Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gluten And Dairy Free Frosty Strawberry Squares

I'm poking my head in to say "Hi!" and "I miss you!" and "Here's a recipe I modified and am now obsessed with!".

I've blogged about Frosty Strawberry Squares before.  They are a family tradition.  A delicious family tradition.  Have I mentioned before that we also have a family tradition of struggling with our weight?  Yes, well...

I'm still on the gf, df train, though Luke has allowed me to add potatoes back into my diet (yay! I had french fries for the first time since my pregnancy a couple nights ago!).  I couldn't imagine a summer with out Frosty Strawberry Squares, Oh My! (meant to be said like "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!").  And I will share with you the recipe that has replaced all my meals with smooth, berrylicious goodness.  Ok, not all my meals.  Just breakfast...

Gluten and Dairy Free Frosty Strawberry Squares


1 cup Jule's gluten free flour (or almond, rice, whatever you prefer)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts or granola (we have to modify our recipe to granola due to a nut allergy)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup white sugar

2 cups pureed strawberries

2 cans coconut milk

1/2 cup powdered sugar


Place cans of coconut milk in fridge overnight. (or on ice in freezer for half hour if in a hurry!) Place mixing bowl and whisk attachment in freezer for a couple hours before beating coconut milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

someday I'll paint the chalkboard labels I
pinned on Pinterest on these...

Mix flour, brown sugar, nuts or granola and melted coconut oil together in a bowl. Spoon out, evenly, onto tin foil covered cookie sheet. Heat in oven until mixture begins to smell toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

In mixing bowl combine egg whites and lemon juice and whip until soft peaks form. Slowly add in sugar while whipping. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor. Fold in strawberries.

Open the cans at the bottom with a bottle opener to drain off the coconut water.  Open the top of the can all the way and scoop out the thick cream.

Beat coconut milk in chilled bowl. As it starts to whip and increase in volume, gradually add in the powdered sugar.

Fold whipped coconut cream into egg white and strawberry mixture.

Sprinkle 2/3 nut/granola mixture over bottom of greased 9x13 pan. Pour strawberry cream mixture over this and smooth evenly. Sprinkle reserved nut/granola mixture over top.

Cover in saran wrap and freeze for six hours or overnight.  No need to let thaw before slicing, this version is super fluffy and creamy!  None of my family could taste any hint of coconut in these.


And if you are intimidated by all the whipping and frothing business that goes on in this recipe, let me reassure you.  It's not hard.  See, this is how I made this:

One-handed, nursing a baby.  You can do it!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gluten and Dairy Free Cornbread! Yummers!

I'm not eating carbs so much right now due to Operation De-babyfy My Body. (the working title was ODMB, but that sounded too much like a deceased rapper for me) We had guests to dinner last night.  One of them, the annoying one who makes waitresses check the ingredients in everything before she orders (this is why we can go out to eat together with little fear of being a nuisance to each other, well, at least when it comes to food), is gluten and dairy free as well.

She's also attempting, along with me, to be glutton free.  We both complimented each other on our weight loss and then hoed into the gf and df cornbread I'd made specially for the occasion.  And then I tried to foist more of it on her because she'd lost more weight than me.  rude.

Now, I know that our carb starved pallets may be a little easier to please but this was seriously amazing cornbread, even on a gluten eating level.  I took another recipe and tweaked it and played with it until it was not only gfdf but also dericious. I spelled it like that on porpoise (and that too), cuz it's funny that way.

So here it is. Enjoy:


1 cup almond flour or Jules gf flour

3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal

3 Tablespoons of raw sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten

1/4 c. applesauce

1 cup milk (almond milk, or whatever milk you prefer)

1/4 cup coconut oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt) together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Grease 8" pan or loaf pan with coconut oil.  You can also use a cast iron skillet if you are awesome like that.  For cast iron, melt 1 T. coconut oil in skillet on stove top.  Swirl oil around to coat all inside surfaces.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and 1/4 cup coconut oil.  Add this mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened.  Do not over mix!  Pour batter into the baking pan or hot skillet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, 15-20 for cast iron skillet, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm.

this is not butter, sorry. it's earth balance.

You're welcome.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recipes! Recipes! Oo La La! (chunky monkey cookies and gluten, dairy and sugar free cookie dough dip)

Well, hello there all you smiling, happy people holding hands!  Please excuse any typographical errors herein, I am typing with one hand and feeding a baby with the other!  Huzzah!

But that is not the end of the many wonders I have turned my hand to today. 

First I made the highest sacrifice a mother can make for her children: I baked our favorite cookies.  Cookies I can not eat.  If you are all at sea, go here for the explanations.  That's right, these cookies are chock-a-block gluten and dairy.  And they are soo good.  They are not "foodie" cookies.  There's no cardamom, basil or raw honey in them.  In fact, you make them with a box of (gasp!) instant pudding.  Years ago, long before children, I used a box of banana cream instant pudding and thus Betsi's Chunky Monkey cookies were born.

You can use any flavor pudding you wish!  Vanilla pudding will just produce regular chocolate chip cookies, only better.  The pudding makes these incredibly moist, rich chocolate chip cookies.

photo taken one-handed with baby on my hip.  Sorry there's no pretty frou-frou display.

