Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pumpkin Bread




 Weird conversation one might have with her husband on a Monday morning.

It's 7:00 a.m. I am standing at the sink washing dishes and getting the kids' breakfasts ready. My husband comes downstairs ready to leave for work.

MIKE: Do you need some money?

ME: What?

MIKE: Do you need some money? (Reaching into his pocket.)

ME: What are you talking about?

MIKE: Do you need money for the week? I can give you some.

ME: (Still confused.) Um, do you think it's 1950 and you're giving me my allowance for the week? Cause that's just weird.

MIKE: If this was 1950 then I would expect my slippers and a cigar waiting for me when I got home from work.  (Note: Mike neither wears slippers or smokes cigars.)

ME: If you are using that as a metaphor, I think it's safe to say that already happens.

Silence.

MIKE: I have no idea what you are talking about, but I can guarantee if this was 1950 you would not be using such big words and and complex concepts.

On to pumpkins.

So I have a garden full of sugar pumpkins out in the backyard so thick with vines, Mike had to stop cutting the grass around it. So it's like a jungle pumpkin patch. I roasted my first pumpkin from it a few weeks ago and decided to try a recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin bread.


I only changed a few ingredients so all credit should really go to this recipe. I thought it would be just for me, but the kids downed half a loaf out of the oven. I forgot how moist pumpkin makes everything.

Make it. It's good.

Gluten-Free, Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread






Makes 2 Mini Loaves

Ingredients:

1 cup Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose baking flour
1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Pinch salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used fresh and I did not bother to run it through the food processor)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease two mini-loaf pans and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the Bob's Red Mill flour through the salt. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs through the pumpkin puree. Add it to the dry mixture and divide evenly among two pans. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.


Allow to cool for ten minutes and then remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Refrigerate!

 
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Grocery Bag Ghosts


Before I begin this post, I would like to head off any unwanted e-mails regarding my carbon footprint, reuasable grocery bags and killing the earth by simply stating: It's all my husband's fault.

My husband Mike refuses to carry his lunch in a reusable lunch tote or brown paper bag. In fact, he insists on using these plastic grocery bags as his lunch vessel. Weird. I know. So I have my fair share of grocery bags balled up in yes, another plastic grocery bag.


I pull two out every morning and pile his daily lunch in. But I still have a ton of bags -- we are definitely in no danger of running low. So when my kids and I went for a walk around the neighborhood last week and I saw some ghost decorations hanging from a tree, I thought, Hey! We can make these with all of those extra plastic bags.

I wasn't sure how kid-friendly this was going to be when we started, but it ended up being the perfect craft for my five- and two-year old!

 
My seven-year old niece was talking excitedly about them too when she saw them, so I'm sure it would be suitable for second graders too. Anyhow, the process is so easy; I actually was hoping it was going to take up a little more time than it did.

Supplies:
  • Black yarn or scrap yarn
  • Scissors
  • Black paper (for the eyes and mouth)
  • Hole punch (optional, for the eyes)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Plastic grocery bags


For the mouth, I used scrap black paper I had used on the scallop bases of the Minnie Mouse banner I made, so it had mouth ridges already built in. Score!

Here's how we did it:
  1. Because the bags had writing on them, we turned them inside out. (Ghosts with Target logos on them seemed too commercial.)
  2. We balled up two more bags and stuffed them to the top of the inside out bag to create the head of the ghost.
  3. We then tied a piece of the yarn beneath the area where the balled up bags were in order to secure the head shape.
  4. Then we popped the eyes out using the circle punch, attached double-sided tape to one side and stuck them on. 
  5. We repeated this process with the mouth, by simply cutting out a mouth shape from black scrap paper and adhering it using the double-sided tape. And that's it!






We had to wait for the rain to stop before we could hang them outside. 


We hung by attaching string to the tops of their heads with masking tape. Then we tied the string around the tree branch.




Wait! That's not a ghost; that's a little girl. 

A few weeks ago, Mike and I, along with my brother and sister-in-law, joined a bowling league.  We don't bowl. But, the league meets once a month and we thought it would be something different to do.

We call ourselves The Lebowski's; I ordered these shirts and then ironed our names on the back. 

Pre-game: 


And then everyone (but me) bowled like the best three game of their lives and at this point think we're taking home the championship in 9 months:


Today we don't have a match (is that even what they call it?), but we're going to practice... 

Afterwards, we're going to check out Ted's Montana Grill; I've always wanted to try bison and they have a gluten-free menu for me, but I haven't eaten meat in about a month (I've been calling myself the vegan who eats eggs), so I'm not sure if I'm up to it. I really hope so!

            Wish me luck!



P.S. This post is linked to Positively Splendid.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Two Months

Well, it's been two months since I've posted anything and some readers may be wondering where I've been. Although, most likely, most readers haven't really noticed that I haven't posted because there are more blogs on the Internet than arsenic in rice. (There's nothing like flipping on the television while eating your 11th bowl of rice in three days and hearing rice is now loaded with arsenic. Damn you brown rice cleanse.)

But in these past two months, I've been really really really busy getting to know Harry Potter. I've read the entire Harry Potter series and watched every movie.

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I even bought this pretty awesome decal for my car from etsy:



I was so sad when Harry Potter ended. It didn't seem possible. I mourned for days. I'm serious; I was bummed it was over. I read thousands of pages about these characters and then POOF! They were gone. 

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Ok, no, I am not in sixth grade. Sniff, sniff.

So in between my clear Harry Potter obsession, my kids and I made these really cute, easy and fast Halloween friendly ghosts and I thought: Let go of Harry Potter. This should go on the blog.


One word: grocery bags.

(I am going to ignore the obvious above-mentioned mistake of "grocery bags" being one word when it's really two words because saying one word sounds so much more impressive for some reason.)

I'll be posting the how-to on the easy friendly ghost craft in a few days. Until then, I leave you with:

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P.S. I swear this blog isn't going to become At Home with Gina C. and Harry Potter. I think I may have gotten it out of my system. For now.
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