Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Baking Fun

Or it was supposed to be..... no just kidding, it was fun, but you thought you would read some thing dramatic didn't cha? Nothing out of the ordnary but I do have some beautiful pictures to share.

I like to get my cookie baking done by Thanksgiving so I can put some out here and there during the holidays. Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease I would make a ton of cookies every year, pack them in Christmas tins and give them to friends and family. Now the flour is too expensive to do it for anybody except my household. I also did not make the variety I used to make, I made sugar cookies, pumpkin cookies which is a new recipe for me, and I still need to make my peanut butter balls.

I made the pumpkin cookies first. It was a recipe given to me off the Silly Yaks web site. These cookies are delicious and we thought it did not even need the frosting but then with the frosting on it, YUM, YUM. I thought it was very close to what my favorite gluten filled pumpkin donut was so I am very happy to have this recipe and I will try frying it some time for donuts.

Here they are on a plate set that belonged to my grandmother. Beautiful plate isn't it?

I also made some sugar cookies. This recipe came from the latest Living Without recipe. I followed it exactly using my beloeved Better Batter Flour and placed the dough in the fridge and left it until the next day until I could get to it. When I tried to roll it out the whole thing just crumbled apart. I know what you are thinking, you're thinking "how did she fix it?" Good question. I crumbled all the dough back into my stand mixer and added a few table spoons of water to the dough, mixed it up and bam, beautiful sugar cookie dough! I was so excited that I fixed it.

During that baking day I also decided to try out a pie crust recipe and a bread recipe. For the pie crust I also used the Better Batter Flour and a recipe that was from the Silly Yaks site. It used eggs and cream cheese which was new ingrediants to me for a pie crust. I made a cherry pie and since the crust was pressed into the pan I had the delima of how to do the top crust. I tried to roll it out in one piece but it kept breaking and I knew I would never be able to to a full top crust. What was the solution you ask, good question! I rolled out small sections and cut with a christmas tree cookie cutter and placed them around the top in a nice looking arrangement. Are you wondering if I will share pictures? Of course!!

This is the cherry pie before the top crust.

And here I am cutting the crust out and placing it on top.

Here it is all arranged on top and ready to go into the oven.

Here is the finished pie!

It looked good and tasted great. I do prefer a pie made with instant tapioca rather than flour though. With the instant tapioca you don't get a lot of runny juices like you do with it just tossed in flour.

The bread recipe I decided to try first came from one of Bette Hagmans books More From the Gluten Free Gourmet. It is her french bread recipe and it came out so beautifully and tasted so good that I decided I did not need to try any other recipes. It was a winner. It tasted and had the texture of how I remember french bread being and had a beautiful crunchy crust. In fact the next day I made chili and turned the rest of the bread into a delicious garlic bread. No pictures of the garlic bread but I do have picture of the french bread when it came out of the oven.

I think covered every thing with the baking. I'll leave you with a picture of what one of our cats did all day while I was busy in the kitchen.

Helpful right. And here is a picture of our fun in the snow that evening.

What can I say, Harry likes to be buried in the snow.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Finished projects, can you believe it!

Yes it is true, I have finished projects to report in on and pictures to share. Unbelieveable I know but very true.

First I finally finished the Halloween quilt. I started it some thing like 7 years ago or so. It's been so long no one in the house remembers and Susan quit asking about it every Halloween. Now, some how she decided that I told her the quilt was for her. I do not remember that but she insisted so I gave it to her. I personally think it was a scam and she was taking advantage of my recent extreamly poor memory LOL. The quilting is very poor and I was reminded why I quit doing bed sized quilts. The backing got folded over in spots and that was disappointing but Susan is happy about it so it's all good. That was the last bed sized ufo I had left to do so yippee, wall hangings and snuggle quilt only from now on!

Here is a close up of a corner.

Another finish I have is not a ufo but some thing I just decided I need because I was so tired of ruining my t shirts with grease. An apron! Opps, I should have said...TA DA, an apron!!! Can you picture my hands up and me jumping out there??? So here is a picture of the pattern I made before I cut.

