Christmas Eve

by HEAB on December 26, 2012

Our first Christmas together as a family of seven! (Mom, Dad, three kids, and two dogs).

We spent a quiet Christmas Eve at home just being together.  The shopping was done (thank you Internet!), and all that was left to do was put on our Christmas PJ’s and have some fun in the kitchen.

We baked gluten free cookies for Santa…

Christmas M & M and Chocolate Peppermint.

After some trial and error, I can finally bake a pretty decent gluten free cookie.  For the recipe, please click here.

For Christmas Eve dinner, we made our own pizzas using Udi’s brand pizza crust.  (Our toddler can’t eat wheat, hence all the gluten free eating).  The pizzas turned out good, but I’d love to experiment with making my own crust soon.

Edited to Add: Several of you have asked about Summer’s Tower.  It’s a Little Partner’s Learning Tower, and we LOVE it!

Summer’s first pizza…

ONE sun dried tomato and a sprinkle of feta.

Then after the children were nestled all snug in their beds, CD and I settled down to watch It’s A Wonderful Life.  Oh…and we kind of got into those cookies.  Sorry Santa!  Thanks for still leaving us gifts. 🙂

Hope all of you enjoyed some sweet moments with your families this holiday season!


Riss January 16, 2013 at 10:29 am

Mmmmm…. a little late on my comment, but I just saw this post! I haven’t been up with my blog-reading like I used to. But thanks for the cookie recipe! I was just thinking how I needed a good GF dessert for entertaining.

Glad to see your posts again! 🙂 Looks like you’re having a blast with your little ones.

HEAB January 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hi Riss,
Hope all is well with school – I know you must be super busy. You should make the cookies for a well deserved study break soon. Happy 2013! 🙂

Marianka January 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Pizza looks so tasty! Love your blog:)

HEAB January 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Thanks Marianka.
PS Pizza was pretty tasty. 🙂

Jess January 14, 2013 at 7:11 am

Summer is so adorable! And your mantel is so full and lovely. Hope you had a fabulous Xmas! X

HEAB January 14, 2013 at 8:17 am

Thanks Jess! Hope you enjoyed your Christmas as well. 🙂

Kate January 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

Hi Heather!

I am newly GF since about July. After numerous stomach problems I got tested for Celiacs and other things which came back empty. I did however notice that I felt so much better eating GF but because of the negative diagnosis I allowed myself some cheats throughout the holidays and boy could I feel a difference! Fatigue, headaches, stomach aches. Since the start of the new year I’ve vowed to go back to 100% GF. I realized that I need to start experimenting with GF alternatives to the things I love rather than just avoid them all together. I think that’s the best way for me to be successful at this new lifestyle. I am a runner and a yogi (vowed to practice more in 2013) and as a lover of healthy, good for you but tasty foods I’s so happy I found your blog! I can’t wait to try all of your delicious recipes. This morning I started with some GF pancakes adapted from your recipe based on what I had in the kitchen. Keep up the awesome work!

HEAB January 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Hi Kate,
I’m so glad you found me too! 🙂

Sounds like your 2013 is off to a good start, and I’m happy to hear you’re feeling better eating gluten free. I’ve heard that allergy tests aren’t always conclusive, and the best way to find out if you can’t tolerate certain foods is to do an elimination diet. So, stick with it and keep listening to your body. You’re on a good path. Oh, and yay for yoga. Trying to practice more regularly…and kind of failing at that, but I’ll get there. 🙂

Stacey N. January 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Hi Heather! Happy New Year! I’ve been following your blog for a while and have reduced my sugar GREATLY and increased my fat since about Thanksgiving time. I feel great and completely agree about looking less “puffy”. I got a couple pilates DVDs for Christmas and have been enjoying them a few times a week. My lack of flexibility is incredible. Reaching my toes is nearly impossible. I’ve made an effort to continue these DVDs and started stretching after every workout I have. Because you are a yoga guru, I had a flexibility question. How long did it take for you to see great improvement? Or have you always been flexible? It’s not like weight loss, where you can tell your pants are getting looser, etc. It’s hard to tell if I’ve improved, but I know seeing improvement will help with my motivation. Thanks for being such an healthy inspiration!

HEAB January 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Hi Stacey,
Sounds like you year is off to a good (& less puffy) start! 🙂 Glad the lower sugar way of eating is working for you. The flexibility will come. I am not naturally a flexible person, and sadly I’ve lost a lot of what I gained when I practiced yoga more regularly. However, I know my body will remember when I devote more time to my practice. Keep at it. It took me a while of regular yoga before I noticed more flexibility. I do remember I felt stronger after a month or so (and that was doing yoga everyday), but the flexibility came later. You’ll get there. Just keep reaching for those toes and know that your body is getting stronger!
P.S. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Cara (Twinthusiast) January 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

Gorgeous mantle. Love that Summer looks like quite the little kitchen helper – that stool thing must make it fun for her. Got to check out your cookie recipe (my mom has celiac disease and is totally gluten-free). Glad you had a great (calm) Christmas!

