Sunday afternoon I was really wanting some chocolate chip cookies, but didn’t have chocolate chips. I made a run to the grocery store to get chocolate chips so I could bake a batch of cookies.
That is one of the few things I like about living in the city, the fact that the grocery store is still open at 6 pm on a Sunday evening.
When I got back from the grocery store I made a batch of gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookies.
Making a quick trip to the grocery store because I needed one thing, and the fact that the grocery store is just the road, makes life easy. It got me thinking about living in a small town or out in the country, where making a quick trip to the grocery store in the evening isn’t an option, making sure I have Baking basics, including chocolate chips on hand for those times I feel like baking cookies one evening. It’s always nice to have ingredients on hand to make some staples on a whim.
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.
Saturday, I had gone to Bob’s Red Mill and picked up some more flours to make up the brown rice flour mix I use for gluten free baking. I also got a package of the gluten free Shortbread Cookie mix.
Yesterday I had baked my Shortbread cookies, for being gluten free & vegan they turned out amazing. I had used my Scottish Thistle cookie stamp on them prior to baking them.
I had also cooked up some chicken yesterday, but I needed that for dinner. Cooking for dinner isn’t always the most interesting.
This summer, the wildfire smoke has been so bad. It hasn’t been just one wildfire that has been causing our air to be at an unhealthy level quite a bit, and our skies to look like the photo above. It has also been a very hot summer, the hottest since at least 2009.
While I was out and about for my job interviews today, I noticed that quite a few trees were turning already. I have been over this heat all summer, and I am so ready for cooler weather. The stores and nature (despite the heat and wildfire smoke), is leading me to believe that autumn is coming, and soon.
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.
The past couple of days I have had Blackberry Meringue wax warming in my country light Scentsy Warmer. Blackberry Meringue was one of the new scents that was released for the spring/summer 2016 catalog, and was not brought back this year. I had stocked up on some last year, so I still have several bars going into this spring and summer.
This scent was one of the few that I liked from the spring/summer 2016 catalog. It is definitely a light, sweet, fruit tart kind of scent. While it is sweet, it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. To me, it is a perfect scent to be warming this time of year, especially in a kitchen, or living room.
This past winter, and now into spring, has been so wet and grey here in Portland. Yesterday was such a beautiful day, and it got up into the low 60’s, and was partially sunny, which helped me a lot, and made me want to have a spring scent warming, to help be a mood lifter.
What smells I like to have warming, are definitely related to the weather/season. When it is cold and wet outside I would just as soon have something like Pumpkin Roll or Apple S’mores warming, or if it is around Christmas, then I’d have one of the Christmas Scents warming. When it is warm and sunny, I love having the lighter, fresh, clean scents going. I do have to say that Blackberry Meringue is one of my top 3 spring/summer scents when I want something lighter warming in my warmer.
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 and Golden Raspberries
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.