Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gluten Free Vegan Muffin (UPDATE)

I posted this recipe a while back - I have since experimented a LOT with these muffins and they generally turn out spectacular :)  Here is the recipe again, with a couple things i've learned.. 

Apple Muffins
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup  millet flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Chocolate chip muffins

Preheat oven to 350F. 
Lightly grease a muffin tin or line it with paper liners. (note: paper liners will stick until muffins cool a bit)
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
Mix wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, whisk vigorously, or use a stick blender to really combine.  
Mix together until the batter is just moistened. Fold in the add in** 

Scoop out about 1/3rd cup of batter in each muffin cup. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

** add in options i've tried.. 
-- 1tsp cinnamon (added to dry ingredients) and 1 cup apples,  (cut in1/4-1/2" cubes & pieces)
-- blueberries 1/2-1 cup
-- chocolate chips 1/2-1cup 

oh, these taste much better the first day, taste better slightly warm and freeze well!  I actually prefer these to the eggy version i use to make.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

New bread recipe & Chia Seed Chocolate pudding

Today i am trying a new bread recipe!
I copy-pasted the recipe below .. we'll see how it turns out, its rising now ... It is so far so wheat like its creepy!

Wet Ingredients:
2 ½ cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
1 teaspoon maple syrup or organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup ground chia seeds

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup teff flour
1 cup sorghum flour
½ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

extra virgin olive oil
poppy seeds
sesame seeds

Place the warm water in a bowl or 4-cup liquid glass measure. Add the yeast and teaspoon of maple syrup, whisk together. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture should get foamy or bubbly. If not, dump it out and start over.

While the yeast is activating, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

After the yeast is activated whisk in the olive oil, maple syrup, ground chia seeds, and psyllium husks into the water-yeast mixture. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes (not any longer) to let the chia and psyllium release their gelatinous substances. Whisk again.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together with a large wooden spoon until thick. Then knead the dough on a floured wooden board to incorporate the flour. Add more teff and sorghum flours, a little at a time, until the dough holds together and isn’t too sticky (about ¼ to ½ cup total). Don’t add too much flour, otherwise the dough will become very dense; it should still be slightly sticky. Form dough into a ball, place back into the large bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot to rise. I like to place the bowl over a pot of warm water. Let dough rise for an hour or until doubled in size. Rising time will depend on the temperature of the environment around the dough.

After the dough has risen, place a pizza stone in your oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven (the one beneath the pizza stone). I usually use an 8 x 8-inch glass pan filled ¾ of the way full.

Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured wooden board. Knead the dough for about a minute. Then form into a round ball. Place on a square of parchment paper and use a sharp knife to cut a shallow “tic-tac-toe” pattern on the top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place while the oven and stone are preheating.

Carefully lift the parchment paper with the risen loaf and place it onto the stone in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 30 to 60 minutes before cutting into it. The bread will be very gummy hot out of the oven. The texture is perfect once cooled. It reminds me of a hearty whole wheat bread.

With the leftover ground chia seeds I am going to make Chia seed chocolate pudding.. usually, i'd put whole chia seeds and mix everything in the vita mix, but this time i'm going to try to use up the pre-ground seeds..  

2 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds (pre-ground if you are not using a vitamix or high powered blender)
6 Tbsp cocoa
1/4-1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt 
handful of chocolate chips 
1.  Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor
2.  Mix thoroughly until ultra smooth.
3.  Pour mixture into a storage container  & store in the fridge

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gluten Free, Vegan, Blueberry Muffins and Corn Muffins

Gluten Free Vegan Corn Muffins.. 
this recipe is good, but needs a little work.. 
  • 3/4 cup millet flour or sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 3/4 up cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer (in place of 1 egg)
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1 cup Milk (I used homemade rice milk)
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
Preheat oven at 400F. Grease or line muffin tin. (makes about 10 muffins)
In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a blender/food processor or blend with a stick blender add Ener-G, water, milk and oil. Blend it thoroughly, for about 2-3 minutes.
Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fill the muffin cups 2/3rds full.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

GFV Blueberry muffins

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup  millet flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line it with paper liners.
In a small bowl mix together the milk and vinegar and set aside for about 5 minutes or until it curdles.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
To it add the milk mixture, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract. Mix together until the batter is just moistened. Fold in the blueberries.
Scoop out about 1/3rd cup of batter in each muffin cup. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. 
**oh and don't forget the sugar, i did - they are good, but taste like blueberry biscuits, oops. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vegan Gluten Free apple pie crumb muffins..

