I get asked this all the time

Hey Everyone!

I get asked quite often for the recipes I use when I post pictures and such of what I bake. 

Beings that I am dairy free, egg free and generally gluten free, I try to be as careful as possible when cooking and baking. 

I am not vegan, as I still love honey, and I still eat certain meats. Though I am not a fan of the meat that comes from the grocery store. I seriously am the type of person who prefers to catch it myself or have someone close to me catch it / hunt it. 

When it comes to baking, this is the baking book I use. 

It has made gluten free baking so much similar for me. Many of these recipes are not dairy free so I substitute my dairy free alternatives for the dairy products. 

My favorite dairy free alternatives include:

For milk I use:

•Blue Diamond unsweetened unflavored almond coconut milk

•Silk unsweetened unflavored coconut milk 

For a butter alternative I like:

•Earth Balance organic whipped spread 

•Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread

In baking I also use in place of butter:

•Crisco Shortening

•Coconut Oil

In baking instead of eggs I use:

•Bob’s Red Mill gluten free egg replacer

A couple things to note: 

•when baking with shortening (when the recipe calls for butter or margarine) you need to add a table spoon or two of water in addition to what liquids are called for, because shortening is 100% fat based where as butter is about 80% fat and 20% water based. 

•when baking with Egg Replacer I add roughly an extra table spoon of water for the equivalent of 2 eggs replaced (about half a tablespoon per equivalent of one egg of egg replacer) as I noticed that the egg replacer is drier, gloppier and thicker than a beaten egg. 

•I have found that texture/ consistency wise as well as not having an overpowering different flavor, that the almond coconut and regular unsweetened coconut milk are as close as I can get to regular milk for using in recipes. 

Who Wants to be a Homesteader? 

Hey Everyone!

This morning as I was putting the dishes away, I had noticed that there were some ripe raspberries out on the raspberry plants in the backyard. 

So I went outside and picked them. 

And then ate them with the salad I had….


I sure do love Oregon berries and locally grown produce. It’s even better when they come from your own backyard. I am all about modern day homesteading, and growing a lot of your own food. I wouldn’t mind living on a farm or ranch, and raising a lot of my own produce, as well as chickens (layers and meat chickens), pigs (for food), as well as stocking the freezer with fish (salmon, cod, etc), caught here on the west coast, venison, elk, maybe a moose. I also want to have a good supply of freezer jam made from local berries, as well as canned jams and jellies. I definitely want to try at some point in my life, black currant jelly, elderberry jelly and fireweed jelly. 

I know canning, preserving, gardening, and farm life is hard work. I love working with my hands and seeing the product of my efforts, and being in the kitchen as well as outside. I also know that berry bushes scratch up your hands, arms and legs. I know that it takes a while to pit pie cherries before you can them. 

I was raised in the city, and raised eating grocery store food 99% of the time. Now that I am older, I am way more conscious of where my food comes from, how it was raised, what it was fed, what it was given (hormones, antibiotics etc), and honestly all of that grosses me out. I have tasted fresh caught salmon, and locally grown vegetables, and chicken that I saw where & how it was raised and honestly all of that tasted so much better than the grocery store food. 

Since I developed food intolerances and sensitivities, I am all about clean eating, as well as knowing where my food comes from, and how it was raised. 

At the end of the day, I would just as soon spend a day working hard outside or in the kitchen doing something to provide food for myself and my future family, whether it be to eat right away or preserve for eating in the colder months when fresh food is scarce. 

The more I can do for myself (of help my future husband with), and the less I have to rely on the mainstream grocery stores for, the happier I would be. I am also sure the more fresh, local, natural foods (as opposed to processed) I can eat, I know my body would do better with. 

That is my ultimate goal, to raise more of my food myself, live on some acreage, and be more self sufficient (including learning how to sew). 

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.

#Gardengoals

Hey Everyone!

With spring being here, as rainy and chilly as it is, I have gardening on the brain, as well as the desire to have my own place and enough room to have a decent sized fruit and vegetable garden, as well as a rose garden (it doesn’t have to be huge), and a flower garden (again, doesn’t have to be super big). 

I love working outside, and working in the dirt. I definitely want to do a lot of canning and jam making. Homemade and homecanned food, tastes better than store bought. When it comes to things like garlic dill pickles, canned peaches, canned pears, strawberry jam, raspberry jam, etc I can totally taste the difference between homemade and store bought, since I was raised on homemade.

Over the past few years I have been collecting cookbooks, including the ball complete book of home preserving, as well as the illustrated cook’s book of ingredients. They are both really cool, and I want to put them both to really good use. 

Three of the things I love about this part of the country, are how well fruits and vegetables grow here, as well as the availability of nurseries and such to purchase what you want in the way of starts (like rose bushes, lilac bushes, fruit bushes, fruit trees, strawberry plants, etc). We also have places like the Portland Honestead Supply Co, as well as Home improvement stores that have awesome garden centers that have everything you want and more, to be a modern homesteader. 

Black Currants:

Elderberries:

Black and Golden Raspberries 

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. 

Healthy Eating is Taking Shape

Hey Everyone!

