It Pays to Check every Label

Hey Everyone!

A friend of mine had brought it to my attention today that Heinz “Apple Cider” Vinegar isn’t actually made from Apple Cider. The only difference between the regular Heinz Distilled Vinegar and the so called “Apple Cider” Vinegar is that the “Apple Cider” Vinegar has flavors and colors added. This is deceitful marketing if I ever did see it. 


There are other brands (including the store brands) that actually make Apple Cider Vinegar. So check the label if you actually want Apple Cider Vinegar.

They say hindsight is 20/20. When I read my friend’s post about the Apple cider vinegar, there was a little voice in the back of my head that was like “you know better than to not read the label, even on something as dumb as Vinegar”. Not because it actually has dairy in in, but to double check to make sure, because nothing is safe until you check, and not everything is what it says it is. 

I learned to read every label, because way to many things that would think don’t have dairy in them actually do, including things that say “non-dairy” yet contain sodium caseinates (the protein in milk). So while the vinegar doesn’t contain dairy, I am still way to trusting of mainstream food from the grocery store. 

If the past 5.5 years haven’t already taught me to question everything and literally read every label, this has definitely taught me that, as well as that you can’t trust name brands to be honest with you. 

I hate to say it, but we live in a day and age when big corporations love to lie to the consumer for the sake of the almighty dollar and their profits. 

Raspberry Gleaning

Hey Everyone!

With my family being gone last week, it was up to me to go out and pick the raspberries in the backyard as well as to water the plants. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed going outside and picking raspberries and watering the plants, seeing as I want a place of my own where I can have a garden and grow my own vegetables and berries. 

Homemaking, urban homesteading, knitting, 

In the modern era, especially in places that are not food deserts, grocery stores are all over the place. Don’t get me wrong, there are somethings that really are more worthwhile / economical to purchase from a grocery store. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but out here, we have Trader Joe’s Stores, and they have a really good selection of dried fruit, nuts, trail mixes and that kind of thing for a really good price. Not to mention the dried foods like flour (and not gluten free flours as well), sugar, coffee, oats and such that people would often purchase at the general store or mercantile in town. So going totally without a grocery store is not something I totally want to do without. With that being said there is definitely more I want to do for myself or buy from farmers markets or fruit / vegetables stands. If I can’t grow it myself or it would not be practical to grow small scale, I would rather buy it from local farmers via a farmers market or farm stands / stores (like what they have out along the fruit loop in the gorge or out on Sauvie Island). 

I have been out picking raspberries pretty much every day for the past week and I love it. Today I got about a pint of berries. 


Having property and a garden takes hard work. I am definitely someone who doesn’t mind working hard and getting my hands dirty or callused.  

I am also a huge fan of cooking from scratch, and simple dinners that fill people up, that are also not step intensive or difficult. Yesterday I had tried a new recipe (for me anyway), that was a little time consuming, but really easy, and only had a few ingredients and a few steps. The most time consuming part was removing the excess fat from the chicken, letting it marinate and then letting it cook. In and of itself the marinade had like 5 ingredients, and you put it all together, and then put the chicken in (I used a couple gallon size bags) and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, then I dumped the contents of the bags into a roasting pan and put in the oven for about an hour. It turned out really good. I had also made baked rice to go with it. 


I feel like I am fairly realistic about how much work it takes to grow A garden, can fruit, freeze fruit and vegetables, and raise some chickens and maybe some pigs for meat. It all takes time and effort, and a willingness to get in there and get hot, sweaty and dirty. 

When Homemaking is a Passion

Hey Everyone! 

As a child, I was my dad’s little buddy when he would be working out in the yard, and I was my mom’s (and grandma’s) little buddy when they were out in the kitchen. As a kid I can remember my dad taking my brother and I fishing, and as I got a little older, I was the only one he took. Seeing a fish be cleaned always fascinated me. 

Growing up, I also enjoyed cooking and baking. Once I had to go Dairy Free and Gluten Free (and now egg free as well), cooking and baking have taken on new meanings. 

From the time I was young I would help my mom make Sunday dinners when she would make them, as well as holiday dinners once my Dad’s mom passed away. I also grew up helping my mom can and make jam in the summers. 

My later high school years were when I really began to enjoy learning about what women’s roles were during the 1800’s, especially those who lived on the frontier, as well as between the 1920’s – early 1960’s. More specifically what life was life for women who didn’t come from money or marry into money – women like my grandmothers and great grandmothers. Women who cooked, baked, gardened, kept a house and even went to work if they needed to. 

Now that I am older, I have heard stories that my grandmother had told my mom of her youth and young adult life, as well as stories that my mom has told from when she was around. 

Part of my love of Homemaking and the history of it, is that at one time many women gardened, or if not, the food they had available was all local and ethnically raised. Knowing where my food comes and how it’s raised / grown is important to me. Just from my own experience, with the young women I have known here where I live, I am one of the few (like that I can count on one hand) who know how to can food, as well and knowing how to make a meal from scratch. 

This past week I have been home on my own, which means that checking the raspberries and other plants in the backyard as well as watering everything. I have also been doing my fair share of cooking, baking and cleaning, so those I live with could come home to a clean house. 

