Monthly Archives: November 2012

pumpkin. sage. {biscuits}

what to do with the inevitable 1/2 cup of leftover canned pumpkin? many times i’ve asked this question, tried recipes, and mostly been slightly disappointed (except in the case of elana’s pantry’s pumpkin chocolate chip muffins..with homemade chocolate chips of course..YUM). but this time i wanted something more savory.

time for an experiment? i think so.

the other day i tried these rosemary drop biscuits, from the dairy-free & gluten-free kitchen cookbook. they were good enough, but the dough was runny, and they turned out super flat (although, that was probably due to my improvisations since i didn’t have 1/2 the ingredients in my pantry that day). the flavor was really good though – a nice, homey biscuit flavor.

so when i decided to try a more savory baked good with my leftover canned pumpkin, i wanted to try and borrow some of the base ingredients from this recipe.

…and wouldn’t ya know it? it worked!

{ingredients}
wet
3/4 cup almond or coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
dry
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt

mix milk with vinegar, stir, and let rest while you mix your other ingredients.

mix all your dry ingredients well. add milk mixture and pumpkin, stir til all ingredients are incorporated together.

using a cookie/portioning scoop, scoop up dough, flatten, and drop onto baking sheet (lining with parchment paper is probably wise, unless you are using an all-clad baking sheet like i am). i got about 13 biscuits from mine, but it depends on the size of your scoop.

bake at 450 for 15-18 minutes, til edges and top start browning.

this is VERY IMPORTANT: be sure to let them rest (don’t even attempt to move them from the pan) for at least 30 minutes.

and now i have the perfect accompaniment for that leftover turkey soup.

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kale. and carrots. {favorite side}

let’s talk about kale.

kale has quickly become one of my favorite greens (next to okra). it’s so versatile and so nutritious. so one day i was browsing the web, looking for a new way to prepare kale, when i stumbled upon this kale and carrots recipe.

let me just say, this recipe requires no tweaking. it is perfection. in fact, any recipe i’ve ever tried from nom nom paleo has been a huge success. so after stuffing our bellies full yesterday, i can think of nothing better than to refuel on some power greens for the next few days. OK, i’m not gonna lie, i’ve been eating this dish almost daily ever since i first tried it a couple of months ago, so it’s not unique to the day after thanksgiving…

the only slight difference between the original recipe and what i do is that i just use a large pot to saut√© the kale rather than using a pressure cooker (since i don’t have one). so if you’re like me and don’t have a pressure cooker, you can follow the directions precisely up until this step, at which point you can just throw in your kale and stir occasionally while you cook on low heat until you achieve desired tenderness.

also, you’ll see that the crushed red pepper flakes are optional. i love ’em in it, but today i’m sharing, and i don’t think my guest likes spicy stuff too much, so i left it out. still delicious (she thought so too):

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pumpkin donuts. cream filled. {with chocolate}

right now i’m thankful for the spunky coconut.

you know how sometimes you just have to try a recipe IMMEDIATELY, even if it means a lot of tweaking and improvising (in other words, gambling)?

yep, that’s what happened when i stumbled upon this recipe last week: the spunky coconut’s mini boulder cream doughnuts, and they were really tasty, but i had a couple of issues (my fault, not hers):
1) i have a personal preference for almond flour. just not a huge fan of the flavor of coconut flour (although i love everything else coconut).
2) the donuts burned slightly on the bottom (this was due to my negligence – i was not watching the oven closely, AND i didn’t calculate the difference in cooking times due to smaller scoop/donut size)
2) no coconut cream concentrate for the filling and chocolate frosting.
3) my blender is out of commission, so i only had a food processor to work with if i wanted to try her friend’s recipe for homemade coconut butter .
4) no psyllium husk powder.

so let’s start with the coconut cream/coconut butter. i decided to attempt the homemade coconut butter with a food processor, regardless of the warnings not to do so. sure enough, the processor just doesn’t smooth it out enough, so i tried adding some canned coconut milk to the mixture, and it worked wonders! i still have tiny chunks of coconut in my coconut butter that i’m sure aren’t supposed to technically be there, but since i love coconut, i almost prefer it that way. BUT, when it came time to make the chocolate frosting, imagining the chunky texture in my frosting was a little bit off-putting, so instead i used chilled canned coconut milk (just the top, really creamy part skimmed off the top), and kept everything else identical to the original recipe, which all resulted in a lovely, light, creamy, chocolate frosting.

