Urban Homesteading?

Hey Everyone!

For the past year or so, Urban Homesteading has been something I have definitely been wanting for myself. 

The whole idea of being able to grow most of my own fruits and vegetables, and what is not feasible to grow on the small scale or can’t grow enough of to do all the jam making, canning and preserving, that I would like to do, I would locally source my food by going to the farms themselves, and purchase from farmers at farmers markets. 

In the past couple of years, I don’t know exactly when, some time after developing food intolerances, I have definitely taken a turn somewhere from being very mainstream to being more non traditional. 

In today’s society, we have become all so consumed with having what we want when we want, that for many, the idea of working with our hands outside, growing our own food and self sufficiency are a thing of the past. 

Part of it is the city I live in, the self sufficiency, DIY, Urban Homesteading, shopping local, buying local food, shopping at farmers markets, organic food, is definitely very prevalent here. 

I am very much one who would rather be outside, working in the dirt, growing as much of my own food as possible than sitting in an office. When I was little, I was the one who would be outside playing in the the dirt, digging up worms. I was also the one who loved camping and fishing so go figure. 

The part of the country is a great area for growing food, like Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peaches, pears, cucumbers, corn, pumpkins, squash, cherries, apples, pears, and so much more. 

More Pumpkin Muffins!

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Now that I have a bit more time on my hands, I have definitely been more inclined to bake, and bake more often. 

Yesterday I baked up another batch of pumpkin muffins, because they are so good, and I love pumpkin. This time I made a batch and a half, and used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free egg replacer. 

I have found that I am more sensitive to eggs now that I am an adult than I was when I was younger. Though I can get away with eggs occasionally as long as they are I baked goods. Though I have had a fair amount of products with eggs in them lately, that I chose to use egg replacer this time around. 

I also noticed that the last batch of pumpkin muffins were very moist (a little to moist if you as me), and i have found that the egg replacer makes baked goods a little drier than when eggs are used. So, it was a win win this time around. 

These muffins have definitely hit the spot in the mornings. 


The recipe I used, is the pumpkin muffin/ pumpkin bread recipe out of this baking book: 


I had purchased this book when I began going Gluten Free, and it is by far my old trusty gluten free baking book. While the recipes aren’t always dairy free, it is easy enough to substitute Coconut or Coconut Almond milk for the milk, and earth balance spread for butter or margarine. 

For me, it has totally been easier to have to go Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Egg Free as an adult. I am not solely reliant on someone else to try to learn what kind of food I need when they don’t have to deal with the consequences of it not being done correctly. 

WIAWS: Apple S’mores

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Today I am warming a couple cubes of Apple S’mores. While this one has been available for a while, to me, it is more of an autumn scent. I think of it as more of an autumn scent is because, at least in the part of the country I am from Apples are ripe and ready picking and eating in September and early October. It also has a toasted marshmallow-y warm smell. It reminds me of curling up on the couch, on a blustery, grey, rainy October day, with a good book or knitting while watching a movie. 

I like Apple S’mores because it is definitely not overly sweet while being more of a foodie scent, that fits in with my favorite season. 

The warmer I have out currently, and have been using a lot lately has been my Country Light warmer that came out last autumn, it reminds me of an old window with many different panes of glass. It also uses an Edison Bulb, which Is totally old school and awesome. 

While we have had an extremely wet, chilly (to downright cold) winter, I am so ready for autumn again. 

A day to Bake

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I wanted to bake today, and I was in the mood for something pumpkin, so, this afternoon I did just that. 

This morning I held off doing much, as I knew the electric company was going to be doing some work in my neighborhood and taking the electricity off line for a bit, and I didn’t want to be in the middle of baking something and have the power go off in the middle of it. Fortunately they got that done before lunch time. 

This afternoon I baked pumpkin cinnamon rolls and pumpkin muffins. 


For the last few weeks I have definitely been in baking mode and trying new recipes. I am working on my homemaking skills as well as gluten free & dairy free cooking and baking skills. 

I am really trying to become a better homemaker. 

Weekend Update 

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Sunday afternoon my mom and I had made cookies for my dad and brother. We had made regular chocolate chip cookies as well as chocolate cookies with the white chips. I can’t have any beings that both kinds have milk in them, as do the chips that were put in both. 

