Snow Day Baking

Hey Everyone!

It’s been snowing pretty much all day, though it really didn’t stick until after the sun had set.

I have been wanting Cinnamon Rolls for several weeks, as my brother has had regular ones around since he moved back.

Today I finally made Gluten Free and Dairy Free Cinnamon Rolls. The recipe I used didn’t call for pecans, but I like putting pecans in my cinnamon rolls. I also make a double batch to get my cinnamon rolls to be a decent size.

I baked these cinnamon rolls from scratch. I even had mixed up the flour mix myself. I buy the individual flours from Bob’s Red Mill and then mix up the mix myself and then store it in a Rubbermaid container for when I am cooking and baking.

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Baking Cookies + Life Update

Hey Everyone!

Winter is time of year when Cold and Flu season is at it’s peak. Over I started coming down with my first cold of the season on New Years, and it had cleared up in a week, then I had a busy weekend and had caught another cold along the line and have been sick with that for a week and a half now.

Between having been laid off from the seasonal job I had for the holidays, being sick, and getting older it has given me a chance to reevaluate my long term goals for my life.

What I know is that the City life isn’t for me, and I want to continue doing more of the Homemaking and Homesteading / urban Homesteading stuff, I want to be able to spend more time writing posts for this blog and having content to write about.

I would love to settle down, get married, have a home of my own, have a family of my own. I would love to live I some property where I could have a good size garden, raise some chickens (layers and meat chickens), maybe some pigs and goats. I also would love to be able to be canning each summer and put up meat for the winter.

Last night I had decided to mix up a batch of gluten free vegan shortbread cookies. They turned out amazing, and I had used my Scottish Thistle cookie stamp.

I enjoy cooking and baking. I enjoy being out in the kitchen and making things that taste good.

When you want some chocolate chip cookies

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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.

It’s time for Pumpkin

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Yesterday after I got home from work I felt like baking. Beings that I didn’t have to work today, I had the time to bake.

Now that autumn is finally here, as well as the fact that I love pumpkin food, and the weather is cool enough to actually warrant baking, I am back in my element. I love cooking and baking.

A couple weekends ago I made split pea soup, and this past weekend I made Chili.

Fall is definitely my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, pumpkin scents, pumpkin food, hot tea, the changing colors of leaves, I love the fall colors anyway.

I am actually excited that summer is over, and on to cooler weather.

Shortbread Cookies and Daylight Lightbulbs

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Yesterday I had gotten some new lightbulbs for my bedroom, I had picked up some IMG_1453daylight lightbulbs. In this part of the country, we are used to grey, wet winters and we don’t get enough sunlight. While I don’t have S.A.D, well at least not from the amount of grey and wet we have, this winter and spring has been particularly hard for some reason, as it has been more grey and wet than normal. I am trying to see if the daylight bulbs help out with that. I am aware that the ones I got are not the same as full spectrum light bulbs, which are for those who do have S.A.D. I also wanted to try these bulbs to see if I liked the lighting, and if it was any good for Vlogging, as I want to do more of that, once I get my own place again. So far I am liking how much brighter they are than the soft white lightbulbs. They will definitely make it easier to see to knit and read in the evenings.

IMG_1446Yesterday I also baked up a batch of Gluten Free (and Dairy Free) Shortbread Cookies, using the Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix from Bob’s Red Mill. This is the third or fourth time I have made these cookies, the first time using my new round cookie cutters with the rippled edges. I love how these cookies turned out. I had also used my Scottish Thistle Cookie Stamp. Each time I have made these cookies, the better they have turned out. The first time I made them, was kind of a disaster. Practice makes perfect, and the more times you do something the better you will get at doing whatever it is you are doing.

Today was one of those days where the idea of home has been on my mind a lot. Beings as the city has really never been home to me, I have though a lot about how I would love to move back to the one place I do consider home, if I had the opportunity. I had to move back to the city after college because of the lack of employment in the area. Being someone who prefers the outdoors and homemaking, and would love to live on some acreage with a garden, some chickens, and a few goats, the city life grows old real quickly.

I have been interested in and intrigued by homemaking of generations past, especially during the 1950’s as well as the 19th century in the American West (life on the frontier & homesteading). Back then the food was real, without all the added hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals. The meat was grass fed, and quite often free range (especially the bison, venison, elk, fish, cows, etc). Women worked hard. Back in the days before electricity and running water they had to haul water, cook over an open fire or on a wood stove. They did laundry by hand, cooking took a lot more time, they also had to can and preserve a lot more food in the summer to sustain their family during the winter. They also made clothes for their families, and had many children, all without epidurals, and many at home, with a midwife.

While I really don’t want to live completely off grid, there are things to be learned from the lives women led throughout history, and be able to take what we have learned from that to live the best life possible. I consider what I would like to do, to be able to live semi off grid. I still want running water, toilets that flush, a hot shower daily, electricity and internet. At the same time I would love to be a part of building my own house, on some land, having solar panels, and getting as much electricity as possible from those, and using the main grid electricity more as a back up (especially in winter, when there is not as much daylight), canning, preserving food, and growing as much of my own produce as possible in the summer.

 

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

Hey Everyone!

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.