Monday, November 16, 2009

supper yumminess!

I am a Celiac and as such I'm always on an adventure in baking and cooking gluten free. Yesterday my mom asked if I could make a gluten free treat for her to serve at her get together this morning. We didn't have alot of gluten free goods in our house so I dug out my cookbooks and searched for a recipe that didn't use alot of flour in it. I found this wonderful recipe for fudgy brownies and so I decided to try them using the Bob's Redmill Gluten Free All Purpose Mix instead of the flour they called for and well they turned out to be the best brownies I've ever eaten!! They were crunchy on the outside and perfectly soft, moist and chewy on the inside. I'm definately considering making more today since I only got to have a taste test of them yesterday. And I am going to share the recipe :) I got it from the 125 Best Gluten Free Recipes cookbook and I made a couple adjustments to the recipe so I will post the cookbook version and then my version.

Fudgy Brownies (the cookbook way)

1/3 cup yellow pea flour
2 Tbsp potato startch
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shortening
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

2 tsp shortening
2 oz White chocolate

In a large bowl or plastic bag combine dry ingredients and walnuts. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl, microwave shortening and chocolate on medium for 3 minutes until partially melted (or melt in a saucepan over hot water). Stir until melted, add eggs one at a time, stirring to make sure its blended. Stir in Vanilla extract. Slowly add the dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Spread evenly in a prepared pan and let it stand for 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with little moist crumbs on it. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Let cool for 15 minutes on the rack and prepare the glaze.

In a small bowl partially melt chocolate and shortening. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted. Spread onto brownies and enjoy!

Fudgy Brownies (my way)
1/3 C + 2 Tbsp Bob's redmill gluten free all purpose mix
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C soft margerine
1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients, mix well. In a small microwavable bowl, melt margerine and chocolate chips on high for 3 minutes or until the chocolate chips are partially melted. Stir until melted the rest of the way. Add eggs and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well, make sure the batter is nice and smooth. Add chocolate mixture and mix well. Pour into prepared cake pan (an 8 inch square pan works great). Bake in a 350 F oven for 10 -15 minutes until the top is starting to get crispy but its still really soft and doughy. Turn off the oven and let it bake indirectly for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the brownies are fairly firm. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. You can glaze or ice them if you wish but I found they were perfect just the way they were.

And the piece de resistance....the yummy yummy brownie...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Boobs, Babywearing and Cloth Diapering Oh My!

I went to a craft sale this weekend with a friend and my mom to display some of our WAHM made wares and hopefully sell things (we sold 1 item but at least that's better then nothing!) And I had little A with me, of course I had my wrap with me and she was in the most adorable longies with a princess crown on the bum and a cloth diaper. My friend and I ended up spending most of our time talking to some wonderful pregnant mamas about cloth diapering and dispelling the "old school" thoughts on cloth diapering from our Grandparents and parents generations. It was rather enjoyable, we also got to chat about birth (another of my favorite topics that will pop up here one day) and babywearing. Now babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding etc are relatively clandestine "hippie" activities in our community, although they are becoming more mainstream. It always amuses me and fills me with joy when I go out in public and put little A in the wrap. I always and I mean ALWAYS have an audience of fascinated bystanders whatching what I am doing.

Yesterday wasn't an exception. In this case I had several sweet little grandma types who were not only fascinated with what I was doing but quite taken with the beautiful little girl in the wrap. We met one wonderful little old lady and I hope someday that I will be similar to her (she was quite amazing). She wanted all the information she could glean from us on cloth diapers, mama cloth, babywearing, breastfeeding etc because in 4 years she might have great grandbabies and she had to be prepared for that fact! She was particularily taken by my wrap. She (along with all the others) were amazed that within minutes of little A going into the wrap she was sound asleep and remained that way for a couple hours. She also had to learn how I was wrapping her. So once little A woke up I ended up in the middle of the craft sale giving an impromptu babywearing lesson. She was so tickled and excited that she had to write it all down and go home, find a piece of fabric and a doll and try it herself. For me it was an amazing experience. And it got my friend and I talking and we decided that there are 3 main things that make my baby happy :) Boobies, babywearing and cloth diapering.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wind Wind Go Away...

So a typical day here usually includes some sort of wind...and I'm not talking about a little breeze, I'm talking gale force winds! Today happens to be one of those horribly windy days...with good weather comes the wind, it's the curse of the Canadian Rockies Chinook *sigh* so that cancels our trip outside to the park with our friends today. Instead we will be doing mountains and mountains of laundry and on my less than 6 hours of sleep I felt inspired and compelled to share my homemade laundry soap with you. We make our laundry soap in a powder form (you can make it into a liquid if you so choose) and it works great plus its cheap and not too chemically :) so here's the recipe:

4 litres of water (warm so that powders dissolve better)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/4 cup baking soda
I use about 1/2 cup per load. I mix it before I use it each time.

I also occassionally use oxyclean on the whites.

We don't dissolve it in water and we add about 1-2 tbsp in with the wash on a cold wash cycle. Although we don't use this on our cloth diapers, we use Dr. Bonner's Pure Castille Soap as the borax can break down the PUL in diapers.

Just for fun! What do you use for your laundry? If you make your own soap please do share your recipe! Leave me some tips or funny laundry stories :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Well its the first week of November and I have great news already! We found a place to live so now its just packing and cleaning and downsizing. Which brings me to my topic of the day! Freecycling!! Freecycling has to be one of my favorite things of all times. For those of you who are unfamiliar with freecycle basically its a group of people who's goal is to pass along unwanted/unused items for free to other people to keep them out of the landfills. As long as its something in good working order someone out there might want it. You don't even have to have face to face contact with anyone. You can leave your items on your step and they'll just come and get it. I love freecycle, we have received several awesome items such as a high chair and umbrella stroller from freecycle. We have also gotten rid of a bunch of stuff that was sitting around in our basement and we will be getting rid of so much more in the next few weeks. So next time you have something you want to get rid of (like that ugly lamp that you were given for a wedding gift) don't throw it out, look for your local freecycle group and offer it there...who knows someone might actually need or want it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's November...the count down is on

Well its offical, Halloween is done with! now on to....Christmas! In the midst of everything else that will be going on. But first we must get through moving...I can't tell you how much I hate moving. All the packing, stacks of boxes, frantic search for a new place to rent and not getting what we want, plus cleaning, dealing with a baby and a toddler...argh! Can I say stress? So the official hunt is on and we're counting down. We've seen a couple places already but they haven't been quite "right" so we'll keep looking and looking and looking...eventually something will come up. Gotta love the start of the month! But at least I get to start thinking about Christmas. I've made an executive decision to minimize the amount of presents we buy people this year (we have to buy gifts for 15+ people normally) and if they can't be made with items we have on hand or can get for cheap then well it's probably not happening. We're only going to buy for the kids if need be. We are planning on making a play kitchen out of recycled materials for L for Christmas. But it hasn't been started yet...someone procrastinates...We also might head up to Ikea and buy a few items for the kitchen for him. But I'm asking all the family to buy him kitchen items and playfood (felt, crocheted or wood would be awesome). And little A has her presents already, I've been picking things up through the year, she's getting the 25th anniversary edition of the Cabbage Patch Doll. I got her one that looks like her a little bit. It's cute and its the classic one which I love. Christmas has to be my other favorite time of the year, I can't wait to dig out the Christmas Music, decorations, and recipes!