Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! I have lots of recipes that I have been planning to post, but somehow the time has gotten away from me! Ds is having a birthday this month and I have plans for a couple of different cakes. I also have a great gingersnap recipe that I made over Christmas. Whole wheat flour and fresh ginger...yum!
I'm sure that in the next few days things will settle down and I'll get the chance to post. Enjoy 2008!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Maple Cream Fudge

This recipe requires a bit more concentration than the last, but it's my favorite. My mother makes it every Christmas, and no one makes fudge as well as my mother. Fortunately, I've found that while I don't make fudge as well as her, as long as I don't burn this recipe it's really good!!(Even the time that we had to eat it from bowls with spoons because I was too impatient to wait for it to finish cooking...) I don't have a candy thermometer, but the 'soft ball stage' is the same as 235 degrees.

3c brown sugar
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1/3c milk
1Tbsp butter
2tsp vanilla

Pour sugar and milk into a med-sized pan. Stir over low heat for 20mins. Turn up heat and cook until it reaches the soft ball stage. Remove from heat and add butter. When it has cooled add vanilla and beat well.

Fudge For J

This is a recipe made by all of my family members. It's easy; and even better, it's good!

Fantasy Fudge

3c sugar
3/4c butter/margarine
2/3c carnation milk
12oz package chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
1oz jar fluff-or- 2c mini marshmallows
1c chopped nuts (optional)
1tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, margarine and milk. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chips, marshmallows, nuts, and vanilla. Cool at room temperature.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Joy

Sometimes Christmas comes, and at the end of the day I think, "That was it? I think we missed something!"It's as though someone was slowly let the air out of a balloon. Everything was just a little deflated and flat.
Today wasn't like that. Every moment was filled with devoting myself either to caring for or playing with my children, or in total, blissful relaxation with a great book. I found myself thinking, "What!? Time's up? I'm not done yet!" Not in a panicky way, but like a child who hasn't had enough playground time. I allowed the dc to stay up two hours past their regular bedtime while we played games, just so it didn't have to end.
I wonder what the difference was. Same children, same dh, same home....well, you get the picture! I'm not trying to be philosophical here. I'm just wondering why this Christmas is different. Even now I feel the same quiet joy that I've felt for the past month. I'm content. It was a great day, and I'm happy.

Fatfree Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I got this from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. It is amazing good, even though I forgot to put in the soymilk! I guess I shouldn't talk on the phone during a busy Christmas day while baking! Oh well, it's delicious, fatfree, and pumpkin. I'll try it with the soymilk in a couple of weeks and see which way I like it better. Also, I didn't have a deepdish pie plate so I made several tarts in a muffin tin. Obviously, if you do this don't cook it as long- 25 minutes seemed to do the trick, but remember that I forgot the milk.

Impossible Vegan Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 cups soymilk
1 tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer*
1/4 cup water*
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups pureed or mashed cooked pumpkin (or cushaw or winter squash)
1/2 cup rice flour (or flour of your choice)
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. (I used a Pyrex pan, and it came out with no sticking.) A deep dish is recommended because this pie will rise a lot during cooking but will fall back down as it cools.

Put the first five ingredients in the blender, and blend well. Add the pumpkin, and puree. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides a couple of times to make sure everything is thoroughly blended. Pour into a pie pan and bake for about 60 minutes. The top and edges should be brown, but the edges should not be over-done. (Since this is a custardy pie, using the standard toothpick or knife test does not work; it will remain somewhat moist in the center, but it shouldn't be uncooked.)

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter. For best results, refrigerate until chilled before eating.

*If you don't have Ener-G egg replacer, you can omit it and the 1/4 cup water and use any other replacement for two eggs. Of course, if you're not vegan, you could use two eggs, but why not give the vegan version a chance?

Makes 8 servings, each containing 153 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (7% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 264mg Sodium; 3g Fiber.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cheese Ball

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope that everyone has a wonderful time in the next few weeks. Enjoy your families and friends (even those that can be difficult!), and spend lots of time savouring good food. I don't know if I'll be around much in the next couple of days- I may need a break from baking! If I get the time or inclination I'll post about our Christmas dessert.

