Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wonderful Wednesdays

Today we decided to check ut Saugatuck Dunes State Park.  Little did I know it would be a 2.5 mile hike!
But who can complain with 2 hours to play at the beach in March!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gluten-free Dairy Free Snickerdoodles

I am always on the hunt for new recipes.  I find myself making the same thing over and over out of habit.  It's easy, I know the kids will like it, and I get lazy.  Well, this past weekend, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and the boys and I made some new cookies. 

I have been secretly lurking on the Gluten Free Homemakers blog for some time now, with my mouth watering with some of her recipes.  So, this weekend, we tried the Snickerdoodle cookies.  I am a huge fan of chocolate, so this cookie does not rank at the top, but it was a light moist sweet treat that I will for sure make again. 


  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened(I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks-dairy and gluten free and in my opinion are great for baking)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. white rice flour
  • 1/2 c. potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum 
In a separate dish combine:
  • 2 Tb. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon 
Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  Combine the dry ingredients and add to mixing bowl and combine until moist.  Then beat on medium for 30 sec.  The dough will be very sticky.  Use a spoon and form small balls and roll in the cinnamon and sugar.  Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for  10 minutes.  Place on a wire rack to cool.

Every Monday Matters



How can our family make a difference in our community?  How can we teach our children about doing things for others?  What are some simple ways to show God's love?  With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter.

Today we did some yard work at church.  With Easter Sunday right around the corner, we thought it would be a simple way to show God's love by raking and getting rid of the old brush and leaves from the front of the church so it would be warm and welcoming Sunday morning.  A big thank you to everyone who helped!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Aidenisms

Aiden: Mommy?
Mommy: Yes Aiden?
Aiden: I can't sleep.
Mommy: Why?
Aiden: Eli is snoring louder than a monster growling.

***********************************************************************

Aiden playing at the downtown park with some older kids playing on an old cannon

Aiden: This cannon is real.
Older boy: No it isn't.
Aiden: Yes it is! I've seen it.  It is from like the 1950's.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Every Monday Matters



How can our family make a difference in our community?  How can we teach our children about doing things for others?  What are some simple ways to show God's love?  With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter.

Today we decided to make dinner for a couple families in the area.  We wanted them to be able to have dinner with their loved ones knowing everything was taken care of.  Our simple way to say God loves you. 




Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Sandwich Bread

I am not a fan of gluten free bread.  I miss the melt in your mouth texture of white bread.  The airy, chewy feeling that makes you go ahhhh.  Not that white bread is healthy or anything...It's just what I miss.  So knowing that nothing quite compares to real bread, there are occasional times when I crave a piece of toast or a yummy grilled sandwich...so here is the best recipe we have found so far....

**Warning this bread is best straight out of the bread machine or toasted or grilled.  **

1 1/8 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup corn starch
1 cup +1 TB tapioca flour
3 1/2 tsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 TB brown sugar
1/4 tsp creme of tartar
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/8 cup warm water
3 TB vegetable oil
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

We use a bread machine, but it can be mixed in a mixer with a paddle and set aside to rise 45-60 min covered in plastic wrap and then baked at 375 for 35-40 min

Bread Machine
combine dry ingredients (except yeast) and set aside).  Combine wet ingredients and add to bread pan.  Spoon on dry ingredients and make a little hole in the top for the yeast.  Place pan in bread machine and use the whole wheat bread setting (This allows for 2 kneadings) and medium crust.  Check to make sure the internal temperature is 205-210 when done (if not add more time).  Place the bread on a wire rack to cool.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What to do??

What to do while your brother is at school...




Turn yourself PINK of course!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day 2010



A Mischievous leprechaun,   green pancakes, a sunny day, rocks, and a huge lake...what could be better!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Every Monday Matters

How can our family make a difference in our community?  How can we teach our children about doing things for others?  What are some simple ways to show God's love?  With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter.

I asked the boys last week if they could think of something they could do for other people.  They suggested handing out flowers.   Good thinking boys.  So today we went out to hand out flowers as our simple way of showing God's love.