I still have plenty of lentil soup to eat this week, so I don’t need to make anymore dinner stuff, though I am debating on whether I want to do more baking, and what I want to bake. More cinnamon rolls are definitely on the agenda this week. Maybe more cookies and some bread, or some rustic flat bread. I am definitely in the mood to be baking and cooking. 

WIAWS: Cherry Almond Pie

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The past few days, I have had Cherry Almond Pie wax in my country light Scentsy Warmer. Cherry Almond Pie was one of the scents from one of the  Bring Back My Bar events in 2016. I had ordered a couple of bars, but had not warmed any of the bars until now.

The scent is definitely very sweet, and really doesn’t smell like cherry pie. It is definitely one of those scents I would have loved while I was in High School. Now, it is just a bit too sweet for me.

I am definitely more of a clean, fresh scent kind of person.

It kind of reminds me of the strawberry swirl scent that is currently out.

Scottish Thistle Cookie Stamp

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The last time I was in Bob’s Red Mill (about a week ago), I was picking up some of their gluten free (and dairy free) baking mixes that I knew I liked, or wanted to try. One of the ones I had been seeing around, that I wanted to try was the gluten free shortbread cookie mix. I had picked that up while I was there, and was like “I really want a Scottish cookie stamp to use with it”, so I began my journey of trying to find a Scottish cookie stamp as well as a round biscuit cutter or large enough single round cookie cutter (those are proving harder than expected to come by). I ended up going online to find a Scottish Thistle cookie stamp, even if I got back to the renaissance faire and if the same vendor was there, who was selling cookie stamps last year, doesn’t mean I would find what I was looking for. I also wanted it sooner than that. As for the round biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter of the right size, I am not in as much of need of one for myself as I was for the cookie stamp, as I am sure there is something in the kitchen where I am living that will work for the time being. I also don’t want to spend more than $5 for a single round cookie or biscuit cutter, let alone I don’t want to pay shipping for something I know I will be able to find in a kitchen store at some point. I just need to keep my eyes open.

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Those who have known me since I was at least in college, know that I am borderline obsessed with all things Scottish, and that Scotland is at the top of my international travel bucket list. Part of that is because I have some Scottish heritage, as well as the fact that I love the cool, wet, climate, and the pictures I have seen are breath taking.

There are a lot of things that if they are made in Scotland, especially items such as high quality yarn, and kitchen utensils, that I know are well made. While this particular cookie stamp was made in the USA, It is a Scottish print, and I wanted a cookie stamp that had a Scottish print, especially when I was going to be using it for something that is distinctly British.

Stay Tuned for my Gluten Free & Dairy Free shortbread cookie baking blog! that will be forthcoming soon, now that I have my cookie stamp.

Dairy Free and Gluten Free from Scratch

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The last few days have been extremely rainy, and wet. I didn’t feel like going anywhere, so I had spent yesterday, at home, in the kitchen.

Yesterday I had whipped up a batch of Gluten Free & Dairy Free cinnamon rolls, which turned out amazingly. They tasted as good as I remember regular cinnamon rolls tasting. I had added pecan pieces in with the cinnamon filling before rolling them up. The recipe I used called for regular milk, but I substituted that with Coconut Milk, and use earth balance olive oil spread instead of butter.

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Beings I was in the cooking & baking mood yesterday, and also needed dinner, I made up a pot of lentil soup. I used a package of Bob’s Red Mill lentils, as well as a couple cans of Heinz organic canned tomatoes, in additions to the spices and chicken broth (most of it was Organic as well) that I used. I also added a couple of sausages, that didn’t have have preservatives, nitrates or nitrites in them. I have been on a lentil kick lately. I had made Mujedra a few weeks ago, then couple weeks ago I made some lentils, and now I made Lentil soup. Lentils are supposed to be good for you, and are something that I have liked, apparently since I was little.

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Making cinnamon rolls and lentil soup tool up most of my day yesterday. Even though what I made yesterday was bit overly complicated or difficult, it was time consuming. Baking cinnamon rolls and lentil soup in the same day, definitely gave me a greater appreciation, for what women had to do even a couple generations ago, let alone back in the day where they didn’t have grocery stores or supermarkets, and had to cook three full meals a day from scratch, yet also look after the kids, tend a garden, do laundry, and all the other house work. No wonder families who lived on farms and homesteads typically had a lot of kids.