Today I made a cheese ball- it's pretty basic, but good:

1/2 block light cream cheese
1/4c grated old cheddar
1tsp worsterschire(sp??) sauce
1/4tsp minced garlic
chopped parsley (or dry if it's what you have)

Mix all together, then rool into a ball and roll in more chopped parsley or nuts. Wrap in wax paper and place in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pumpkin Pancakes

I'm a little scattered today! That pretty much sums it up, I guess. Maybe I had too many mimosas last night! I managed to break some eggs when I cleaned the fridge, I mixed my gf and regular flours in the same container, I thought that my container of cornstarch was icing sugar....It's not even 11am!
To fix a bad link, here's the pumpkin pancake recipe that I posted about a couple of months ago. I can't get the link to work- must be a recipezaar thing? Perhaps it's because the pages change as people add recipes? No clue, but here's the recipe:


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk or soymilk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Pumpkin Maple Sauce

1 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

To make Pumpkin Maple Sauce: Heat maple syrup, pumpkin, and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice in small saucepan until warm; cover and set aside.
To make pancakes: Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl.
Combine milk, pumpkin, egg and vegetable oil in small bowl; mix well.
Add to flour mixture.
Stir just until moistened; batter may be lumpy.
Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat; brush lightly with vegetable oil.
Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle; cook until bubbles begin to burst.
Turn and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes; repeat with remaining batter.
Serve with prepared Pumpkin Maple Sauce.

I haven't made the sauce, but it sounds great. We ust eat them with pure maple syrup. Yum! This is the recipe that the dc have chosen for Christmas breakfast. I think I'll make them up the night before and just reheat them in the oven (no toaster or microwave here!).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bad Nativities

I found this over at the treehouse. Mama Squirrel finds some of the best things. I haven't laughed so hard in weeks!

Oat Pancakes

I generally don't like pancakes, but the exceptions are the pumpkin pancakes I posted about before, and these oat pancakes. The dc like both recipes done up like a Mcd's pancake sandwich- two pancakes sandwiching a scrambled egg and covered with real maple syrup.

1 1/2c rolled/quick oats
2c milk
1c flour
2Tbsp cane sugar
2Tbsp baking powder
3/4tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2c oil
I add:

1 mashed banana
1/3c wheat germ
1/2tsp cinnamon
1Tbsp grated ginger

Mix oats and milk in a small bowl and set aside for 5 mins. Combine dry ingredients and stir well. Add eggs and oil to oat mixture and mix. Add to dry ingredients, stir until smooth. Pour onto pre-heated and oiled frying pan. Cook on one side until the center bubbles and the edges begin to look 'dry'. Flip and continue to cook until done through. (The time here could vary depending on thickness and width of pancakes, so basically if they're a dark brown, they're done. helpful, I'm sure! ;0))

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No recipes today!

Today I'm feeling too poorly to even think about food. Which means I don't have to cook anything today! I've been in the kitchen so much over the past couple of weeks, I think I actually need the break. Tomorrow I'll post my favourite oatmeal pancake recipe though.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

GF flour site

Here's the address to a new (to me) site about making gluten-free flours:

Carmel Corn

I finally remembered to buy popcorn! Of course, when I got to the store, they didn't have any out on the shelves, but I kept it together. I nicely asked someone who worked there if they could check out back for me. I even remained calm when the guy tried to tell me that what I really wanted was microwave popcorn. Since I don't own a microwave, this seemed silly to me, but he didn't seem to know that 'old fashioned' folk use a popper and kernels.
I finally got the popcorn! I brought it home. I searched high and low. I realised that I had misplaced my cookbook that contains the carmel corn recipe.(It also has my favorite gingerbread cookie recipe, but that's another story!)
This morning I googled caramel corn, and although the recipes are varied, this one seems to be the closest to mine. (Of course I haven't made it this year, and my memory can be sketchy at time.) So, I'll be trying it out today. I don't know if it's a good idea though, since it seems as though I'm not supposed to make carmel corn this year!

