Delicious Gluten-Free Blondies

Last night I got invited to go play Bunko and was asked to bring a dessert. I had a Namaste Blondie Mix and decided to give that a try. I added a 9oz. bag of Sunspire Semi-Sweet Organic Chocolate Chips. They were so great. The bunko girls ate them all up. I will definitely make them again. In fact, I may figure out how to make it from scratch. The mix had all sweet rice flour and I have some of that. In the long run I think it's cheaper to make from scratch, but for a great treat in a hurry the mix is a must have!!!


Steps to Going Green

I've been thinking a lot lately about steps we can take @ our house to go green. Today I went to the grocery store, I needed to buy the kids some more peanut butter. I decided not to buy a product in a plastic jar, but a glass one. I figured that glass is much more likely to be a recyclable item than plastic, at least overall.

We've talked about recycling glass, plastic and aluminum @ home for years. Where we live, we don't have curbside recycling. So today I got on my city's Freecycle page and but in a wanted add for 3 garbage cans that I can put on my back porch. Fortunately, the back porch is right off of my kitchen. Can't get any easier than that!!! I also e-mailed my out-of-town friend in hopes that she would put an ad in for me in her city's freecycling website. I really hope that in about a week or so something will turn up for me!!!

My "stay-at-home-job" is selling things on e-bay. I think that being a successful seller has inspired recycling in me. I love that things I don't want or use are usable to others. Things that I am not able to sell I either give away or take to the local Goodwill. I try not to treat anything like "garbage" but ask myself: can i sell this? could someone i know use this? is this goodwill worthy? or is it just plain garbage?

Today I thought about calling a friend and asking her what the title of the going green book she recently bought. Then I thought, why waste paper? The internet has tons of information and saves a tree.

Another step I've recently taken is to use one-sided paper I would have thrown away as printer paper. When I ship e-bay items it prints on a whole sheet of paper but you only use half to tape on their package. When I was going through files to sell on e-bay I found I had a huge mound of paper that needed to be thrown away. Thinking that it would be a pretty wasteful thing to do I started a big stack, at least to use for notepaper. Then I got the idea of putting the printed side up in my printer and using it for e-bay mailing labels. Haha, I think that's a genius idea!

Recently I ran out of bubble wrap to use in packaging breakable items. I go through the self-check out @ my grocery store regularly and all they offer is plastic bags. I always save the bags, but for what? It has turned out to be much cheaper using discarded plastic bags instead of bubble wrap in shipping my items.

If you stumble across this post please let me know some things you do to create less waste.


Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix - Wheat Free Gluten Free

My oldest son (9 years old) started a dairy free diet about a week ago. He has been having a lot of stomache aches for about two months. I thought about taking him to the doctor but the pain comes and goes. Also, dairy intolerance runs in my family and there are some serious allergies on my husband's side. Taking him off dairy for a period of time as an experiment seems more realistic than wasting a $10 co-pay and have the doctor say "I don't see anything wrong....."

He's had a pretty great attitude about it. He likes taking responsibility for himself, in fact, he thrives on it. Also, he doesn't like his stomache hurting. He's remembered to tell people that he's with to check and see if there's dairy in it.

This morning was his first day back to school after Spring Break. He looked @ the lunch menu as usual and really wanted to buy. Today was cheese sticks. He was pretty bummed. We comprimised and I told him that if he does a good job staying off milk for about a month, then maybe next month when they serve cheese sticks again he could try it.

While we were making his lunch this morning, he was looking for some cookies or cake that were o.k. for him to have. So I made sure today that I would bake something special for him.

I am on a MSG/Wheat/Gluten/Dairy free diet myself. I bought some All Natural Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix. They are baking right now. The package doesn't say dairy free because they are made on the same machinery that products w/ milk are made, but there is no actual milk in the ingredients. Even the dough tasted great! I'll get the final thumbs up/thumbs down as soon as they cool down enough for the troups to eat.


Round Robin Photo Challenge

I was checking out my friend's Suzanne's blog and saw that she entered a round robin photo challenge. I thought that might be fun so I had to enter!!

The topic is "your perfect scene captured."

I went on a trip to Rialto Beach State Park on the coast in Northern Washington State.

It is an amazing place. When we got there it was cold, damp and dark. Everything was black and white and you couldn't see farther than a few feet in front of you. Super heavy sea fog.

Then right before dusk the sea fog started burning off. I remember looking out at the ocean as a beautiful sunset started taking place. Whammo! Out popped this beautiful island, reminiscent of any fantabulous fairy tale. The only thing missing on this tiny island was a beautiful castle atop it.

Seeing this tiny island pop out was like a surprise birthday party. The kids and our friends, as well as myself....we were jumping up and down. "Hey look!" All day long we had no idea that such a beautiful lanscape existed right in our midst. Hopefully we will get to go back this summer.....