I decided I REALLY wanted to make apple crumb cake muffins... these did not turn out looking all that great - but they taste AMAZING, so i'm willing to overlook their appearance and try to work on that later.. 

Apple Pie-Crumb Cake Muffins

For muffins:
1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup grated apple
1/2 cup chopped apple (1/4-inch pieces)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

For Topping:
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients, drizzling on the oil and mixing with your fingers until crumbs form. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease twelve-muffin tin.

In a large bowl, sift all the dry muffin ingredients. Stir in the wet ingredients. Fold in the grated and chopped apple and nuts.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full and sprinkle the topping over each muffin.
Go easy on the topping - just a little more than a dusting and they would probably look a lot better.  Bake for 18-20 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quinoa.. (I'm finally figuring out what to do with it..)

shown here with red & black quinoa
"Mexican" Quinoa

1 cup quinoa (dry, however much that comes out to cooked)
1 jar of salsa
about 1 cup of corn
about 2 cups of black beans (drained/rinsed, 2 cans if using cans) 
a bit of salt, taco seasoning, and/or cumin to taste

cook the quinoa - 1 cup dry to 1.5 cups water, boil water, add quinoa, cook for aprox. 15 mins, fluff with fork

add other ingredients to cooked quinoa, stir  - serve on a tortilla, over chips - add sour cream or cheese if you're into that ;) (i tried it with a tiny spoonful of non-dairy sour cream and it was fabulous)

everything but the quinoa - yum
"Italian" Quinoa

1 cup black beans
1 can mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 cup onion
3 cups squash/zuchinni
1 small can tomato sauce 
oregano, basil, thyme, and salt to taste

combine ingredients and simmer in a medium pan for 20-30 mins

serve over cooked Quinoa  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Muffins - Gluten free & Vegan

Carrot-Apple-Raisin Muffins 
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2  teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups grated carrots
1 large apple, peeled cored, and grated/shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup oats or seeds
1 cup Sorghum flour
1 cup millet flour
1 cup tapioca starch
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
 Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.
 In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil and honey.

Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix for 20 seconds.

In a separate bowl, combine the carrots and apple, and then toss with the lemon juice. Add to the mixing bowl. Mix for about 20 seconds.

Mix in the raisins and oats/seeds

In a separate bowl, combine the flours , xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Fill the liners to the rim with batter.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes (though mine were done around 25 this time) or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling wrack.

Zucchini Muffins! 
 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water  (“eggs”)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 c honey

1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups sorghum/millet flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup loosely packed raisins
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix the flax egg and set aside for about 5 minutes. Mix the olive oil, honey, zucchini and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; mix until just wet and ingredients are combinned; fold in raisins. 

Pour patter into 12 lined muffin tins.  Bake about 18 minutes or until browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, October 12, 2012

All in the name of Chicken Pot Pie.

ok. suddenly my 'easy' recipe is seeming a bit complicated..

I'm making chicken pot pie, converting a dairy and gluten filled recipe everyone loved.. 

So, I needed a can of cream of mushroom soup.. I knew I'd also want this for thanksgiving (green bean casserole!) this really wasn't too complicated..

Dairy and Gluten free Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup stock, I used chicken
1/2 cup unsweetened rice milk **
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of mushrooms, finely chopped (I used canned this time)

This recipe equals 1 can of Campbell’s Condensed Cream of mushroom Soup, leave out the mushrooms for cream of chicken.

If you use fresh mushrooms, cook them in the oil first - otherwise, combine mushrooms and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat then add flour and whisk together. Slowly add stock while whisking. Bring to a simmer and cook a few minutes until thickened. Add rice milk and salt and pepper and stir until combined and thick.

**I made a batch of my rice milk recipe, but without the thickeners or sweetener, so basically boiled rice flour and water, i halved the recipe and then froze the concentrate in ice cube trays - once i remove the cubes, its 2 cubes to 3/4 cup water to make one cup of unsweetened rice milk..Though somehow it seems like cheating because really, its rice flour cooked in water... how is this "milk"? but it worked, and it was actually tasty (well, not alone, but in things..)

Next we have to have biscuits... 

1½ cups sorghum and millet flour (about half/half) plus more for 'rolling'
¾ cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold fat (such as bacon grease, coconut oil or shortening), cut into small pieces
¾ cup unsweetened rice milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
Whisk together the flour, starch, baking powder and salt. Cut the fat into the flour mixture.  Add the liquid, starting with ½ a cup and gradually adding a little more at a time, mixing until the dough comes together. Put a little flour on a work surface and dump out the dough. Knead 3 or 4 times then either roll or pat it out to about ½ inch thick.  I cut the biscuits into squares but you can do traditional circles and gently reform the dough to cut more biscuits. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve warm.