1 cup Butter
2 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Cornsyrup
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
6 quarts Popped Popcorn


Melt butter; stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, the boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in soda and vanilla. Gradually pour over corn, mix well. Turn into two large, shallow baking pans. Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour, stir every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, cool completly. Break apart and store in tightly covered containers.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Someone may have noticed that I can't seem to land on the proper header for this site. Just because it's accurate doesn't mean that anyone wants to read about it, and perhaps my life just isn't exciting enough to lure readers. Seriously, I started this blog to have a place where my recipes wouldn't get ruined, lost, or used as drawing paper. Now I find myself wondering if anyone else cares. I've had some negative comments and some wonderfully positive comments, but sometimes I find myself stressing about whether or not my space is inviting, or the title fitting, or even if people are turned off by a lack of pictures or the fact that I'm wishy-washy about becoming vegetarian or eating gluten free. What about those who stumble on here expecting some sage homeschooling advice, and only find a few jokes and lots of recipes!?
I'm afraid that I'm not an expert in anything. I read about my interests, but there's always another post refuting the last article I read. I homeschool my children, but most days I learn more than they do. Maybe not schoolwise, but definitely about living. My children have taught me more about life, love and laughter than I ever knew existed. Maybe I did as a child, but somehow it's passed me by over the years.
I'm afraid that if you're looking for professional help, this isn't the place to stop. If you're looking for someone who makes numerous mistakes and isn't afraid to talk about them, then Welcome!

Cranberry Meringues

This is the recipe that I made today, but I'm not happy with it. Too many of them didn't cook properly. I'm posting it because so many people HAVE had success with it, plus regardless of whether they set properly or not, the failures still taste good. They just don't have the texture to make them something I'd share with friends. Perhaps I should have extended the baking time, but I was so busy today that dh kindly took them out of the oven while I was out!

Cranberry Meringues

3 large egg white(s), at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canned cranberry sauce, whole berry
1/3 cup dried cranberries, about 80 cranberries
Preheat oven to 200°F. Coat 2 large sheet pans with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form; gradually beat in sugar until mixture is very stiff and shiny. Gradually fold in cranberry sauce (you can add a few drops of red food colouring at this point, if desired) while beating for 1 minute.

Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheet pans; press 1 dried cranberry into the top of each cookie.

Bake for 2 hours. Cool completely before removing from pans. Store in airtight containers. Yields about 4 cookies per serving.

On another note, I have been planning on making carmel corn for the past week or so, but I keep forgetting to buy popcorn! Maybe it isn't meant to be. Or maybe I need a serious break.
Another thing: today I put a ham, carrots and potatoes in the crockpot, covered them with a mix of 1/2c maple syrup and 1/3c water, set it on high, and dinner was ready in 5 hours. It was tasty, easy, and now I don't have to woner about lunch for the rest of the week; obviously we'll be eating ham sandwiches! (Might be a step back from the whole vegan thing, but right now I'm just glad that we had a warm and nutritous meal.)

Changing Lightbulbs

If you belong to any online lists, I'm sure you'll find this funny:

How many list members does it take to change a lightbulb?

One to change the light bulb and to post that the lightbulb has been

Fourteen to share similar experiences of changing lightbulbs and how the
light bulb could have been changed differently.

Seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

Seven more to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing
light bulbs.

Five to flame the spell checkers.

Three to correct spelling/grammar flames.

Six to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb" ...

Another six to condemn those six as stupid.

Fifteen to claim experience in the lighting industry and give the
correct spelling.

Nineteen to post that this group is not about light bulbs and to please
take this discussion to a lightbulb (or light bulb) forum.

Eleven to defend the posting to the group saying that we all use light
bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this group.

Thirty six to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior,
where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light
bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.

Seven to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

Four to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the
corrected URL.

Three to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to
this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.