I love being able to take a day and cook and bake my own food from scratch. I didn’t grow up having to be dairy free and gluten free, that all happened once I was an adult. I did grow up spending a fair amount of time out in the kitchen with my mom and her mom (my maternal grandmother) watching them cook and bake from scratch, and learning how to do so myself from being in the kitchen with them. After having to go dairy free and gluten free I was thankful I knew how to cook for myself, as it become more of a necessity. I still enjoy it, and i enjoy figuring out how to make some regular recipes dairy free and gluten free. I am still working on the egg free thing. I can handle eating eggs as long as they are in baked goods, which is a good thing, though I will continue to work to do way more egg free.

Over the past few years, doing more cooking and baking from scratch has become a passion of mine, and learning how to do more, then sharing what I have done with you all, is something I love doing.

Preparing for my own Kitchen

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While I was in college, I had my own apartment, which meant I had my own kitchen. During that period, my kitchen was functional, yet very much a college students kitchen. Mismatched and buying what I needed as I went. In the years since I have graduated, I have always lived somewhere where the kitchen was never really “mine”. By that I mean, I could use it, but most everything in the kitchen, including decorations belongs to someone else. So, other than the few things I have in said kitchens that are solely related to my dairy free / gluten free existence and that I have picked up for myself, everything I own for a kitchen is all packed away in boxes. Over the years I have also been working on building up a “hope chest” of sorts, of items I want for when I get my own home as a post college, working, independent adult. 

When I was younger I wanted a black, white and red kitchen with cherries (the fruit), on what ever kitchen items I could find them on. 

Now that I have gotten a little older, I still want all the red and cherry print items, though, I am also liking more color. I also haven’t found the every day dishes I am sold on yet, so I still have some time to decide of that, but I have been picking up items I like, for my future kitchen. The items are definitely more colorful, and have some sort of red in them. 

Part of why I was out on the hunt for kitchen stuff today, is that I am looking for a biscuit cutter, for myself. You would think finding a biscuit cutter in general wouldn’t be too difficult, right? Wrong. The only place I have seen that even carries biscuit cutters, was out at the time. Every place else didn’t have biscuit cutters or even round cookie cutters sold by themselves. The whole reason I am looking for a biscuit cutter / round cookie cutter about the size of a biscuit cutter, is A) so I have one of my own, and B) because I have a gluten free / dairy free shortbread mix from Bob’s Red Mill, that I want to try once my Scottish thistle cookie stamp arrives. I also don’t want to pay $14+ and shipping by ordering one online, when I should be able to find one for under $5. I am just going to have to keep looking. By the time I find what I am looking for, my cookie stamp will have definitely arrived. 

Today I had been at IKEA, but did not find a biscuit cutter or even round cookie cutters. I did find a cute apron, some cute ice cube trays, some silicone muffin things, which I am obsessed with for using for spices when I bake, and some more dish towels. A few days ago, I had also picked up another good pastry blender so I will have a couple when I am able to move. 

WIAWS: Spring is Coming

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I have decided to start a new weekly series on this blog with the acronym “WIAWS” which means “What I Am Warming Saturday”. I want to keep a regular schedule and post a minimum once a week if not more here on this blog. As a huge Scentsy fan, I am almost always warming some wax while I am at home. 

Today I have been warming Blackberry Meringue, which was a new release for Spring / Summer 2016, that was not brought back this year. I liked it so much last year that I had stocked up in it, so I still have plenty. 

This winter has been particularly rough for me, and I have been more than ready for spring for more than a month, I finally started pulling out my spring Scentsy bars about a month ago. 

Blackberry Meringue, is definitely more of a dessert-y type fragrance that is not overly sweet, or overpoweringly floral-y. 

Today I had spent a good part of the day working on a pair of socks that I am knitting. I also made me a batch of dairy free, gluten free muddy buddies in which I used ghiradelli chocolate chips, Trader Joe’s creamy peanut butter, earth balance spread and a box of honey nut Chex. For having no dairy or gluten, they are amazing. 

I also baked a batch of gluten free, vegan cranberry orange macadamia nut muffins using a package of Bob’s red mill gluten free muffin mix. If I don’t want to take the time to make muffins completely from scratch, the bob’s  red mill gluten free muffin mix is an amazing alternative. 

Being dairy free, gluten free and egg free didn’t come easy, it’s been almost 5.5 years in the process, and it hasn’t easy to figure it, but I finally feel like I have a handle on it.