Now we're ready for "Chicken Pot Pie"

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp. oil
1 recipe of the above cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup dairy free sour cream 

about 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I'm using canned, so 1 13oz can, gotta cut corners somewhere!)
1-1/2+ c. frozen mixed veggies
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Saute onion and celery in oil in a sauce pan (i'll admit, i've left this part out completely in the past); stir in soup and sour cream. Blend in chicken, veggies, and seasonings. Pour into 8 x 8 greased casserole dish.  Cover and bake at 375 until bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.  Serve with biscuits! 

I also made mashed potatoes with a touch of butter flavored shortening unsweetened rice milk, chicken broth, garlic salt and kosher salt to taste. :) 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gluten Free Dairy Free Egg Free! Chocolate Chip cookies!!

Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, and Egg Free - Really normal tasting and yummy - 
Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup Millet Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Starch 
3/4 cup Sorghum Flour
2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup butter substitute**
3/4 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup coconut sugar 
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Egg Replacer for 2 eggs (4 tablespoons water + 2 tablespoon oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder, beaten together until smooth.)
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 

** I normally would use coconut oil or earths balance or a combination of those, but this time I was naughty and used butter flavored shortening .. wow. yummy! 


Preheat oven to 375° F.

In medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt, whisk to combine and set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together the softened butter substitute, sugars and vanilla.  

Add the egg replacer and mix until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Add the chocolate chips & stir  
Roll cookie dough into balls and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool slightly on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Its easiest to pull the entire sheet of parchment paper onto the cooling racks and then move the cookies a few mins later - they are very fragile and  will seem underdone until they cool.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Turning my GF/DF baking vegan - bye bye eggs!

So now that we are giving eggs the boot, in addition to dairy and gluten.. i'm having to find new recipes..

Vanilla Cupcakes (Vegan, Gluten Free)
1 cup rice milk
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup corn flour OR 1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin tray with cupcake liners or grease muffin tin really well
2. In the mixer (i used my kitchen aid for this) combine rice milk,  oil, sugar and extracts, mix until just combined.  Add tapioca flour and flax seed and mix for about a minute until the tapioca flour is dissolved and the mixture is well emulsified.
3. Add the corn flour, rice flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on Medium for about 2 minutes.
4. Fill cupcake liners a little over 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 20-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

We made this yummy but not terribly healthy frosting.


and this wonderful bread! I broke the 'rules' and made some changes to the recipe, but i don't have it perfected yet..  i'll let you all know, so far, i think this will be our new bread of choice. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Annie's Birthday Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes (gluten free and dairy free)
Makes about 12 cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup millet flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk substitute (I used rice milk)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (I used half/half coconut sugar and raw sugar)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
 Preheat oven to 350

 prepare muffin pan with paper liners, or grease well.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then combine wet ingredients in a 2nd bowl - combine.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3s full, bake for 20-25 mins, check with a toothpick and cool before frosting ..

Speaking of frosting..

I frosted these cupcakes with coconut oil frosting - i combined about 2 cups powdered sugar and 3/4 cup coconut oil to make a coconuty frosting. It was super easy to make, but not very easy to spread, it has to be hot to be workable at all but once you've got it on the cupcakes it tastes great and its nice to know its not just shortening ..

Monday, September 3, 2012



I have hardly done any baking this summer, between the morning sickness and the heat - i just couldn't do it... but now my cravings are overtaking my practical side and I had to turn on the oven to bake some cookies on a 95 degree day..  

First up...
Cashew Maple Chocolate Chip cookies (Vegan!) 
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/3 Cup coconut oil
  • 6 Tbs maple syrup
  • 3 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until you get a powdery /coarse flour-like consistency - Mine was more coarse than floury but it worked.
In a medium bowl, combine the processed cashews, brown rice flour, tapioca, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt, set aside.
In another mixing bowl, blend the oil, maple syrup, sugar, and water. 
Mix in the flour mixture until you get a nice dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.
The dough may seem oily/messy - if it won't shape into balls, you can put it in the fridge for 10 mins and it will firm up.  
Dough will not flatten much at all, so shape into cookies, not just balls..
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes at 350. Remove them to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Oatmeal Fudge Cookies 

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (or about 4oz dark chocolate) 
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbs brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp tapioca flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • additional 1/2 cup chocolate chips/chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/8 cup millet 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Melt 2/3 cup chocolate chips and oil and stir to combine
  3. Let the chocolate cool a bit and then stir in the egg, sugar, flour, starch, baking powder, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add the chips or chunks, oats and millet.
  5. Scoop the dough by the tablespoonful into mounds on your prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the tops lose most of their shine and look a bit cracked.
  7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, or pull the parchment paper off the pan directly to a wire rack - don't try to remove cookies from paper while they are hot, they will crumble.  