Alex @ Raw Recovery January 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Oh goodness Summer is getting to be so grown up!! That little tower is so cute. I have to get one for my godson! He’s only 6 1/2 months but his sister is almost 2 and I know she could use it! Happy New Year, Heather!

HEAB January 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Alex, Happy New Year to you as well. I totally remember you asking about Leonie last year and joining her Circle. So happy to hear it has brought some goodness into your life. Such an amazing group of ladies. 🙂

We LOVE the Learning Tower. Summer can climb up into and out of it all by herself, and there are so many uses for it. It’s great in the kitchen but can also be used to hold an art easel and for puppet shows, etc. I’m sure your godson and his big sis would get lots of use out of it. I know we sure will.

Jill January 3, 2013 at 11:52 am

Everything in this post is sooo cute and Summer’s pizza is cracking me up! Love the symmetry of the ONE sundried tomato 😉

Glad your holidays were good. My Christmas was very low key, which was awesome, and now I’m pretty much settled into my apt (still need to decorate and stop using a box as my nightstand, but whatever-LOL)

HEAB January 3, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Happy New Year Jill. Happy to hear you enjoyed your Christmas, and I can’t wait to see the new place!

Tracy December 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Heather, that sounds like a wonderful Christmas. My family spent the holiday with my parents in Vero Beach, FL. So much fun! I’m sad to be back home in snow in Kansas City, though. Also sad the kids have to return to school on Thursday! The break has flown by too quickly 🙁

Happy New Year, Heather!!

HEAB December 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Thanks Tracy and Happy New Year to you as well. The break has gone by way too quickly – not looking forward to Chris going back to work on Wednesday at all. We love having Dad home all day! 🙂

Lara December 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I feel all snuggly just looking at the photos! Glad you had a great Christmas as a new family of 7. Love Summer’s learning tower. Inquisitive, energetic G will definitely need one. I just know it!

Jen @ Existential Evolution December 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hi Heather! Sounds like a perfect Christmas celebration! I just posted my favorite homemade gluten-free pizza recipe at Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Just checked out your recipe. Thanks for sharing Jen – sounds delicious!

Talia December 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

If you want a good all purpose gluten free flour recipe, let me know. I also have a really good whole grain gluten free flour recipe. If you want a simple pizza recipe, try the quick and easy pizza crust recipe off allrecipes. It comes out great gluten free- way better than the udi’s crust, it only rises 10 minutes, and the freeze well for quick dinners/lunches.

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

I’d love your gluten free flour recipe and good to know about the allrecipes crust. We’ll try it soon. Thank you!

Talia December 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

This is from living withouts website- I love the way it turns out in baked goods.

High-Fiber Flour Blend
This high-fiber blend works for breads,
pancakes, snack bars and cookies that
contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or
other fruits. It is not suited to delicately
flavored recipes, such as sugar cookies,
crepes, cream puffs, birthday cakes or
1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum
1/2 cup teff flour (preferably light)
1/2 cup millet flour or Montina® flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch
Each cup contains 428 calories, 2g total fat, 0g
saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 92g
carbohydrate, 19mg sodium, 5g fiber, 8g protein.

General Guidelines for Using Xanthan or Guar Gum
Gum (xanthan or guar) is the key to successful gluten-free baking. It provides the binding needed to give the baked product proper elasticity, keeping it from crumbling.

Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour blend to make cakes, cookies, bars, muffins and other quick breads.
Add 1 teaspoon per cup of flour blend to make yeast bread, pizza dough or other baked items that call for yeast.

purelytwins December 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Pizza looks pretty darn tasty!! So happy to hear you guys had a great Christmas!!! Love spending time with family always goes by too quick!

Amanda Yoder December 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Sorry to hear that Summer is allergic to wheat, but glad that I’ll see more awesome gluten free recipes as I now have to eat GF too!

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 9:08 am

Yeah, wheat and cinnamon. Her doctor was hoping she’d grow out of them by now, but both still bother her skin. Eczema – no fun, but we’re managing. Grateful for all the easy gluten free recipes out there these days.