Thirteen to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety
including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too"

Five to post to the group that they will no longer post because they
cannot handle the light bulb controversy.

Four to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"

Thirteen to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before posting
questions about light bulbs."

Three to tell a funny story about their cat and a light bulb.


One group lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now with
something unrelated they found at and start it all over

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Leftover Soup Idea

I don't know about anyone else, but when I make soup there's usually a cup or so left over. Not enough for anyone to be bothered warming up, but what a waste to throw it out! So, this is what I do:
Mix leftover soup with some broth (any kind that will complement your original recipe eg/veggie, chicken, beef...), and make sure it's enough to cover the bottom of a casserole pan. Pour the soup into your pan, and heat in the oven at 400F until it starts to bubble. This shouldn't take very long, so while you're waiting, mix up a batch of biscuits, using 1/2 cup more liquid than usual. When the soup is bubbling, pour biscuit dough over the top, place back in the oven, and bake until the biscuits are done- 20-25 minutes.
This is good with any type of soup I've tried it with- veggie, noodle, even a cream soup. If it's leftover chili or even a minestrone that your dealiing with, you could use the biscuit dough or just top with a cornmeal muffin recipe. It's easy and tasty, and perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Chocolate mint cookies

These are ridiculously easy, and they're great for a last-minute hostess gift. (I know- I whipped up a batch for a meeting this afternoon!) They're an easy version of the popular Girl Guide mint cookies.
2 boxes semi-sweet baking chocolate
3-6 drops mint flavouring
1 box Ritz crackers

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (I use a metal bowl over a pan of water), add mint to taste (for some, 6 drops may be too much, for other people, not enough!). Dip cookies, place on a greased/parchament-lined tray, put in fridge/freezer to harden, then serve.

I found this recipe online somewhere a while ago, but I'm not sure where it originated. I read a review with it that said if you use Andes mint baking bits, they're great. I haven't been able to find these, but if I do, I'll have to give them a try.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tea Biscuits

This is my favorite tea biscuit recipe. There are some out there that call for cream cheese or sour cream, or even sweeteners or cheese. These are good, even great, but for a plain biscuit to go with dinner, I like these best. The key is to not over-handle the dough, and they'll be light and fluffy.

1/3c non-hydrogenated shortening
2c flour
4 heaping tsps baking powder
1/4tsp salt

Sift dry mixture onto shortening, and mix well with a pastry blender (it will form pea-sized lumps).

Mix 1 beaten egg plus enough milk (I use soy) to make up one cup. Mix gently with the dry ingredients- use a fork, and just stir until mixed; do not beat!
Put dough on lightly floured surface, roll to one inch, and cut out. Try not to mix too much when re-rolling left-over dough.
Bake at 400F until browned, 15-20mins.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Whirly's Shortbread

After the mess of this afternoon, I knew there was only one thing to do: I turned to my friend Whirly who has the best shortbread recipe I know of. She has mentioned that they take butter, and only butter. No substitutions! Sound advice, I think. Also, she wanted me to know that beating them for even ten minutes wouldn't be too much. So, beat them for at least ten minutes, use real butter, and success will be yours! Thanks again Whirly!

2 cups soft butter (no substitutes! )
1 cup icing sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup cornstarch

With electric mixer, beat butter until light. Gradually add icing sugar, beating well. Sift together flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture, beating constantly. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets; press lightly with floured fork. Bake in 300* oven for 25 to 30 minutes or just until set, but not browned.


The children and I were working on our Gingerbread men today, and I suddenly decided that I should make another batch of cookies. This time, I was going for shortbread. I thought that they would be amazing with lemon icing, and I was going to be whipping up a batch of that in an hour or so....I felt secure in making the recipe from the side of the cornstarch box. I had made it a few times when I was younger, and they always tasted OK.
'OK' is no longer the term I would use. Either I made a huge mistake, or there is something wrong with that recipe. I'll be having a go at them again in the next week, and I'll be making some changes. At least we can cover the ones we have with lemon icing! It's always nice to have a vehicle for your dipping needs!