Rice milk!

I found a great new Rice milk recipe! I modified it slightly to work with what was in my pantry, for the original recipe click here...  This milk is GREAT for baked goods - our pancakes browned so much better with this milk than with store bought rice milk or almond milk. 

Rice Milk
7 1/2 c. water (distilled is best)
1 c. brown rice flour or white rice flour
1 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup oil, I used grapeseed
1 c. honey

  1. Over high heat, bring six cups of water to boil in a large saucepan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine rice flour and 1 1/2 cups water, mixing thoroughly.
  3. While you are waiting for the water to boil, in a large, heat-safe mixing bowl, whisk to combine guar gum and xanthan gum.  Add the oil, and stir thoroughly.  Add honey, and mix with an electric mixer or immersion blender until well-combined.
  4. Once the water in the saucepan boils, stir in the rice flour mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Turn down heat to medium-low and boil at least five minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and no longer gritty.
  5. Then, pour the brown rice mixture to the mixing bowl, using a silicone spatula to scrape the sides of the saucepan.  (Be careful, as the brown rice mixture is very hot.  Alternately, cover the rice mixture and cool it until it is easier/safer to handle.)  With an electric mixer, beat on high until ingredients are thoroughly combined. 
This recipe makes a concentrate - to serve, mix 1/4 cup concentrate to 3/4 cups water and stir or shake to combine.  (I make this 2 quarts at a time, with 2 cups of concentrate) - Store mix and milk in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze if you prefer. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The best gluten free pancakes..

yes, they are the best, and trust me - we've tried a lot.  this recipe was originally published in Living Without magazine.. I found it here.

We usually quadrupedal this recipe, left overs are wonderful. 

¾ cup brown rice flour or millet flour
½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon oil (coconut, olive etc.)

Mix together dry ingredients, then add eggs, vanilla and sugar. Next add milk slowly, until batter is desired thickness. Do not over-mix!
The batter is thick, but should be bubbly and you will probably have to spread batter out in pan. Cook until pancakes have bubbles throughout and bottom is lightly browned. Flip with a spatula and cook briefly until done.

UPDATE:  we LOVE these pancakes!!!! They also make GREAT waffles! We make them with homemade rice milk now, and they seem to brown better than with the almond milk.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summer baking..

Baking in the summer? Truth is, i just can't do it.. not in the house anyway.  It is just too hot.  

So last week, we decided to try out baking on the big green egg and it was a huge success!

We made my favorite muffins

and a summer favorite, Chocolate Zuchinni cake!

next time, we're going to try making bread ...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Its not that i don't have anything to say...

Things have been so crazy busy around here! There just hasn't been much time for the blog thing..  

I need to bake bread, and make coconut milk for ice cream, and mayonnaise based on this recipe.. and granola bars..  I need to post the Mayo recipe - once i try it one more time and get it down.  cause it is fabulous and now i understand all those people who say once you try homemade mayo you won't go back.. 

Our garden is doing great,  we're about to be overrun with squash, carrots, and tomatoes - with beans, peas and okra to follow...

Now i know why we don't have school in the summer!! There is just no time for it - we have to play outside, take care of the garden and flowers and do all the summer time activities - there will be plenty of time for school when it cools down and things get boring again.  Plus, Grandpa is visiting from Hawaii. 

so this might be all i have to say for June.  Sorry! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flats Challenge - The Last Day.

It is day 6 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For the past 6 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   

To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 and Day 6.

Today is the last day of the Flats Challenge -  Really? the last day?  

I've had a busy week -  like every other busy week (every week?) it has gone by lightening fast! 