A huge Thank You to Michelle at VS Flowers and Treasures for her help with the carnations and making Every Monday Matter!
 


 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is it Spring?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Mini Apple Muffins

It has been my experience that good things come in small packages.  This in my opinion also refers to gluten free breads.  We have struggled to find recipes that we not too dry, too hard, too heavy, too gritty...and the list goes on and on.

I tried this recipe with traditional size muffin tins and found too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing, so I would highly suggested the mini muffin version, but you can try it for yourself if you must.

Mix:
1 cup shredded apple 
1 cup sugar (or 2/3 cup agave)
1 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix **
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg (or 1 1/2 tsp Egg Replacer +2 TB water)*mix first then add
1/4 tsp finely shredded orange or lemon peel
2 TB applesauce (if using agave use 1 TB applesauce)

Mix ingredients together and bake at 350 for 20 min
(bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes if using agave)

For baking I use the following gluten free flour mixture and store in an air tight container:
2 cups white rice flour
2 cups potato starch
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup corn flour
1 cup tapioca flour
8 tsp xanthan gum

gluten free flour recipe adapted from Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating

Or you can order the flour premixed from Jules Shepard

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 1

How can our family make a difference in our community?  How can we teach our children about doing things for others?  What are some simple ways to show God's love?  With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter.


This week, after talking with the boys, we decided to bake cookies and make Thank you letters for all the people that work at the church to thank them for all their hard work.  The boys had fun and the staff really appreciated it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake

Our gluten-free son celebrated his 4th birthday recently . We used our favorite chocolate cake recipe for the base, but wanted to make it extra special.  We had some plain vanilla frosting in the pantry, but that was it.   Not keen on another trip into town, I whipped up some chocolate hot fudge our whole family could eat.  Just being honest here, NOTHING is a perfect replacement for real hot fudge,  but this recipe worked well. It didn’t have that nasty aftertaste that so much gluten free food has, and it tasted chocolaty. For an added bonus, I used soy strawberry yogurt in the cake (to make it dairy free as well) and added crushed strawberries to the hot fudge topping. Eli LOVED it.

One of my favorite comedy bits of all time is Bill Cosby’s “Chocolate Cake for Breakfast”.  Here’s a link in case you haven’t heard it.

Now that you’re smiling,  I have good news. After many experiments and some truly awful failures we have discovered a gluten-free, dairy-free box mix that actually tastes like chocolate cake! No more heavy-dense cakes that taste like wood. No more flat, grainy cakes whose only redeeming quality is that they taste vaguely chocolaty. In the words of the great Cosby, “You want chocolate cake? Chocolate cake coming up!”

Gluten Free Chocolate CakeStart with Decadent Chocolate Cake mix from Gluten-Free Pantry.  As of this printing, you can buy it on Vitacost for $3.48, which is cheaper than Gluten-Free Pantry’s own site, and cheaper than Amazon.  Link Here

The recipe calls for softened, unsalted butter and buttermilk. Obviously that’s out for our family, but the directions say, “For lactose free version: Replace butter with oil and use water in place of buttermilk.” Don’t you believe it! Trust me, we know from (unpleasant) experience.

To replace the butter, we use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks(whipped).  We haven’t found a cheap spot to buy this online yet, but our local health food store carries it.

To replace the buttermilk, we use soy yogurt. I know it sounds weird, just trust me, it’s a thousand times better than water. We use vanilla flavored Silk Live Soy Yogurt, vanilla flavored.  The packaging doesn’t specifically say gluten free, but their website says, “There is no wheat, wheat gluten, rye, oats, barley or malt in Silk soymilk, Silk Live! soy yogurt or Silk Creamer.” It does have natural vanilla, which some people worry about, but our gluten free munchkin has never had a problem with it.
That’s it! Two simple replacements and you too will have children singing your praises, “Mom is great! Gives us the chocolate cake!”