I think the Tie Report gets short shrift sometimes because it requires a daily commitment to view BW’s ties. Commitment … you know how that makes some people react. Sigh. And, remember that the genius of some of the world’s greatest artists was not recognized until well after their passing. I’m happy that I was the one who ensured you didn’t have to wait that long. ;-)


  7. Absolutely Not Martha on April 28th, 2009 7:57 pm

    congrats on your awards, shirley! your mountain property looks BEAUTIFUL.

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 8:11 pm

      Jackie–Thank you on both counts! :-) We truly love our mountain property, so folks who appreciate it are, likewise, appreciated. ;-)


  8. Diane-thewholegang on April 28th, 2009 8:25 pm

    How cool! Thank you for awarding me with this honor. I love the idea of passing it along by giving it to 15 more bloggers. Is there a time frame in which this should be done? I wonder how many people have received this award? It would be cool to see the whole list. So now do I need to pick 15 blogs different than the ones you chose? I’ll get busy on this during the week. Thank you again!

    By the way, love the bike and the rapids.

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 8:48 pm

      Hey, Diane–No guilt and no rules either (at least the gfe way, not sure how it was originally intended). Whenever works just fine, if you choose to carry it on that way. The 15 is also up to you. I am sure that folks wouldn’t mind being double honorees. ;-) Then, if they did decide to keep the Premio Dardos awards going, they could do it in one post. Anyway, you are quite welcome!

      We love that Honda Valkyrie for cruising, and I guess we love the rapids for cruising, too … LOL … just cruising via a different means—the Old Town way. If you stay on the west side of the river, you shoot through quite nicely. :-) FYI—The height of the river in the photo is about 2 feet higher than it will be this summer, due to spring rains.

      Have fun with the Premio Dardos selections! No stress. ;-)


  9. Shirley on April 28th, 2009 8:35 pm

    Nance–I just realized I forgot to comment on your new definition of gfe; i.e., guilt free easily. I am definitely using that one in the future (with credit to you, of course)!


  10. Diane-thewholegang on April 28th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Shirley- Forgot to ask, does this award come with some of your great baked goodies? I’ll be by to pick them up this weekend. I think it’s only an hour or so drive. Thanks!

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 9:14 pm

      Diane–Oh, absolutely!! Call first … no idea what our plans are at the moment. ;-) I made a healthier, gfe version of Seven Layer Bars this evening—in a last-minute moment of inspiration. I had agreed to make some treats for hubby to take to his handbell choir practice, but didn’t remember until I was driving home from work today! (That’s like the grown up, self-inflicted equivalent of your child telling you at the very last minute that he has to take two dozen cupcakes to school!) Once I walked in the door, I had only 45 minutes to make them. Hubby took them hot with instructions not to cut them until they were cool. He just came home with an empty pan—woohoo, success!


  11. Diane-thewholegang on April 28th, 2009 9:22 pm

    Great story. I would have just looked at my husband and laughed. I do keep a package of Bob’s Red Mill Brownies for emergencies. I know if I bake something I’ll eat it, which I know is the point. I mean I would eat all of it and blame it on the dog. Tonight’s snack was Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Mini bars. Vanilla on a stick covered in a chocolate shell. I’ll do a product review sometime this week. Very good and yes the box is empty. I did manage to take 5 days to eat them all. I wish I could bake on the fly. Someday I may work on that.

    • Shirley on April 28th, 2009 9:55 pm

      Diane–Fido always get the blame, or in your case, “Lassie.” ;-) (One of our rescue collies was actually named, Lassie. Needless to say, we changed that.) Purely Decadent makes some good products based on others’ reviews and the few products I’ve tried at conferences. Making those mini bars last five days sounds like good discipline to me! :-) The key to baking impromptu (or any baking IMO) is having good ingredients in the pantry, and being a bit of an adventurer.


  12. noble pig on April 29th, 2009 1:18 am

    Thanks Shirley! You are so sweet!

    What a beautiful place you have there to enjoy but so hot already…ouch!

    • Shirley on April 29th, 2009 7:53 am

      Hi, Cathy! You’re quite welcome. :-) Thanks so much for the kind words on our place. I should have noted that the temperature being equally high there is a bit of an anomaly. Usually it’s several degrees cooler at our mtn property and far less humid, plus it always cools down enough to have a campfire at night—love that! Oh, and the river is great for cooling off in, too. By the time we start going up for the weekend, the river will be down to normal levels and our property will be a wonderful place to get away to … for so many reasons.

      Glad you could stop by and accept your award, Cathy! I see that today Noble Pig has yet another brownie recipe that I have to convert to gluten free. Sigh … I’ll make the sacrifice though—for the good of all the Kentucky Derby fans. ;-)


  13. V-Grrrl on April 29th, 2009 10:48 am

    Thank YOU Shirley for being a loyal reader, commenter, and a new old friend. : )

    I’m honored that with all the activities and demands that crowd your days, you find time for my blog.

    People like you keep me going!


    • Shirley on April 29th, 2009 8:56 pm

      V–You’re welcome :-) , and I very much appreciate your kind words as well. All of us who are blogging relish our readers and their feedback. ;-)


  14. Anali on April 30th, 2009 10:58 am

    Congratulations on your new Lemonade Stand Award! And congratulations to all the people that you awarded here. What a great group! ; )

    • Shirley on April 30th, 2009 7:39 pm

      Anali–Thank you. :-) I love the fact that awards allow one to spread recognition … a form of collaboration IMO—your theme for your fourth year of blogging. Congrats again on that big milestone!


  15. Kelly on April 30th, 2009 11:00 am

    Thanks again Shirley! Beautiful photos btw! Can’t wait to see more! Love, Kelly

    • Shirley on April 30th, 2009 7:42 pm

      Hi, Kelly–You’re so welcome. Ah, encouragement on sharing more mtn pics … I’ll remind you of that later. LOL We love our spot and I find myself taking photos every time we go. It always looks a bit different and then there are sunset shots, morning fog shots, etc. :-)


  16. Trish on May 23rd, 2009 8:58 pm

    you go girl, you’re so deserving. I’m new at this and already you’ve inspired & shown me that having to live gluten free isn’t the end of the world. Congratulations from this Aussie girl.

    • Shirley on May 24th, 2009 10:04 pm

      Hi, Trish!–Welcome to gfe! Wow, your comment blows me away. I’m really so happy I’ve been a help to you so far. I hope you’ll continue to find gfe inspirational and helpful! :-) I look forward to seeing you here more.

      BTW, I’ve never been to Australia, but I so want to … the mainland and Dunk Island. ;-) Our son got to visit last summer as part of a leadership conference and, of course, fell in love with your country.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Hugs,

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