Happy Love Day… otherwise known as Valentines

How has your day been? Been a busy one in our household. Its nice to be older and not needing the thrills and frills that as a younger person you feel you need, especially after a long day. Its Valentines Day today and I am just as happy to be home with hubby and the boys, eating a nice homemade dinner and watching a movie on TV.

cat-n-flowers

I know a lot of people want to go out on holidays like this, but I am the type of person who likes to save the money, avoid the crowds and waits of a restaurant, and just be with the ones I love. Hubby got me some pretty flowers (see above picture) and Grayson decided to take a little credit for them. He’s a funny boy. It was a long weekend this past weekend too so it’s nice to just be relaxing at home.

cookies

On a separate note I baked some conversation heart cookies (see above picture for some of them) this past weekend as well and gave them out at church and then today at work. My cookies are always a big hit and this time people loved that I played off an old childhood candy for the decoration. I have bigger plans for them next year, hopefully I will remember my ideas. Hope you are having a good Valentines with the ones you care about the most or have plans to soon 🙂 Happy Valentines Day!

Who wants some cake?

Happy Sunday Everyone 🙂

Hope your week has started out well and you are refreshed and ready for the week. I don’t know if I have blogged about this yet, but I have started to make cakes for my friends kids and the kids at church. I am trying to perfect my skills and learn new techniques. I have done many cakes including flower cakes….

Dafodill Cake

Basketweave cake

A golf cake…

Golf Cake

A swimming cake…

Swim cake

A clown cake…

Clown cake

A cupcake cake…

Cupcake cake

A bird cake for my mom’s birthday…

Bird cake

And today I did a baseball cake for one of the boys at our church…

Baseball cake

It’s been fun to figure out the kids likes and use their interests in a cake. They have all been a success so far and I have done many others. Each time I do a cake I figure out how to do it better the next time. I am working each time to perfect my skills. I hope I can keep getting better and keep making kids smile when they see their cakes. It is a joy 🙂

Late Thanksgiving

I was thinking today I hadn’t posted about our Thanksgiving Day. This year was a little unusual as far as the food. We made no dish as usual and changed many. I figured since it was just my mom, step-father, hubby, and I then why not change it up. We did all gluten free, dairy free, and low sugar dishes (my step-father has to watch his sugar). So for the main dish my step-father deep fried us a turkey. Chase helped by being the watcher…

Chase watch

My step-father got the oil hot then started to lower the turkey in very slowly…Bob turkey

Then it was all the way into the hot oil to cook for 45mins-1hr….Bob turkey 2

The chickens even came out front to see what we were up to…Chkns

After which hubby was home from work and helped my mom and stepfather check to see if the turkey was done…

3 turkey

He was then able to help us get the turkey out…

Lorne turkey 1

Here it comes…

Lorne turkey 2

We put it in a disposable pan to cool and drain…Turkey

Baxter was helpful in licking the excess grease off the drive way 😉 …Baxter lick

After which we took it inside and put it on the platter…ta dah…

Turkey on platter

The side dishes went on the table. They included low sugar cranberry sauce, gluten-free stuffing (with many veggies like carrots, celery, onion, garlic, peppers, etc.), roasted Brussels-sprouts with butternut squash and shallots, sautéed green beans with almonds…

Side dishes

And for dessert blueberry pie toped with chicken cut outs…Pie

Overall it was a great meal and since we didn’t make a lot of anything the leftovers were gone within a couple days. I hope you had a happy and blessed Thanksgiving day and are looking forward to a Christmas meal with family. 🙂

 

Chip Chocolate Spice Cookies

So I made up a gluten-free and dairy- free cookie (at least from the recipes I have ever seen I have made up a recipe) and I am pretty proud of it as it has won over every person who has tried it. No one could tell it was dairy and gluten-free. Now don’t get scared of the spice in the cookies, it is just noticeable enough for you to say… “what is in that cookie?” So here it is my debut of my…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chocolate Chip Spice Cookie

You will need:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/2 cup Shortening

3/4 cups light brown sugar

1/4 cup Truvia/Stevia sweetener (or any of your choice)

2 tbsp. almond milk

2 tbsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tbsp. baking soda

3/4 tbsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

3/4  bag dairy free chocolate chips

I used my food processor to mix all the ingredients with the bread blade and used a small bowel to mix the dry ingredients before adding them (see below). But mix with what you have 🙂 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To make:

Preheat oven to 375* and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In your food processor (or you can combine in a bowel and use a hand or other mixer) combine shortening, brown sugar, truvia, almond milk, and vanilla. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Blend until well mixed scraping sides if needed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add egg and cream into mixture.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add in the pumpkin pie spice and combine scraping sides.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In a small bowel combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add this dry mixture slowly into the food processor ( I add it in three sections) until combined. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Scrap sides before adding the dry mixture each time.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once dry mixture is combined add in the chocolate chipsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And combine. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Using a small ice cream scoop drop round scoops onto the baking sheets with a little space to spread out in between. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are slightly brown. Don’t overbake. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

I keep my cookies in one of two cookie jars. This rooster one (below) or my chicken one…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It reminds hubby of his grandmother always having cookies in her cookie jar when he was growing up 🙂 Look inside…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnjoy with someone you love 🙂

Happy Easter!