So, here are my thoughts about all this ..  random thoughts. 
  • I love that I've blogged every day! (and about something other than cooking!!) 
  • I don't feel worn out - I don't feel like I'll be relieved that it's over, but no, i will not continue hand washing.  
  • This has inspired me to come up with a way to change up my diaper washing/drying routine so it is not so time and energy consuming. 
  •  I am seriously considering packing most of my pocket diapers away for a rainy day. (like, winter when line drying isn't so fun, or a babysitter)  I think it would extend their life if i gave them a break. I think if i were using only flats and my cloth napkins/wipes I could cut down on the wash cycle.  Maybe use a wetpail with borax like i have been this week and do the pre-wash that way and not need to use the 3+ hour wash cycle.  I'm going to experiment 
  •  I'm going to try to figure out an efficient way to line dry my cloth napkins (seriously, we use about 30-50+ every 2 days, they take FOREVER to hang up on a clothes line.)
  •   I really enjoy hanging up laundry on the clothes line - but it is just too time consuming. 
So, I'm not going to keep handwashing flats, that is not a big surprise - but i do think that every time i do this, it gets more do-able - with the weather this week it was EASY - today, i didn't even put any effort into wringing out my diapers and in the wind and warm air they were dry in 2 hours, i could have been doing that all week. If I did this full time, i would be motivated to work more on potty training, but i don't think i'd go as far as really trying EC - Hand washing diapers just isn't THAT hard.  Now if i had to hand wash dishes, that would be another story..  


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flats Challenge Day 6 - Flats on the go ..

 It is day 6 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For the past 6 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   
To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.

So, between last summer and this weekend I have used and hand washed flats both in a hotel, and while staying with family on short weekend trips.. and I have used disposables on longer trips in the past year - When traveling for a 1-2 week vacation, the cost of disposables is minimal - the cloth diaper nerd in me would like to do it, but I just can't justify the extra work when i've got so many other things going on.  If i needed to use flats for financial reasons, chances are good i wouldn't be spending a week at disney world.  Anyway, for shorter weekend trips, i like to use cloth - i just don't like to come home with a bag full of dirty diapers.  I also don't like to take up a huge amount of space with enough pockets to last the weekend.  Flats and handwashng come about as close to perfect as you can get for this type of trip.  

This time, we spend just one night away, about a day and a half.  We were staying with my Mother in Law at her home in the country.  That meant 2 things for cloth diaper washing - well water, and a clothes line!  I washed diapers half way through (in the morning) because I wanted to be sure they had time to dry before we left.  I did a hot wash inside and then took the diapers outside for rinsing - it was so windy and i knew i had all day for them to dry, so i did 3 rinses and hardly wrung them out at all (we also had somewhere to be).  My diapers did turn out a bit discolored (hoping that washes out?) from the well water.  You can almost see it in the picture of them drying on the line, the diaper on the right and the ones on the left took the brownish color of the water. The water wasn't THAT brown, so i'm not really sure why it stuck so bad to those diapers (target flour sack towels, you can also see in this picture how much BIGGER the Sam's flour sack towels are than the target towels ..).   Anyway, that was all there was to it, If we had stayed - i would have washed again in the morning and had more diapers.  I did not bring the 2 dirty diapers we had used at home with us - so tomorrow I'll have 2 extra diapers to wash in addition to the ones we used today.  We also played outside in the water today, so for that time, my toddler went diaperless for a few hours, and luckily my preschooler did not pee in his night time diaper - both of those things cut down on the number of diapers i had to wash while we were away.  

As for packing, for this trip - i brought my entire clothes basket of flats.  completely unnecessary? yes.  I had the space in the van and i didn't want to stress about packing them - I could have taken up the same amount of space as a package of disposables and had everything i needed. (about 10 flats, 3 covers, gloves and detergent) 

Briefly, I'll talk about last year's hotel trip and flats - That was trickier - I washed the flats from the day in the hotel bathtub after the kids were in bed and hung them from the shower curtain rod, towel bars etc. and left the fan running in the bathroom - They dried, it worked - but i could see how it might not work in some hotel bathrooms.  The flannel flats did not dry as quickly, so this year when i traveled i only brought flour sack towels.  I used only flip and thristies covers - which dry quickly.  It was more challenging than what i did this weekend, If i was committed to using only cloth diapers i would do it in a heartbeat! but i'm not. 

And what was possibly the highlight of this part of the Flats Challenge experience ?  My husband saying flats were 'not that bad' and he even put one on our wiggly toddler. I fold my flats in a rectangle similar to a prefold and usually use the bikini twist or angle wing fold with boingos to secure.  My comfort zone is completely different this year, than it was last year - so i don't feel so bad about not experimenting too much..  Last year i used pins, snappis, several different folds and pad folded flats in the diaper bag - this time, I'm pretty much doing the same thing all the time fold-wise -  i'm using my boingos religiously and haven't touched my pins or snappis..(seriously, I love them! i just don't think i could get the same fit with pins or a snappi) 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flats Challenge day 5! Sized flats?

