Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: All the Gluten Free Dips, My First Blizzard and More!

If I had to sum up 2018 so far in only two words, I think I’d have to go with “crazy busy.” Usually I start my monthly favorites/life recaps by saying how quickly the month has flown by, but it honestly feels like New Year’s was forever ago! I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve flown back to grad school, started your second semester, started teaching your second college class, survived your first blizzard and a experienced whole bunch of other hijinks in the same month! 

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: All the Gluten Free Dips, My First Blizzard and More!

So what’s been happening behind the scenes of Casey the College Celiac so far this year? Keep reading to find out which brand of gluten free tea I’ve become obsessed with, how I survived my first blizzard and what goodies you can expect to see on the blog this February. 

What I'm Eating

Bowls and bowls of homemade gluten free dips and sauces! If you saw my Creamy White Bean Beet Hummus recipe a few weeks ago and haven’t tried it yet, this is your reminder to jump on the homemade hummus train ASAP. I've also been addicted to BBQ sauce (love this one from True Made Foods), ketchup (so random but so good!) and my vegan cheese sauce. If you need an epic dip for Superbowl Sunday, the recipes and sauces I've listed above are definite winners!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: All the Gluten Free Dips, My First Blizzard and More!

Way more tea than I drank in the rest of my life...and I can blame thank my younger sister for my new tea addiction. For Christmas, my sister surprised me by gifting by a huge variety box of caffeine-free gluten free tea from Bigelow. She did extensive research to find a celiac-safe tea brand (is she an awesome sis or what!?!), and so far, so good. I’m especially loving Bigelow’s Lemon Ginger tea, which has added probiotics. Perfect for this cold Minnesota weather (more on that below...) 

Alll the roasted veggies (especially winter squash and Brussels sprouts!). I never have a problem eating my veggies, but roasted vegetables have been especially crave-worthy this winter. Partly because I finally got the courage to try acorn squash for the first time (I've had a horrible reaction to butternut squash, so trying new veggies can be a bit scary, as silly as it sounds!) and absolutely loved it. Even better, my tummy loves it too. So, I’ve been supplementing my usual zucchini with spaghetti squash, acorn squash and roasted Brussels sprouts, and I've been one happy girl!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: All the Gluten Free Dips, My First Blizzard and More!

What I'm Doing

Gettin' back into the groove with grad school. After a long, relaxing and blissfully low-key winter break at home, I flew back to Mankato on January 3. Since then, I’ve been in full-on school mode. I’m taking 9 grad school credits (3 more than last semester) as well as teaching English 101 and volunteering at a local assisted living home, so to say my schedule is full is an understatement. I’m trying to be more intentional about scheduling social breaks this semester and putting less pressure on myself to be the “perfect teacher.” Not sure how I’m doing yet, but even baby steps are progress!

Surviving my first ever blizzard...OMG, y’all. This California college grad was totally out of her element when Mankato got its first big winter storm a few weeks ago. We ended up getting over a foot of snow in some parts of town and the entire university and city bus system shut down for the day. I definitely felt more frazzled/anxious than I expected while walking around town the next day and seeing nothing but mountains of white, but I survived. Here’s to hoping that will be the worst storm of this winter.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: All the Gluten Free Dips, My First Blizzard and More!

Writing ‘till my fingers (or my brain) give out. I know it sounds obvious that, when you’re earning an MFA in Creative Writing, you should expect to do a lot of writing. I don’t think I fully realized just how much time I would need to dedicate to creative writing each week, though, until this semester. I’ve already done more writing in the past few weeks than I did all of last semester (yay for prioritizing) and I’m also enjoying creative writing more than I have in a long time. It’s definitely challenging at times (okay, most of the time) to balance creative writing with writing for my class assignments and writing for the blog, but I’m taking it week by week. If there are weeks when I’m less present on the blog or on social media, know that I’ll be back soon but was just juggling too many balls that day. Grace and flexibility are always appreciated - not only from my (online and offline) friends, but also from myself.

What I'm Planning

An epic pistachio recipe comin' in hot next week! I’m honestly so excited to share the recipe for a pistachio pizza next week. It’s part of a recipe contest I’m entering (all the deets will be in the actual post), and the pizza turned out so good, I ate it for dinner three nights straight...and then proceeded to eat the leftover pesto with dinner the two days immediately after. It’ll be another healthy, gluten free and vegan pizza recipe, so prepare yourself for some major allergy friendly foodporn soon.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: All the Gluten Free Dips, My First Blizzard and More!

Galentine's Day with some awesome gals in my MFA program. One of my friends had the awesome idea of getting a bunch of MFA girls together for a joint Valentine’s Day celebration, and I’m really looking forward to a low-key and relaxing night the weekend after Valentine’s Day. I may or may not bring some of my White Bean Beet Hummus to the party...

Staying honest about my self care, sleep and socializing needs. The weekend before last, I volunteered and did errands all Friday, made social plans for most of Saturday and had a blast chatting and homework partying with a couple of new friends. This past weekend, I slept in on Friday, dedicated most of the weekend to food prep, homework and writing, didn’t socialize at all except via text and when I bumped into a fellow MFA-er at the gym. And you know what? Both weekends gave me exactly what I needed...just in different ways. 

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: All the Gluten Free Dips, My First Blizzard and More!

I’m the kind of person who survives on inertia. As long as I keep go-go-going, I won’t notice how tired I really am. As you can probably guess, though, that kind of mindset often results in one heck of an epic burn out. This semester, I’m trying to be more flexible. Yes, I want to increase my friend dates and social adventures...but my body also needs more self care than the average Joe’s, and that’s just a reality I have to accept. 
If February is anything like this past month, it will also be crazy busy and full of surprises. However, if I keep embracing the same mindset of balance and self care, I know I’ll kick booty just as hard this month as in January. Add in some more delicious gluten free eats and friend dates, (hopefully subtract some snow), and February will make me one happy girl!

What are some of your favorite eats and activities from January? Have you ever gone through a blizzard? Tell me some fun facts about your 2018 so far in the comments! 


  1. Interesting post dear! Thanks for your comment in my blog, wanna follow each other?:)

  2. Bigelow has some of my FAVORITE teas. Their mint tea is my go-to. I adore it. In fact, the first time I tried it was at my youth group winter camp and I literally emptied out the place each day and stored them in my purse to drink during the day! It was freaking snowing so I basically had tea in my hand at all times. That began my obsession with their tea and it has only grown since! I've never tried that one though - I'll have to look for it!
    Here's to another great month!! <3

    1. Back at ya, girl! And YES. Tea is SUCH a blessing in this cold weather!


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