Baking Brownies

Hey Everyone!

I have wanted brownies for the past couple of days, so I finally made some today. I had today off so it was a perfect time to bake brownies.

While I love baking all year round, I love it even more when the weather is cooler, and now that Autumn is here and today has been in the low 60’s, it was a perfect day to do some baking.

I used a package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie mix and a stick of earth balance vegan butter alternative. I did use eggs this time because I wanted the brownies to turn out right.

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Weekend Homemaking 

Hey Everyone!

After spending time yesterday finishing up a pair of socks before going out with my mom for treats at my favorite bakery here in the city, before running an errand and coming home. 

This morning, I went out and picked raspberries, and got two whole pints since I missed picking yesterday. We have been getting about a pint or so a day. The two pints I got today went in the fridge, in hopes that come Monday or so I will get another couple pints of raspberries from the backyard so I can make jam this week. 

Earlier this afternoon I started a new pair of socks, using KnitPicks Palette Yarn in Victorian and Larch Heather, before going to the grocery store. 

On the news the past few weeks and months the news has been making a bigger deal of the total solar eclipse than has really needed to be made, and has had a lot of people freaking out and at some grocery stores there have been runs on certain items. Today, and last night at our local Fred Meyer and Safeway Stores (in the 99.2% totality range), it has been business as usual. 

This evening, after making dinner is was my job to go through the bag of pickling cucumbers and pull out the moldy ones after having dumped them out on a towel. It was kinda gross. At least the ones that weren’t moldy, will be put in a vinegar brine and heated through tomorrow. 

Tonight I am hoping to get a little more knitting done before I settle in for the night and read for a while. 

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. 

Baking Day

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday, I had decided to do some baking. I was wanting something sweet, but didn’t have chocolate chips, so I mixed up a batch of gluten free & dairy free Oatmeal Raisin cookies. 


I had also mixed up, and baked a loaf of gluten free & dairy free rustic flat bread to go with dinner, beings that we still have split pea soup. 


I know cookies and breads are not the best, when it comes to watching what I eat, but when it still feels like late February outside, and has the rain to go with it, baked goods are comfort foods. 

Both the cookies and the rustic flat bread turned out really well. 

Gluten Free – Dairy Free Balsamic Apple Crisp

Hey Everyone! 

Last week when I had gone grocery shopping I had picked up 4 Organic gala apples, because I wanted to make Balsamic Apple Crisp – which I finally got around to this evening. 

Beings that I am dairy free and gluten free, I made my balsamic apple crisp gluten free & dairy free. 

I cored and sliced up the four apples, layering about half the slices on the bottom of a 9 x 9 square Pyrex then lightly coasted that layer of apples with Balsamic Vinegar . In a separate bowl I mixed up about 2/3 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1 to 1 flour. If you don’t have that you can use a different gluten free flour blend and some xanthan gum, I typically use a brown rice flour blend and xanthan gum. I then sprinkled some of the flour and sugar mix over the first layer of apples, ten layered the rest of the apple slices on top of that, then a little bit more balsamic vinegar and the rest of the flour/sugar mix.

For the topping, in a bowl I mixed up some gluten free old fashioned oats, some GF flour, some brown sugar and some vegan spread until it looked, felt and tasted right. I then evenly distributed the topping mix over the top of the apples. 

I baked the crisp in a preheated oven that I set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for 45 minutes (apples should be soft). 

I like the flavor that the balsamic gives the apples. I would be interested in trying this again with Granny Smith apples. 

I am a huge fan of baking (and cooking). I have always enjoyed working in the kitchen, and working with my hands. 

As a society we have gone more to gender equality in the business world, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with that as a whole. My point is that as a society so many skills that girls once learned because they were girls, like cooking, baking, canning, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and such has been lost for most of my generation. I have no problems with women being in the work force (I currently have a full time job as an engineering assistant). I just want to preserve, share, and teach about the history that is so quickly being forgotten. Seriously, somewhere between 90 and 100 years ago one set of my great-grandparents lived in, and worked a homestead with at least 6 of their 9 children. 

Not only am I a fan of sustainable living and self reliance, but also being a good steward of what I have been given. Part of why I am interested in what a Semi off grid lifestyle is like, where I would still have electricity, but using the grid electricity as more of a back up for when we don’t get enough sunlight for the solar powered, and in the evening/mornings when it is still dark, but I really don’t want to go without running water or internet. Yes I am very much a product of my generation and may seem like a walking contradiction, but it all makes sense in my head.  

Getting Back on Track (WIAW)

Hey Everyone!

*I am late getting this posted, I am sorry*

This past week has been a challenge for eating right. I don’t know what it is, whether it is stress, or my schedule being a little off or both, I was craving sugar and sweets this week. Yesterday I caved and made half a batch of chocolate chip cookies. 

For breakfast I had two eating right for gluten free home style waffles, with some spread. I also had four brown and serve turkey sausages and a plate of fruit. I took my iron supplement, vitamin D, Hair Skin and Nails as well as my allergy meds.

About 8:30 I had my greens which I drank with a bottle of Diet Cranberry Juice, and I also took my Greens Chews. 

I have also been drinking a mug of the republic of tea Blackberry Sage tea and water throughout the morning. 

For lunch I had a ham sandwich on franz gluten free bread. I also had a banana and a couple of the cookies I baked yesterday. 

I drank more water throughout the afternoon. 

For dinner I had had some spaghetti and a salad. 

Grocery Shopping: Portland Style

From reusable fabric grocery bags to paper bags being the only other option in the city, to leaving the county to be asked “paper or plastic”. Having several Trader Joe’s, New Seasons and Whole Foods within a commutable distance, and shopping at two out of the three (in addition to the local normal priced grocery store) on a almost weekly if not weekly basis (because the other two don’t have what said store has, or they have the best price). 

Today, I went to Bob’s Red Mill, which is amazing, not only do they have a good variety of whole wheat and natural stone ground all purpose flours, but they have the best selection of Gluten Free flours, bread mixes, cake mixes, cookie mixes and a lot more. This is where I get all my gluten free flours to make my flour mixes. 

Even though I live in Portland, due to having a full time job and living in a place that is not conducive to having a garden, or raising chickens (for eggs) or doing a lot of canning, I am reliant on grocery stores for 98% of my food. With that being said I spend more on groceries than many people but spend less than others.

I guess you could call me a typical Portlander, because I like to know what is in my food. I do shop at New Seasons, Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I don’t do my entire grocery shopping at these stores. I shop at them because their Gluten Free and Dairy Free selections are way better but I also shop at Safeway for the bulk of my grocery shopping.

  Today I went to Bob’s Red Mill and picked up the five flours I use to make the bread flour I use to make my own bread, as well as a muffin mix. I spent a total of $22.85. I will get 9 loaves of bread out of this batch of flour mix. I make my own bread because $2.89 per loaf is definitely worth taking the time to make it, versus $5.99 a loaf or pre made gluten free bread at the grocery store. 

 I stopped at Trader Joes because they have decent prices and a good selection of dried fruit and nuts. I needed some Slivered Almonds and dried cranberries for the muffins I am going to be making. While I was there I also picked up some cliff bars and organic Bananas and pita pockets. I spent a total of $19.36 there. 

  I stopped at Safeway for the bulk of my grocery shopping. While I won’t use all of this this week, I will use most of it. Some of it is just the kind of stuff you pick it up and keep it on hand so you have it when you want it/need it. At Safeway I spent $64.52.

For being a stock up week spending roughly $110 this week is not bad for me, considering where I live and having food intolerances.