There are some changes I am planning on making and I willmake a new pattern with my changes. I'm going to make one for Christmas. Here is a picture of me modeling the apron. Now, before you view this photo I do have to say, keep in mind that I just got up here so the hair and everything looks really bad.........well.......this is actually pretty much how I look every day. LOL I am not a hair doer and I don't wear make up so what you see is what you get.

Dan took this one while I was making breakfast yesterday. I look half asleep.

This one I took this morning.

Today I am wanting to cut out pj pants and shorts for me and Susan.

This morning we woke up to a nice suprise.

Yes, it's snow! About 2 inches of it and they are say a total of 5 inches. It's still snowing out. I took some pictures when I went to feed my girls this morning.

I'm sure they are confused as to what this white stuff is. Above is Miss Priss observing my cat protectors that escort me to feed them every morning. Below is Mimi having some hot water.

This is my pups out for their morning potty. My golden just loves the cold to pieces. He looks forward to the snow every year. I really should ship hm to a family in Alaska or some thing. He was made for the cold.

And here Molly started barking and the boys were all of a sudden on alert but did not know why she was barking LOL. I didn't know either. I couldn't see anything.

Well, I think that is all the sharing I'm going to do right now. With the snow falling and the fire in my wood stove burning and I've been making Christmas cookies I am very happy right now. Extream pain and all. I'm very excited to get our Christmas decorations up and I'm hoping for a fantastic holiday season. Here is a nice picture to leave you with and warm you up.

I'm making Christmas cookies so will post pics when finished. Yesterday I made my sugar cookie dough and baked pumpkin cookies. Today I will bake the sugar cookies and frost the pumpkin cookies and sugar cookies. YUM!!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Catching up on a lot

Okay, so are you wondering where I have been? Well I've been busy so get over it. Just kidding, I've just haven't felt like posting. I actually don't recall right now what my last post was but I'm sure I posted about them diagnosing me with Fibromylagia right? Since I can't remember how far back it's been since I posted I will just pick up from recently. I have been working in my sewing room a lot more lately. Dan moved my furniture around for me (yes..again) and I really like how it is now. I can get through the room with out tripping over anything and can get to my scrapbooking table without moving a ton of stuff. I got my cutting table cleared off and it is ready for cutting out patterns. I quilted a Halloween quilt yesterday that I started like 7 years ago....yep believe it. Next on my list is a wall hanging for my mom that I started 3 years ago. I will share some pictures when they are finished. Speaking of Halloween Susan decided to go as Super Girl this year.

Goof ball right, but darn she's a beauty. Reminds me of myself at her age. don't believe I looked that good once? LOL

My brains have not been with me lately and I sadly forgot to take the traditional picture of her and Dan together.

We also went to Dan's family reunion in October and that was fun. It was his moms sides and his dads and he got to see relatives that he has not seen in years. Unfortunatly some did not come but we were fortunate to have those that did come there. Here's a group picture of every one.

Also in October Susan's band went to a competition and performed their marching routine A Nightmare Before Christmas and got an all A rating! Yay!

This year th band had a game the day after Halloween so they got to dress up while on the field. It was fun to watch.

So fall is here now and it has been very unseasonably warm here. The last three days have been over 70 degrees and today it is 64. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be only in the 40's so Dan is excited about getting the wood stove going and leaving it going. With the thought of cold air coming I am again reminded that I really want to learn to crochet and have never been able to, so I have a goal of learning that this winter. I WILL learn it. I've got to think positive right?

Gluten free cooking....well, I've been working on waffles! We've been having a ton of them with me trying to find a recipe we like the best. I am very close. I successfully made some using Pamela's baking mix and we loved them but Susan is allergic to dairy and there is buttermilk powder in them so I will keep working on it. I made some today using Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour and they were delicious but very bread like (I know, that's probably not a very good description) and they were good as waffles but what has me more excited is I think they will be exellent for sandwiches! While at the grocery store I bought some turkey to test out that theroy. I think they will even make great buns for hamburgers and even hotdogs. I just need to cook them so they are done and not crunchy. I'm going to keep working on the waffles and I'm going to test out using the Bob's recipe for sandwiches with my family. They will probably give me a hard time because it's a waffle but hey...they will get over it right. I'll be sure to post pics!