Added note: the icing is good with the gingerbread cookies, but nothing could fix the poor shortbread. I think it must be due to the fact that I used Earth Balance instead of butter. I haven't had a problem with it before, but that's the only thing that I did differently. Oh well! I'll make up a new batch in a few days. I have a great whipped shortbread recipe that a friend sent me last year. This time I'll use real butter.

Monday, December 10, 2007

All I Want for Christmas

A few years ago if someone had asked me what I wanted for Christams, I would have drawn a blank. Not that I didn't want different this or that, it was just that I didn't want any of it more than anything else. This year, I'm not having that problem. I want a digital camera. I'm not likely to get one, and that's OK, but between you and me, a food blog without pictures is pretty boring. Why bother to read post after post of recipes if you aren't tempted by the fabulous pictures, where the food is plated in such a beautiful and appetizing way that you swear you hear the sound of angels? Ok, that's probably pretty extreme, but a pic to let you kow what you're getting into wouldn't be remiss!
In lieu of having pictures of my own, I'll send you over to Baking Bites, where the pictures are clear and bright, and the gingerbread cookies are what I am refigerating overnight for the dc to put together tomorrow. I haven't had lemon icing with gingerbread before, but it sounds like a good idea, and the kids will have fun piping it onto their creations.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wheatberry Salad

I've been on a dijon mustard kick lately. It has a bite that I've been craving all week with the honey-mustard sauce, and now a different type of salad dressing. A wheatberry salad is great in the summer, but equally good in the winter. Especialy if you add a can of beans to kick up the protein. I tend to need more protein in the winter; must burn it off with the shivering I go through every year! I like to eat this as a meal, but it could easily be a side too.
Boil a cup of wheatberries until tender, about 30 mins. Drain, and add the following: 1/4c chopped onion, 1 diced garlic clove, 1Tbsp olive oil, 1/8c balsamic vinegar, 1Tbsp dijon mustard, 2tsp maple syrup, and a dash of salt. Mix well, and add 1/2 a chopped red pepper, 1 can corn kernels(drained), and 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed).
Basically, from this point you can add whatever you want- cucumber, tomato, parsley.....whatever you think will work. Then just put it in the fridge (covered) for at least an hour. It's pretty good from the first, but allowing it to set really allows the flavours to blend.

Changing Habits

It is hard to change decades of eating habits overnight. It's hard and frustrating. So much so, that I have decided that other than being completely dairy free (I want pizza!!!), the gluten and vegetarian stuff will have to come piece by piece. As we find recipes that we enjoy, I'll use them to replace old favorites.
This week we will be entertaining ourselves with a pre-Christmas tofurky. If it's a hit, we'll get the full meal version for Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Saturday Night Lights

Tonight we skipped bedtime and went to the Cavalcade of Lights. We picked up some hotdogs from a stand (I was the only one to choose tofu!), then skated for a couple of hours. At 9pm there was a terrific fireworks display. I hadn't realised before how smokey fireworks are, but what a mess! Ds was coughing, and I was worried that dd would have an asthma attack.
It's not that I wasn't aware of how damaging fireworks can be for the environment, I had just never been close enough to be engulfed in the smoke. When we went, I actually thought that there was going to be a 'light' display, not fireworks. As we were standing there and the cascades were going off, all I could think was "should I just grab the kids and leave? Am I doing the wrong thing by not boycotting this display right now?" . I stayed. The dc clapped, we choked and coughed, and now I have to explain to my children that although Mommy allowed them to see the display, fireworks are actually a bad thing. Does it make me 'bad' that I didn't immediately leave? I doubt it.
Hopefully, having seen the smoke and heard the noise (although as cascades, there was actually very little noise), I'll be able to give them a better view on the entire problem.