Super Gross gluten-free Chebe Cinnamon Rolls

I bought a package of Chebe Naturally cinnamon roll mix in a bag from Whole Foods (Wild Oats). My daughter loves to bake so she mixed them up. They are gluten-free; yeast-free; dairy-free and allergen-free (don't know how you can say a mix is allergen free when people can be allergic to most anything..........)

Anyway, even though she is 12 she is quite the little baker. You can make them more light an airy by adding a tsp. of gluten-free baking powder.

Let me tell you, she should have done that.

They turned out looking like terds.

Seriously, they were gross and ugly. I took one very small bite. Horrible texture. Tasted a bit like cinnamon.

Trust me, I won't be buying them again. The piture on the packet looked great but nothing like ours turned out.

Just thought I'd save someone the trouble of buying them. I'm sure they're not cheap, I don't remember how much they cost.

Happy gluten-free baking!!!


Gluten-Free Apricot Bread

Decided to whip up some Apricot Bread. I got the recipe from "The gluten-free gourmet" cookbook but have tweaked it as follows:


2 tablespoons non-dairy shortening

2 eggs

1/2 c. soy flour

1 Tbsp. fresh grated orange rind

1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice

optional: 1 c. chopped nuts (i did not add nuts)

Directions: Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and babyfood. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Bake in stoneware loaf pan 8" x 5". Bake @ 350 for approx. 45 min. The bread is best ripened overnight.

Just took it out of the oven and didn't wait long enough to cool. Inside and top separated from the bottom leaving the bottom inside the pan. I didn't grease/flour or spray the pan but its stoneware and my food usually doesn't stick to stoneware. It could be my flour combination i used (was supposed to be soy flour and all white rice flour).....

However, very very tastey and flavorful. Has a spongey texture and the sides and bottom were slightly crispy. Excellent texture and taste! Very yellow, probably due to the soy flour.

I will definitely make this again!!


Gluten & Dairy Free Rice Bran Muffins

I ordered a new book called "The Gluten-Free Gourmet." by Bette Hagman. I haven't done very much baking in a year or so but now that I have eliminated wheat, msg and dairy I have seen an improvement in my mood and energy. So trying new gluten-free recipes is coming very easily.

This morning I made Rice Bran Muffins on page 40. My 12 year-old daughter said they tasted like fish. The 9 year-old boy liked them better w/ non-hydrogenated non-dairy margarine w/ honey. However, scarf-jaws, the 7 year-old boy w/ missing two front teeth scarfed them down in two seconds flat!

I preferred mine w/ the non-dairy margarine and honey. They were actually quite tastey if you put enough honey on them. I think next time I might try some finely chopped apple. The recipe said you could put raisins. But, considering that MSG is a naturally occuring process w/ anything aged/fermented/etc., I have not been eating things like raisins, prunes, etc. So no raisins for me!!!!!!!

This is the recipe I will try next time:

1/4 c. brown organic sugar
2 TBsp. organic non-dairy shortening
1/3 c. sweet white rice flour
1/3 c. brown rice flour
1 TBsp. tapioca flour
2 TBsp. potato starch flour
2 tsp. gluten free baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. rice milk
1/2 c. rice bran
optional: 1/4 c. diced/shreded apple

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, beating after each one. Sift the flours together with the baking powder and salt. add to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in rice bran last, then apples. Bake in greased muffin tins in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 min. Makes 8 small muffins.


Gluten-Free Yellow Cake

Long time no blog....
Long story short, the neurologist has had me go on an elimination diet again.
I've been experimenting w/ wheat & dairy free recipes.

Here's one for yellow cake:

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups organic sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
1 cup rice milk
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and rice flour 1 9x13" pan.

2. Mix the white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.

3. Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, milk and vanilla and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pans.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely then frost, if desired.

I purchased some chocolate frosting in a mix. So to try the chocolate frosting I had to make chocolate cake! I found this recipe on the web but I have tweaked it.

Since I have also eliminated MSG, I don't eat anything w/ vinegar. That means mayonnaise. A quick tour of gluten-free recipes and I realized that they all call for mayonnaise. I have substituted with applesauce.

I haven't bought any gluten-free vanilla extract yet or baking powder. So I guess technically I haven't actually made a gluten-free cake. At least I will get a good idea if this is worth making again or not!!

Oh, my 9 year-old just started a dairy free diet, so my kids will be the final judge to see if I should use this recipe again!

Also, the original recipe called for 1 1/2 c. rice flour. I purchased some sweet rice flour so decided to divide it up between brown rice flour (healthy) and sweet rice flour!!!

well, the cake was a hit! put on the frosting a little too soon before the cake was completely cooled. It was hard to spread and was melting


the frosting was still awesome and it turned all soft and creamy.

You would NEVER know that the cake was gluten/wheat free.

This was definitely a hit!!!!!!!!!!!!