 It is day 5 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   
To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.  

This year's challenge is just not challenging me ?!   I'm not tired of it, i feel like i REALLY could just fit this right into my routine .. it IS in my routine..  i don't mind the difference in the diapers, i don't crave my pocket diapers, even when i'm out  - i 'm just fine.  what is going on?!  Like i said yesterday, I think after about a week i'd be ready to run these diapers through a regular wash cycle, but if that wasn't possible i could just spend a little extra time hand washing them once a week. 
So what made me stop using flats between last year and this year?  I think i figured it out! Last year i was using target flour sack towels - and now i know that they are just not that great for a toddler!  They worked GREAT for my 8-10 month old (and I assume they'd work well for younger babies) and then it just went down hill from there.  This year, i bought some Sam's club flour sack towels, they are bigger, softer, and more absorbent for the SAME price as the target towels! Now, if i had a newborn or even a 6 month old they'd be too big.  There is a down side to this, as you know, flats are considered one-size, and part of the appeal would be that you wouldn't have to buy two sets.  But with a toddler, 12 flats is enough, and you can buy 12 for $12 - that is the cost of one or two small packages of disposable diapers to make flats work for another year or longer! (the larger Sam's club flats work for my 4 year old at night!)  For reference, the Sam's towels - as measured hanging on the line, are 36x29 - they get a bit smaller when dried in the dryer.  The target towels are 29x29 hanging on the line. 
So, since i haven't been that challenged this year, i'm going to step it up! I'm taking the flats challenge 'on the road.'  We are going out of town overnight.  We'll see how this goes, but really - if i don't have time to wash, i doubt I'll run out.  Having 26 flats in my stash helps.  They aren't all my favorites, but they will work! Of course, hand washing all of them when i get home does not sound like fun so there is my motivation to wash tomorrow morning..  
So, if you're doing this with me, is the challenge challenging for you? and What size flats do you prefer?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flats Challenge Day 4 .. Washing..

 It is day 4 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!
 As you may have noticed, I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!   
To see what I've been up to check out Day 1 Day 2, and Day 3

 Today we're talking about washing.  My washing method is simple, I learned a few tricks last year and they are serving me well.  
  1. First things first, recruit helpers.  having a helper (ideally ages 4 and up) can really save your arms! This may not last forever, but for a 1 week challenge my kids are ALL about it.  And they are ALWAYS up for hanging diapers on my kid-height clothes line.
  2.  use a wet pail, I add borax to my wet pail (helps with diaper stink issues) and keep it in the bathroom in the tub with the door closed so the kids don't mess with it.
  3.  wash in a bucket in the bathtub, with the helpers doing most of the agitation (using gloves or a plunger to protect their skin, though this year we aren't using a plunger because it broke on day 2 of last year's challenge) My wash cycle goes something like this - rinse, wash with detergent (i use charlie's soap) and super hot water, rinse warm, rinse cold, and wring out.
  4. Washing in the mid-late afternoon still allows for enough sunshine to dry diapers quickly but keeps you from having to work it into the morning routine.   
  5. 10 flats and a cover or two is about the max for a 5 gal bucket, any more than that and you run into problems from overloading your 'washer'.  
My flats tend to dry outside within a couple hours, that is without going crazy with the wringing, they are usually still a bit wet when i put them out.  If it were cloudy or extra humid I would probably have to do a bit more wringing, or plan for a longer dry time.  With 2 kids in flats (one only at night) and 26 flats, I am no where near running out at the end of the day but it is still important to try to wash every day.  That way, you don't run out (if it rains on your drying diapers, or something comes up and you miss a wash day).  Plus, if i waited until i had 20+ dirty flats it would take twice as long to wash them.  

My conclusion on hand washing, in general, is that it is 100% do-able, but it would be WAY more sustainable and easier with once a week machine washing thrown in there.  I think if i were doing this full time it would be worth it to drag all the diapers to grandma's house or a laundromat once a week.  For a camping trip, or a weekend out of town i would prefer flats to any other kind of cloth diapers, no one likes to bring home a bag of dirty diapers.   I did use flats and hand wash them for a 3 day trip last summer.  A days worth of flats easily dried overnight in a hotel bathroom. Once hand washing is worked into your routine, its no harder than putting away a basket of laundry, or emptying the dishwasher.  Sure, sometimes adding one more thing seems a bit overwhelming, but you get over it.