Today, being my day off of work, went out and ran errands. My errands included, but were not limited to: Bob’s Red Mill, Fred Meyer, New Seasons and Safeway. 

For breakfasts this next week, I bought what I needed, but didn’t have for DIY home made cranberry almond clif bars, using almond butter instead of honey or peanut butter, and I added some puffed rice cereal to it as well. I was surprised at how easy it was to make, and how good it turned out. 


For dinners this next week, I made spaghetti, using organic tomatoes and tomato sauce as well as a pound and a half of antibiotic free, hormone free, ethically raised, free range, yada yada yada, chicken. Yes it was a dollar more a pound than the stuff at the large chain grocery store, but it is also about as close I can get to doing it all myself – which living in the city doesn’t afford me. I noticed that this chicken that I bought not only tastes better, but is a better texture than the large chain grocery store ground chicken. If I had the means to raise my own chickens and do it all myself, I totally would. 


I also picked up some gluten free & dairy free bread to try, with my lunches. Yes, I had picked up a single orange, I had had plans for it, which I ended up not doing, yet anyway. 

I am really working to get back to being on the gluten free band wagon 95% or more of the time. I always feel better when I am. 

I realize that being as hardcore eating as natural as possible is totally sustainable while I live in the city. I am preparing myself for the eventual fact that if I am able to make it happen where I am able to live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, it is going to be a lot harder to keep it sustainable. I am definitely going to have to find a way to stick to being gluten free and dairy free, that’s not an option. I just realize it is going to be more difficult than living here in Portland, where living the gluten free, dairy free lifestyle is so common. 

Sticking with a 100% dairy free and avoiding gluten as much as possible, isn’t easy. Though anything that is worth doing, is never easy. I can’t imagine my life now if I weren’t dealing with these food intolerances and sensitivities. Yes I am pretty much OCD about kitchen cleanliness and washing my hands pretty much every time I touch something in the kitchen. I am this way, because I know what it is like to have food make me sick, and it taking my body a week or more to get back to normal after each run in. It’s not pleasant. 

I wouldn’t trade having food intolerances for being normal any thing now. Part of my love of homemaking has grown out of having developed food intolerances as an adult and sharing what I have learned with others. 

The Art of Homemaking is being Lost

Hey Everyone! 

Where do I begin on this? I am going to just dive in, and hope it makes sense. 

While we, as a society and culture have come a long way in gender equality, there is still a ways to go in closing the pay gap and all that goes along with equal opportunities for women. I am not against equal opportunities for women where we can hold our own with men. 

That being said, the Art of Homemaking has been lost in the process. Growing up, even on the subconscious level, I was taught I could do anything I wanted to, except be a homemaker, that I needed a career and making something of myself besides ever being a stay at home wife and mother, even if that it what I wanted to do. While I want to be able to have my own source of income, and contribute financially or take care of myself financially. 

I grew up learning how to cook from scratch, doing some canning, and preserving of food, as well as knitting from the time I was 10. As a teen, I found it odd that my friends and cohort were off playing video games or other things when I was learning how to cook, because I wanted to. Not all that long ago (2 or 3 generations before me), grew up learning how to cook, keep house and so much more. 

My main point, that I am trying to make is while not all women are supposed to be stay at home wives, mothers or be able to cook a traditional Sunday meal or holiday dinner from scratch on their own (we all aren’t Donna Reed, Julia Child, or Paula Dean), or be the stay at home types, that’s okay. But don’t demonize it for those women who want that kind of lifestyle, and telling young women and girls that they can do anything they want except being a stay at home wife and mother, or really learning any kind of domestic arts is doing them just as much a disservice as telling them they can’t do anything else they set their mind to. 

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize the disinterest I have in being a part of the rat race that is Corporate America. Yes I currently have a job, and I spend 40 hours a week doing work for a large corporation, because I need an income in order to pay the bills I have. 

What have I learned in the almost 11 years that I have been out of high school? I have learned that I love history, especially women’s history and history of the American West. Put the two of them together (especially they way of life women had on the frontier, and living off the land) back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While I know a lot has changed and improved since then (like having indoor plumbing, electricity, and internet), but some things haven’t, like the need for food, heat, and shelter haven’t. 

I am the kind of girl who prefer making things with my own hands, being outdoors and going on adventures. I also enjoys cooking from scratch and having a home of my own to make homey and welcoming. 

Off Grid living and Homesteading have begun to make a resurgence. While I am not one who wants to go the whole 9 yards, I am one who wants to find a balance between living 100% on grid, buying all my food from the mainstream big box grocery store, and not thinking about where my food comes from and what all the processed food is doing to my body. 

Having spent most of my life living in the Pacific Northwest these issues have been around my whole life. Now that I am an adult and have food intolerances and sensitivities, and really just want to know where my food comes from and how it was raised, as well as wanting to use more renewable resources, living a semi off grid life with enough land to grow a garden. I also want to continue being close enough to be able to purchase locally what I can’t grow or it wouldn’t be feasible or cost effective to grow myself, in order to make jams and can others for later. 

Trying to figure out how to turn my passion for homemaking and living a more natural life, while still earning an income to support myself is what I am still trying to figure out.