Vegan Cheese

I've had a few successes in the kitchen this week. Nothing tremendous, but I made a pretty good honey mustard sauce and a great wheat berry salad. Today I decided to tackle what could be a saving grace in my home: veggie cheese sauce. I had a bag of nutritional yeast, which has a cheese recipe on the side of it. I had some reservations about the whole thing- after all, I love real cheese! I was reassured by the numerous positive comments that I've found online though. Not for this recipe specifically, but for numerous other 'cheese' sauces.
The recipe wasn't labour intensive at all and was made with common household ingredients,but (my apologies to anyone who uses this recipe)there is no way that anyone in my family will eat this cheese. It tastes like something that is dead and rotting. (Or so I would imagine, since I'm not used to having rotting dead things in the house). Not only that, but the accompanying smell has permeated my house! Sort of a more subtle version of when a neighbour cooked something a few years ago- dh and I could only figure they were boiling rotten whale. :0p
I've found a couple of new recipes that I'll be trying. They incorporate soy milk and/or nuts and tahini, so hopefully one of them will be a hit. If not, then I guess that our dream of mac and cheese will have to remain far off on the horizon.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Chocolate Meringue Cookies

I've been reading a lot of meringue recipes lately. They first caught my attention at Cookie Madness, and now I can't get away from them! They're quick and light, sweet but not overwhelming! I decided to give it a go.

3 egg whites
1/2tsp lemon juice
1/2tsp vanilla extract*
2/3c white sugar
1 1/2Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 300F. Combine egg whites, lemon juice and vanilla*. Beat whites until they form soft peaks. Add sugar slowly, and beat until stiff peaks form. (If no peaks form, that's OK too. They'll still be yummy!) Fold in Cocoa. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 min.

If you want, you can add white chocolate chips with the cocoa.

*Vanilla is best when it's the real deal. Here's how:

Split 3 vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp knife/scissors.
Place in jar with 1 cup vodka, brandy, or rum. Be sure beans are completely covered with vodka. Seal tightly. Let stand in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 months. Shake jar occasionally during the standing time. Can be used after a 4 weeks, but improves with age.
I found the details for this process on different sites, but the main info is from Vanilla Enchantment.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

GF, DF, Vegan Cookie Revised

1/3c Earth Balance
3/4c maple syrup
1/4c molasses
1/4c soy milk
2 1/2c Featherlight Flour mix (by Bette Hagman)
1 1/2 tsp xantham gum (if this is too much or too little, let me know!!!)
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp cloves
1 1/2tsp ground ginger

Bake at 350F until lightly browned.

I did it! I was so surprised when this recipe worked. I didn't use the fresh ginger, but I will next time, just to add an extra 'kick'. The cookies were tasty and soft. Not cake-like, but not at all hard. Like a regular-old molasses cookie. (I knew it could be done, I just didn't expect to get it my first try!) Now, I'm not saying that these are contest-winning by any means, but the fact that they're edible has made me so happy! A tip that I found somewhere along the way- when baking with gluten-free flours, sift your dry ingredients at least twice. It adds air to the mix, and allows your baking to raise a better. ( No idea who said it, but it sounded like good advice, and seems to have worked).

Sick Again!

Today I was supposed to take a look at a friend's copies of a couple of Bette Hagman's books, but it wasn't happening. Dd still had quite a bad cough, and I just couldn't bring myself to allow her to spread germs this close to Christmas.
I don't know what it is, but if there's something going around, then it's gonna stop at our house. Germs and viruses love to come and hang out with us. We eat our veggies, we get outside in the sun, we exercise....what else is there? The house is clean, but not so clean that we suffer from a 'lack of germ exposure'. There are two kids and two cats here, there's only a certain amount of clean that you can be. We have an air purifier! I have tried different things to boost our immune systems: echinacea, oil of oregano...we take vitamins! (Aspertame-free vitamins, thank-you very much! It's amazing how hard it is to find those suckers!) We get lots of sleep...well, I mean, I'd certainly sleep for as long as the children allowed, but we all get at least nine hours a night.
So. We should be as healthy as the next bunch, and I am terribly insulted that germs like us. I miss out on way too much skating this way! Oh...and the children! They expect me to be far too entertaining! I have about three hours of entertaining in me per day, and when we're shut up for three days, I'm short a few can do the math there! I know they can entertain themselves, but quite a lot of my time is spent explaining that to THEM!
Off to get a start on tomorrow. Hopefully we'll all be healthy and raring to go! ;0)