He has risen…Dafodills

Wishing you a blessed and happy Easter Day and hoping you have better weather then we do. Dafdills

We had a nice meal in spite of it…. ham, fruit salad, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, and deviled eggs. fruit saladham

We had blueberry and lemon cupcakes for dessert.Bunnies

My wonderful hubby even brought me home a spring flower to enjoy and then plant in my garden when it is warm enough….Purple flower

Isn’t he a sweetheart ? 😉 The chickens and baby chicks are doing well and enjoyed an Easter treat, as did the dogs 🙂 Hope you got an Easter treat as well 🙂

Brownie Cake Pops

I enjoy being my own person and don’t like to really follow trends, or styles, etc. Yet sometimes things are cute or a good idea to me so I try them. I got a cake pop pan this past Halloween as my step-father wanted some of those cake pops… so I made some for his birthday. Recently I decided to make some brownies for the super bowel party we were attending and I got to thinking I bet they would make good cake pops too… so Chase and I set about to makes some…Chase

Normally I make all things dessert from scratch, but I had been given a gluten-free brownie mix for Christmas and decided to try it. Feb  (12)

You put the brownie mix, milk, applesauce, etc in and mix…Feb  (13)

Then I used a small ice cream scoop to put the batter into the cake pop pan and baked at 350* for 12 minutes and placed a stick in them once they were cooled enough to pop out of the pan…Feb  (15)

Finally I used melting chocolate and dipped them in adding sprinkles in the coordinating colors of the teams playing in the Superbowl…Feb  (10)

They were a big hit with the family and with my co-workers (who I saved some for and took in the next day 😉 )… I think this is a trend I can make my own 🙂

Cooking Kindness…

Today I took some cookies to work and saw how happy it made those I served them to. It put a smile on people’s faces even if they didn’t want a cookie they were happy to be included in the offer. When I got home and was making dinner hubby asked for some cupcakes…

So I made some gluten-free chocolate cupcakes for hubby… normal size…Big Cupcakes

 

Then I made some extra mini cupcakes to take to work tomorrow… Small cupcakesThe recipe I used is from one of my Grandmother’s church cookbook that they put together every once in a while with all the ladies recipes. Needless to say the recipe was not originally gluten-free but I made it that way.

Hubby’s Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cups shortening

2 eggs (from your own chickens is best 😉 )

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp xanthum gum (only if you use gluten-free flour that doesn’t have it in it. If you don’t use gluten-free flour you don’t need this.)

1/2 cup coco powder

1 cup white rice flour

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup boiling water

To make:

Combine shortening, eggs, and sugar until well mixed.

Add milk, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, salt,  and xanthum gum. Mix well.

Add coco and flour. Stir until combined.

Add in boiling water slowly combining as you go.

Bake at 350* for 30 minutes for big cupcakes and 20-25 for mini ones until toothpick comes out clean from center of cupcake.

Cool and ice with your favorite icing. gf cooking 001

Other ideas: I thought adding a little cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger would be nice about 1/2 tsp at most. Also insted of the 1 cup boiling water use 1/2 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup hot coffee.

Try and enjoy 🙂

Some of my favorite things (from the past few weeks)…

I was looking over my photos I got downloaded and saw a few that made me happy so I thought I would share. So if you don’t know my birthday was a few weeks back and hubby took me to see War Horse at the Kennedy Center. I loved the ceilings of our theater…

I thought they look like the palace of a king and made me feel special on my birthday.

This past week was the American holiday Thanksgiving and I made a feast for my hubby, Dad, Mother/father in-law.

I know the turkey is missing but hubby was carving it while I took this photo. This year we carved it off the table and served it on a platter to reduce mess and make it easier for hubby. The meal was delicious according to the family and included many American traditional holiday things… green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing (made my own with veggies and sausage)… and some of my creations garlic cheddar mashed potatoes and onion cheddar popovers 🙂  All gluten-free except the stuffing (but I know how to make gluten-free kind 😉 ).

Then for dessert gluten-free pumpkin pie and gluten-free chocolate peanut butter pie 🙂

Nothing fancy… just delicious and traditional 🙂

Finally we were out working in the yard and Chase was playing hide and seek with us… can you see him?

Easter Preperation… including chickens, eggs, therapy dog work, and at the center Jesus

The day before Easter… over 2,000 years ago a dark day, Jesus was thought to be dead, today most people go on as usual. Today Baxter and I will be doing some more therapy dog work. Yesterday we went to a nursing home to visit people for the holiday and today is his therapy dog day at the library.

This week we started getting our first speckled eggs from the chickens. All the new girls are laying now so we are getting lots of eggs 🙂 Due to this, the request from the family for Easter is lots of deviled eggs (my family loves them).

This week I also tried a new Easter treat to share with the people I work with (my husband and Dad got one too)… edible Birds Nests 🙂

I was told they are yummy and delicious as I gave them all away and forgot to try one myself.

Recipe:

They are easy to make just melt one bag of peanut butter chips (or white chocolate, or whatever you like, or want the nests the color of). I used peanut butter as I wanted that color and taste.

Melt them in a pan, over medium/low heat, stir it the whole time as it will melt quickly. When it is melted stir gently in one can or 1/2 a bag of chinese noodles till coated.

Then I took a muffin tin, sprayed it generously with cooking spray (spray it a lot as these will stick) and then used it to form the baskets to set up. It takes about 15-20 minute to set (if you want to set them faster put it in the fridge for 10 minutes).

Then use a butter knife to pop each nest out of the tin (be careful to pop each side first before popping the whole nest out).

Then I let them set for a minute and then added in malt ball eggs I found at the local store (you could also use jelly beans or other types of candy that would represent the eggs). I liked the malt balls (especially the blue ones) as they look just like little eggs. Then you can keep them at room temperature in an air tight container or I think they would freeze well.

This whole process took me under 30 minutes and my coworkers LOVED them. I also think you could use them as place setting just add a little slip of paper with the person’s name behind the eggs.

I also already started the Easter Baskets for fun. The dog’s is done…

Yes, they are spoiled...

 

When Baxter and I get home I hope to work in the garden and get started on supper for tomorrow and begin my Easter sugar cookies (more on these later). I hope you have a beautiful and blessed Saturday.