Karey @ Nutty About Health December 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Aww, sounds like such a nice little Christmas Eve. Summer’s pizza looks pretty tasty to me! 🙂

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

It was – we all shared each other’s, and Summer’s was pretty darn good. 🙂

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) December 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Sounds like a perfect celebration with your family! I hope you had an incredible Christmas, Heather. I’m hoping your still making it to Atlanta in January! 😉

P.S. I have a pizza dough recipe that I will share with you, but it’s a secret recipe. Let me know if you want to see if you can make it work for Summer. I’m happy to share with you.

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

Duh!!! Of course, I’d love your recipe. THANK YOU. Never met a Sarena recipe I didn’t love. 🙂

the delicate place December 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

summer’s first pizza is very cute 😉 oh i enjoyed plenty of red wine, pear brandy and more than a dozen gluten free cookies! i’m too cheap/lazy to make them regularly and my in laws made 5 different kinds! i’d like to think they were just cut small but wow…yum!

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

Haha, I’ve used that reasoning many a time. 🙂

Meagan December 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

Merry Christmas Heather!! 🙂 I like your mantle! What is the contraption Summer is standing on? Looks like an AWESOME idea!! I’ve been gluten free for years now, and when I was first starting I bought Namaste’s pizza mix (requires only olive oil and water), and it was so good I haven’t tried any other pizza mixes! The crust is thin, and not puffy, so I guess if you’re looking for bready crust it wouldn’t work. But definitely give it a try 🙂 It’s very easy!

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

Hi Meagan,
Thank you, and the tower is the Learning Tower by Little Partners, an early Christmas present from the grandparents. We love it. Here’s the link:'s-Furniture/. You can use it in the kitchen, as an art easel, a puppet stage, etc. I know we’ll get much use out of it, and thanks for the Namaste pizza crust tip. I’ll have to try it as I love thin and crispy crust. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas!

Jennie (the gf-gf) December 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

There are so many stockings on that mantle! Good thing they’re labeled so Santa knew which was which 🙂

My favorite pizza is the Bob’s Red Mill GF pizza crust mix. I see that your cookie recipe uses Pamela’s flour, which reminds me that I’ve heard the Pamela’s bread mix makes a good pizza crust mix, too – I haven’t tried it myself, but it’s hard to go wrong with Pamela’s!

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I know – we can’t have any more kids or get another puppy as there is no more room on the mantle! 😉

I’ll have to try Bob’s crust mix, and I saw that recipe using Pamela’s bread mix but haven’t tried it yet. I agree though, can’t go wrong with Pamela!

JT @ The Faux Foodie Girl December 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

Merry Christmas!!!! your holiday sounds so nice and peaceful!

What is Summer standing on? I would love something like that for my daughter who loves to “help” in the kitchen….

HEAB December 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

Thanks JT, it was a really nice Christmas. 🙂

Summer is standing on her Little Partner’s Learning Tower, an early Christmas gift from the grandparents. We love it! Here is the link:'s-Furniture/

Lauren December 27, 2012 at 8:12 am

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year, looks like yours was great! I’ve done some experimenting with pizza dough and this one is my fave:
When i make this I use flax eggs, since we prefer their texture in breads, and use extra sorghum flour instead of brown rice flour. This makes 2+ lbs of dough!

HEAB December 27, 2012 at 10:51 am

Wonderful, thanks Laura. I saw that recipe when researching gluten free crusts. Good to know it’s a good one. We’ll be trying it soon! Hope you enjoyed your Christmas Eve as well. 🙂

Joy December 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

Love the mantle!
Your Christmas looks great

Molly December 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

What is Summer standing on? That looks awesome!

HEAB December 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

It’s the Little Partners Learning Tower:'s-Furniture/. An early Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa, and we love it.

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance December 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

Merry Christmas, Heather! Summer is getting so big, I can’t believe it! 🙂

lindsay December 27, 2012 at 7:31 am

i would have played santa for those cookies.
Love the udi’s GF crust! merry christmas sweet HEAB fam!

coco December 27, 2012 at 5:51 am

Looks like a perfect Christmas, spending time with the family is the most important thing for holidays.

And Summer is sooo big, I can’t believe how time flies!!! 😀

Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) December 27, 2012 at 4:18 am

Merry (belated) Christmas, dear Heather!!!!!!!! XOXOXO

Love those pjs 😀

Averie @ Averie Cooks December 27, 2012 at 12:42 am

I love sundried tomatoes and what a great first pizza that is! I love how she’s standing in her pack ‘n play watching you so intently. And I want her pants 🙂

Merry Xmas to the SEVEN of you – wow !

Health Bee December 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Your Christmas sounds lovely! Thanks so much for sharing. Have a wonderful new year.

Lou December 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Sounds perfect! Ha, I love Summer’s pizza, what a cutie 🙂

HEAB December 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

It was a pretty perfect Christmas. Hope yours was as well. 🙂

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