Ashleigh's Brown Bread

I know that a lot of people refer to whole wheat bread as brown bread, but where I'm from that's not the case. When I say brown bread, I'm talking about a loaf made with oatmeal and molasses. I got this recipe from my sil, but I'm not sure where it originated. I've made it with all whole wheat flour, with a mix of whole wheat and white, or just with white. My favorite version is the complete whole wheat. It's a pretty dense loaf this way, but it still raises well and has a wonderful flavour.
Some people are afraid to make their own bread. I know that I was the first time! It's not that hard, and you can get a lot accomplished around the house while you wait for it to raise twice and then bake. (Or you can spend some quality time on the computer!)


2c rolled oats
1c molasses
1/4c oil
4tsp salt (I only use 2tsp)

Cover with 3c boiling water, stir well, then allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, mix in a different bowl:

2Tbsp yeast
1c lukewarm water
1Tbsp sugar/honey

Allow yeast to work for about 10 minutes, then stir mixture and add to the oat mixture.

From 7 cups of flour, add enough flour to make a manageable dough. Put a cup or so of your flour onto the counter, and pour your dough onto it. Knead for 10 min, adding more of your flour when dough becomes sticky.
Set dough in a greased bowl, turning once to coat, then cover with a damp teatowel. Allow to raise until double, about an hour. It will raise more quickly in a warm room.
Punch down dough, then form into four loaves. Place in greased loaf pans, and allow to raise (covered) until doubled.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Allow to cool and then enjoy! Or slice it warm and let the butter melt in to your slice, and really enjoy....

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


After dinner tonight, I decided that I should give the dc something for dessert. Since it was shortly before their bedtimes, I didn't want to bake anything; it would just come out of the oven when they had to go down. What could I do but turn to the trusty jar of peanut butter. Seriously, peanut butter has saved me many times. It is a great dip and sandwich spread, plus it tastes good in smoothies.
Tonight, I took 1/2c peanut butter and mixed it with 2Tbsp honey, 1/4 dried cranberries, and 2Tbsp coconut. The kids loved it, and it was quite filling. It would be great with apple slices, crackers, celery...basically anything you usually eat with peanut butter.
I probably didn't need as much honey as I used, but I was going for a desserty type thing. You could also add enough graham crumbs to make a stiff base, press into a pan, and serve as squares. Top with a drizzle of chocolate, maybe. Whatever you do, it will be worth the five minutes of effort.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Vegan Cookies

These are a work in progress, so if anyone actually tries this recipe, give me a heads-up! I'm still making some decisions about the ingredients, so they're subject to change. ;0) The dairy-free is for my dd and myself, the gluten-free is my dh, and we're all going vegetarian at some point....unless I get too scared! It was one thing when dh and I were vegetarians. It's yet another to drag two children into it with us.
So, here's the recipe in it's present glory:

1/3c oil (may use coconut oil, not sure yet...)
3/4c sugar (maybe maple syrup, which will change other ingreds of course)
1/4c molasses
1/4c non-dairy milk (I'll be using either soy or rice, but probably soy)
2c Featherlight Flour mix (by Bette Hagman)
1 1/2 tsp xantham gum (if this is too much or too little, let me know!!!)
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp cloves
1 1/2tsp ground ginger (may halve this and use some fresh-grated ginger)

The beginnings of this recipe came from Tofumom, but I've made quite a few changes. Who knows what it will look like when I'm done!! I'll probably make some half-batches and choose a favorite. I'll let you know how it goes on Wed. (the day I've booked for baking with the dc.)

Tomorrow I'll be making pumpernickle bread...or maybe I'll hold off until Wed when I already have the oven heated!