Tried a new Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie recipe

Hey Everyone!

Monday, I really wanted some short bread cookies, but didn’t have any of the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free short bread mix, so I went to my gluten free baking book. I found a recipe for gluten free short bread cookies. 

So I decided to give that recipe a try, and used shortening instead of butter. 

These cookies would have been better if I had added almond flavoring to it. 

All in All I did not like how the recipe turned out, the cookies were falling apart in the process of putting them in the baking tray, and it stuck to my cookie stamp. The cookies just didn’t turn out like the mix from the Bob’s Red Mill does. I am kind of disappointed about that. 

So I am just going to stick with using the Bob’s Red Mill mix, in the future or if I make this recipe again, add some almond flavor, and not try to use my cookie stamp. 

Learning to live a more Frugal lifestyle 

Hey Everyone!

If anything, the past 11 years, has taught me how to live a more frugal lifestyle and how much “fluff” and extras I really don’t need. 

While having to be Dairy Free, generally Gluten Free, and generally Egg Free, that costs more than your normal grocery haul would, unless you shopped solely at new seasons or Whole Foods or some place life that. 

I have been learning how to live with my food intolerances and live a frugal lifestyle. 

That is one of the things I am wanting to do, is live more frugally, and do as much as I can, myself. I definitely prefer doing my own canning. While I would rather spend a bit more on buying local fruit and vegetables and canning my own fruit, pickles and jams as well as doing freezer jam. I have been learning the value of not having cable tv, or even hulu plus or Netflix. While it is nice to have some movies and some series of TV on DVD, I have learned the value of a hard days work. I am tired of being stuck in the city, where it isn’t as easy to get out side and work with my hands and be productive, as gas prices are climbing, and it is so expensive to live in the city. I honestly don’t miss having Netflix and Hulu. 

I am also trying to spend my time more wisely, and not waste my time on computer games when I could be knitting, or reading books. 

While I do have a list of yarn and knitting things I would like to accrue, I am trying to work through the yarn I have. The needles and swift I would like would be useful for more than one occasion. 

I am also trying to reduce my Scentsy budget to something more reasonable, like keeping a few bars of my favorite year round scent, one or two summer scents, a couple fall scents, and one or two winter scents, and not have excessive amounts of any one scent.

Books are one “luxury” and pass time, besides knitting that is worth while that is more of the enjoyment of it. 

Learning how to live a frugal lifestyle is important to me, and while I would live to live in, or near a small town, I really don’t want to more than a couple hours away from Portland. This is on the sole basis that my bakery is here, tea and tea shops are plentiful here, and Bob’s Red Mill is here. Not to mention the Gorge isn’t all that far away, to go get fruit to can, or Sauvie Island, or other farm stores that would carry pickling cucumbers, dill and garlic to can garlic dill pickles. 

I have been realizing that I don’t need as much stuff as I once thought I did. 

You don’t need the fastest internet, or all the cable channels, or a wall full of dvds, or the most expensive car or house, or best vacations to live a fulfilled and happy life. Honestly, I prefer the feeling I have at the end of the day when I have worked hard and am actually tired, or spent the day with those I care about, or played a board game with good friends, or watched the sunset over the ocean, or sat around a campfire at night, away from the city lights and saw all the stars in the sky. There is so much more to life than having to have all the latest and greatest, or the biggest and best. 

Life is so much more than being focused on the material things. Yes, having a comfortable house is nice, but so is making memories with friends and family and taking joy in the simple pleasures. 

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of eating out. I would just as soon grill up some burgers or salmon on a summer evening, and make some side salads, and a homemade dessert, and enjoy dinner on the back patio or in the backyard, and have a fire in the fire pit in the back yard once the sun goes down, over going and sitting a restaurant for however many hours. That is part of my aversion to city life, I always feel like I am having to go somewhere and do something, and spend money left and right to have fun. I am the type who prefers sitting at home reading a book, and some of my best and favorite memories involve sitting around a campfire with friends having a good conversation. 

As I get older, and I learn more about who I am, I definitely feel like I live in the wrong era. I feel like I belong in a by gone era, where women did more Homemaking and living off the land. While I really don’t want to give up indoor plumbing, running water, electricity, modern appliances (and refrigeration), there is something to be said of the country life. You know, having a freezer full of chicken meat that you raised yourself, as well as ham, pork chop, bacon, pork roasts and such that came from pigs you raised, fish that you caught (and some that you also smoked yourself), as well as venison, maybe some moose, and elk. Not to mention some homemade freezer jam, as well as a pantry that is well stocked with home canned fruit and pickles, as well as the gluten free and shelf stable dairy free necessities. 

Looking for a New Home

Hey Everyone!

The time has come for me to really be looking at leaving Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest, in search of a career and home of my own.

Portland has been a good place to learn how to live a dairy free & gluten free life, as well and wanting to live a better life, and adhering to a clean eating lifestyle, that includes a lot more outdoor time.

My passion is for history (especially 1800 – about 1900 in the western US, as well as the 1950’s in American History), literature, homemaking, growing my own food, preserving food, knitting, and living a simpler lifestyle.

Portland can no longer meet my needs, or provide me a job, so it is time to move on, and expand my horizons and learn how other live, in a different part of the country.

Even though this blog won’t always be Simple Homemaking in the PNW, it will always Simple Homemaking, written by me, wherever I am living. I love writing my homemaking blog, and sharing my successes in clean eating, dairy free & gluten free food, gardening, and preserving food for winter. None of what I normally write about here will change, just where I am doing it, and what else I am doing in addition to what I have already been doing. There is so much more I want to do with this blog, and share, such as decorating, how I decorate myself, home organization, having a home library, as well as possibly having a craft room.

Baking Cinnamon Rolls

Hey Everyone! 

Today, I really didn’t do a whole lot. I went for a walk, and got rained on, but it wasn’t bad. 


I also made a batch of cinnamon rolls this afternoon, because I felt like baking. The recipe I use is out of the gluten free baking book I have, I also make everything dairy free as well because I can’t do dairy, period. So I had used almond coconut milk instead of regular milk and earth balance spread instead of butter or other margarines that have dairy in them. 

Urban Homesteading, update. 

Hey Everyone! 

A few posts ago I know I talked a bit about urban homesteading. I still want to do the homesteading part, but not so much the urban part. I am at best a small town kind of a girl. 

Yes, it would be easier to deal with my food intolerances in the city, as the availablity of Gluten Free & Dairy Free food is so much greater, but I am not one for easy. 

While I could do dairy free & gluten free pretty much easier, being out west here, is preferable to me. It would be a shorter distance to get Bob’s Red Mill products shipped, or closer to drive to Portland and stock up. 

As far as the homestead part, that would be easier, garden wise to do in a small town or out in the country. I have wanted to have enough property for a while to have some goats and chickens, in addition to the garden for a while. 

Depending on where I end up, I definitely want a greenhouse, to be able to grow some vegetables in the winter. 

While I do not want to live in the big city forever, as it is to busy, and on the go for me. I definitely prefer a slower pace of daily life, where I can spend more time outside and feel like I have room to move and breathe. I still want to homestead, use more alternate forms of energy, like solar, and live a more self sustainable life. 

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!

Hey Everyone!

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.