so then i found myself with enough leftover cashew milk (also made according to kelly’s instructions), and canned pumpkin that i just had to have a do-over.

take two, with almond flour = perfection.

so here you have it, my rendition of some amazing tiny cream-filled, chocolate covered pumpkin donuts:

{donut ingredients}
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup kelly’s homemade cashew milk
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons melted ghee
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
*1 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch

{coconut butter turned cream filling ingredients}
2-1/2 cups dried shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
canned coconut milk (til desired consistency is achieved)

{chocolate frosting ingredients}
chilled canned coconut milk
1-1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

{directions}
for donuts:
place all ingredients in a food processor (*except flours and starch), and mix well. add your flours and starch. hand mix with a spoon or whisk. you should have a thick batter that holds together easily when you scoop it onto a cookie sheet. if the batter is runny, add more coconut flour. i used kelly’s method of using an ice cream scoop and made 10 small donuts (about 2″ across). by the way, you really should use a scoop so that your donuts provide room for the filling. bake at 375 for approximately 18 minutes. let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan.

while baking and cooling the donuts, you can make your filling:
place everything except coconut milk in a food processor and mix well. you’ll need to scrape the sides down frequently to ensure you’re incorporating all the ingredients. as i stated before, when you use a food processor instead of a blender, you’ll see that you won’t achieve a super-smooth consistency, but add coconut milk gradually (a couple of tablespoons at a time) until it forms a creamier, icing-like, moldable texture. set aside.

chocolate frosting:
after chilling your can of coconut milk for at least 24 hours, carefully skim the top, creamy portion off and into a small mixing bowl. add all other ingredients, and blend with a hand mixer. add more cocoa powder and/or honey to taste. you can also add more coconut milk (the runny part) or water if you want a lighter, or runnier consistency.

{putting it all together}
take a pastry bag with a large round tip and pack with the cream filling. insert tip into side of donut and squeeze filling into donut.
place a spoonful of frosting onto each donut.

if you’re impatient as i am and you assemble your donuts at the 30 minute cooling mark, you may find as i did that your filling and/or frosting melts a bit, and you have in your hand a delectable, fluffy, warm, “finger-lickin'” treat. but you won’t hear me complaining about that.

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Katydid and Kid: Revisited Gratitude Boat Craft for Thanksgiving

Katydid and Kid: Revisited Gratitude Boat Craft for Thanksgiving.

we have a huge stash (er..mountain) of paper grocery bags adorning a shelf or two in our garage. this morning i was so happy to stumble upon this craft idea, so my son and i made this adorable “mayflower” boat. i placed it in a box with blue tissue paper lining the bottom, giving it the appearance {almost} of water.

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cut. sew. repeat. {and done}

i’m not going to lie – i am the world’s worse procrastinator. what complicates matters is the fact that i’m also constantly thinking of all these ideas that i think are amazing, but i can rarely execute them because of my procrastination.

yep, it’s a vicious cycle.

that’s where you (readers, friends, family) come in: knowing that i may have someone (even if it’s literally just some ONE) waiting for me to write a new post, or list a new design at my etsy shop motivates me to do what needs to be done.

so here we are at the middle of november, and i’ve managed to put off designing and making my new christmas tree skirts for my shop, even though my plan was to make 10-20 skirts over the span of the past year (would’ve been smart, huh?). last week i realized how quickly christmas is nearing (the 70-80 degree weather around here is sort of throwing me off guard), so i finally finalized my design and finished my first tree skirt for 2012. i’m pretty excited about it because of the new little added touches such as simple, sweet red tie closures, and repurposed vintage fabric backing. now i have all my pieces cut and ready to go for 3-4 additional tree skirts, so my plan is to turn them out over the next few days. feel free to hold me accountable in whatever way you deem appropriate; i promise, i’ll love you for it.