In college, when I had my own apartment, I found a love / tolerate relationship with cleaning. While I could find things I would rather do than clean, I don’t hate it either. I also found that cleaning is a good stress reliever. If I just needed a break from studying/ homework and needed to clear my head and destress (and it was too late to go far a walk), I would clean my apartment. I came to kind of enjoy cleaning, and I always enjoyed having a clean apartment. 

While in college I also found a love for decorating the space I live in, and make it smell good. Over the years I have been working in building up my fall decorations and winter decorations stashes. 

I am all for women being able to do what they want with their lives, and follow their dreams and pursue their career goals. I am by no means advocating doing away with the all the work that women (and men) before me and have done to give me the opportunity to pursue my own dreams and find out what I am passionate about. There are so many things I love doing that 2 or 3 generations ago, I would not have been able to do. 

I definitely want to help preserve and share the history of my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s generations as well as the history of their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. 

The Day isn’t over yet…

Hey Everyone!

Today has been one of those days where I feel like I have been on the go all day while running on empty the whole day. 

I didn’t go to bed until about 2 this morning, and woke up about 7:20 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and got my day going. I was out of the house by about a quarter to 10. 

I ran several errands, including to Fred Meyer, Starbucks (today was one of the rare days where I needed coffee rather than tea), then on to Cost Plus World Market, before going to Joann’s and Safeway before coming home. I got home about 12:30 (I was gone all of not quite 3 hours). 

School supplies have been out for like a month, and now all the fall decorations are out as well. While I couldn’t care much less than I do about the school supplies, I was stocked to see all the fall decorations out beings that Fall is my favorite season. 


All I picked up at Joann’s was a new set of size 1 – 2.25mm dpn needles for socks, since a couple of the once of the set I have, have broken. 


Once I got home and put stuff away I knit for a little bit before starting on dinner, at about 2:45. I made a batch of lentils, which takes some time to cook. 


The lentils were ready to eat about 5:30, which was great timing. While the lentils were cooking, I mixed up some gluten free, vegan chocolate chip cookies. After I had dinner I baked them up.

It’s days like today that insanely busy with everyday life, and I am on my own, doing what I love, including cooking, baking, errands, even cleaning, makes me happy. It also makes me miss the days when I was in college and had my own place to take care of and keep up. It was all my own space, and it was all my responsibility to clean it, cook, bake, do all the grocery shopping, and it was all my own space and I didn’t feel like an intruder o someone else’s space or be restricted on what I could or couldn’t do, or do them when those I live with aren’t around. It’s hard when you have to live with others because you don’t have the means to be on your own, at least for me it is. That is kind of why I got excited to have a week to myself, and being able to do my own thing, and have a bit of that freedom that I did back in college. 

This is why I have been looking for jobs in other parts in the country, preferably where the cost of living is lower. It seems like there are not a whole lot of jobs for someone with my educational and work experience background in this part of the country.  I would love to stay in the Pacific Northwest if at all possible since I know the culture and I know what grows in this part of the country. Yeah I feel torn on this issue, a part of me wants to stay (by stay I mean small town within about 2ish hours driving from my parents house) but the other (larger part) is like “hey, there is more of the world to go see, go see it and experience some place else and learn about their history through immersion” as well as “SE Alaska would be awesome, and perfect. What I can’t get at the store (GF from Bob’s Red Mill and possibly Mrs Meyers cleans day), I can order and have shipped, as it would totally be worth shipping a few things to have the outdoors stuff, fishing, hunting and everything else that is me”. 

It is my desire to be able to create more quality content for all my blogs. So here is hoping in the near enough future I will find a new job, and a place of my own again, and share how I decorate, what I cook and bake as well at pretty much everything I can Homemaking related.

Speaking of decorating, I know I already mentioned that Fred Meyer and Joann’s have fall decorations for sale already, and that got me all excited, beings that I am totally a fall person and love everything about it. I am also so over this heat and no rain for days on end. I am so ready for cooler days, grey overcast skies, pumpkin and pumpkin spice everything, the changing leaves, needing a jacket when I leave the house and being able to wear jeans without being too hot. 

While I have been home I have been warming Apple S’mores scentsy cubes. That is how ready for Fall I am. To me the Apple S’mores is totally an autumn scent.

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). 

Baking up a Storm

Hey Everyone!

The past few days I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking. 

Over the weekend I made homemade pineapple curry 🍛 which turned out delicious. I also helped my mom make Father’s Day dinner, as well as having helped make gingerbread.

Monday, I baked up some gluten free popovers for myself as well as more gingerbread for the parents. Not to mention having mixed up more of the gluten free brown rice flour mix I use for baking. 


Yesterday (Wednesday) I made a batch of gluten free almond tea cookies, I liked them so well I made more today. 


I have also spent a bit of time on Pinterest getting ideas for decorating and other Homemaking ideas. 

I am definitely yearning to have a job and a home of my own, as there is so much I want to do and try when it comes to Homemaking. I want to try different kinds of cooked jams and jellies as well as candle making. 

This is the time of year when I would love to be living on some acreage, so I could have a nice garden and be raising chickens, a couple goats, maybe some pigs. I definitely want to be able to do more homesteading and Homemaking like what women did in my grandmother’s generation and before. 

It’s great that women have more of a choice of what they do with their lives. At the same time being a homemaker has become stigmatized and taboo. Being a homemaker is a totally valid choice for women, and shouldn’t be stigmatized, when a woman chooses to be a stay at home wife and mother.