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my gluten free. sugar free. dairy free. egg free…{basics}

i thought it might be useful for me to share with you a list of my pantry/fridge staples for gluten, sugar, dairy, and egg free baking.

here goes:

{pantry items}
*note: many of these items can be found in the bulk aisle of your friendly neighborhood food store, such as whole foods. if you’re going to buy them packaged, we prefer bob’s red mill products.
other than the obvious, such as baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, etc…
almond flour
brown rice flour
quinoa flour
quinoa flakes
potato flour
tapioca flour
flaxseeds or flaxseed meal
chia seeds or chia seed meal
cornstarch
tapioca starch
ener-g gluten free egg replacer
grapeseed oil
coconut oil (i prefer organic unrefined, expeller pressed)
organic palm oil shortening (such as spectrum)
canned coconut milk (full-fat)
honey (local, clover honey is my favorite, such as, for us, goodflow clover honey)
cocoa powder (i realize cacao powder is probably much more nutritious, but we just don’t have it in our budget most of the time)
justin’s: almond butter and peanut butter, both plain
yellow cornmeal
organic canned pumpkin
apple cider vinegar
puffed rice cereal, unsweetened
dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
pitted medjool dates
raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts)
xanthum gum

{fridge items}
ghee (clarified butter)
almond milk (favorite is WF 365 brand unsweetened)
coconut milk (unsweetened, such as so delicious)
grade B maple syrup
unsweetened applesauce
fresh or frozen organic blueberries

oh, and lots and lots of sweet potatoes and avocados.

now we’re ready for some bakin’!

the basics: chocolate chips. {updated 12/5/12}

these chocolate chips have become a staple around here. i use them in any recipe that calls for….well, chocolate chips, but also find them handy when i have a hankering for something small, sweet, and most importantly, chocolatey.

my sweetener of choice is grade B maple syrup. second choice: clover honey (local preferred, such as our family favorite: goodflow).

so now you have the result of a beautiful domino effect:
a lovely fellow blogger provided these simple instructions for making cute little chocolate chips, while borrowing a recipe from chocolate-covered katie. here i am at the end of the line with my minor revisions, my end product:

{ingredients}
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (melted)
1/4-1/2 cup grade B maple syrup (i found 1/3 cup was the perfect sweetness for my taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

{instructions}
take out a small mixing bowl and throw in all your ingredients. stir until the mixture thickens and you have a rich, warm and creamy chocolatey goo in your bowl. toss it in a sandwich bag, snip a tiny corner (the size of the snip will determine the control and size of your chips), then pipe your chips onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or even cling wrap. stick it in the freezer for a bit, until all of the chips have set, then use as needed. be sure to store your remaining chips in the freezer; they melt fairly quickly once you take them out of the freezer.

i used them to bake my all-time favorite dessert, chocolate chip cookies, and they were so much better than the store-bought chocolate chips! by the way, the best gluten, dairy and sugar free chocolate chip cookies are by far by elana’s pantry. the only chocolate chip cookie recipe i use.

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i see. i say.


hello. welcome to my blog. i am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a teacher, a friend, a crafter, a singer, a baker, a collector…probably some other things too, but those sort of sum up what i enjoy most, and also might shed some light on what you’ll find here. i’ve attempted to capture glimpses of the little things in my life that make me happy. i hope you’ll find some value or small joy in them too.

specifically…

{baking}

it has been nearly a year since i began my very own specialized diet, and i have found it’s a bit difficult to find a centralized source for recipes that i can actually use. i’ve finally been able to compile several recipes that i have tweaked (some more than others) to suit my diet, and i hope that someone, somewhere out there, may find my site helpful. although i’ve titled this section “baking,” some other types of recipes occasionally grace my site. i am ever-grateful to the amazing guys and gals of the world wide web who have given me something to work with, and i, of course, always give credit where credit is due.

{crafting}

a few years ago i spotted the best christmas tree skirt ever. vintage, scandinavian design, in mint condition. sadly, out of my price range. i thought, “why not make my own version?” so i tried, and tried again, and ended up with slightly sloppy, yet endearing soon-to-become-family-treasure. one thing led to another, and now i share my (now much more carefully made) tree skirts with the world. i’d like to share my creative, crafty journeys with friends who are interested. enter: blog.

{reading}

it occurs to me that although i am an english professor, i find my leisurely reading time spent mostly in juvenile fiction; specifically, vintage juvenile fiction. guilty pleasure? maybe. but in an effort to share my pleasure with you, and to ensure that these vintage treasures are not forgotten, i am sharing them here.