So here's the recipe:

2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3.9 oz (small) instant pudding mix (dry)
2 large eggs
12 oz. chocolate chips (go for the Ghiradelli, baby)

Stir together flour and baking soda with whisk.
Beat butter and sugars with mixer. Beat in vanilla and pudding until smooth.
Mix in eggs, one at a time.
Slowly beat in dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350*
Drop dough in teaspoon size balls on greased cookie sheets, one inch apart.
Bake for 10 minutes or until beginning to firm on edges.
Remove from cookie sheets three minutes out of the oven.

So, there I was, lumping out delicious cookie dough and not even able to make myself g&d free cookies because I'm off sweets right now in an attempt to shed the baby weight; when I remember the recipe I pinned recently on Pinterest (you can check out my boards by clicking on the Pinterest button up on the right).  It looked potentially good.  So I thought I'd give it a go.

I made Cookie Dough Dip.  Gluten, dairy and sugar free cookie dough dip.  It's pretty darn good!

I found the original recipe here.

I modified it a bit.  The original recipe calls for soaking dates overnight in water.  I didn't have dates.  Or patience.  Definitely not the patience.   So I used raw stevia.  I think it turned out pretty good.  You have to be ok with the taste of stevia though.

Cookie Dough Dip

1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can drained and rinsed)
heaping 1/8 tsp salt
a little bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 T plus 1 tsp. nut butter (this makes it taste like peanut butter cookie dough.  I was all for it but the writer of the original recipe suggests using only 3 T to avoid this.  I used sun nut butter.)
1 1/4 cups raw stevia
2 T nondairy milk.  I used coconut milk.  I used closer to 3 T but felt this made the dip too thin.
1 cup sugar free chocolate chips or chunks. Recipe for these below. (I don't recommend most sugar free chocolates on the market.  They are generally not dairy free and tend to use unhealthy and diarrhea inducing fake sugars) This site is a good source for all natural dairy, gluten and sugar free chocolates.

Put all ingredients but chocolate chips in food processor and blend till very smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Voila!  Eat with a spoon or dip gluten free pretzels, apples, whatever in!  Well not "whatever".  I mean, don't try to dip little sausages on sticks or anything like that.

Sugar Free chocolate bars

1/2 cup plus 1 T cocoa powder (I prefer Ghiradelli)
4 T unrefined coconut oil (melted)
40 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia drops (or 1/4 cup agave)

Combine coconut oil and stevia drops.  Stir in cocoa powder and 3 T nondairy milk.  Then stir like a maniac.  Stir like it's your job.  Stir like a boss.  Stir until it gets thick. Smoosh between waxed paper in Ziploc bags and refrigerate or freeze until hard.  Once hard, chop them up for sugar free chocolate chips!

Ok, I've got to go now, the baby is going all Hannibal Lecter on my face.  Seriously, kid's going right for the eyes lately, with those scritchy-scratchy fingernails and a gleeful smile.

Monday, February 27, 2012

a table worth writing about...or on

Happy Monday, Internets!

What did you do this weekend? 

My husband and I spent a lot of ours cursing and covered in Still Tidewater.  We painted the heck out of our kitchen table and chairs.

A little back story on our meal partaking furniture:

We had a kitchen table and chairs that I bought at a yard sale for 20 bucks many moons ago.  It's just a simple affair, with one leaf and four matching chairs.  We sanded it and painted it and then beat the crap out of it over the years with our growing brood.  Over the years I collected four more chairs and painted them to match.

My friend, Renee, also had a black table that she had painted.  She also had baby twins at the time and so the original finish didn't get sanded or stripped before it was painted.  Consequently, the paint was a bit chipped and peeling.  When they moved to Texas last spring (SNIFF), she sweetly gifted me with this big, sturdy table and chairs.  And an elliptical machine, which I totally use all the time....honest...sorta.

Like the only photo I could find of this table and chairs..also featured: Renee's kiddos, Ben, Neill and some burritos.

So, the big table with, like a million leaves, moved into our kitchen and the older table moved into the disused dining room to be covered with a vintage table cloth and piled with brik-a-brak and be...disused.

I've been wanting to refinish the table since May but other things, cute things mainly, kept getting in the way.  Well, I finally did it!  Or, WE finally did it.  My husband can't stand the sight of his wife sitting in a puddle of turquoise paint, holding an electric paint sprayer and crying, apparently.

It turned out AWESOME.

Look how the pretty details on the base show up now!

And here's the best part:

Yep, that's a chalkboard painted tabletop, baby!  My mind swims with all the uses this has.  And the fun!  And it's totally washable.

This morning, the husband looked at the table and said, "You know, I think we need to distress the chairs and the base.  It would be much more cohesive with the black showing through."

I'm surprised he didn't start that sentence with "Hey, girl..".

Yes, I'm blessed, ladies.  My man knows what "distressed" means and not only that, he's totally right.  As soon as I get the chance I'm taking some fine grain sandpaper to this bad boy.

Neill copied a place setting for the other side. So cute.

I'm loving my bright and breezy new table.  Thanks, love!  And thanks, Renee!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I have always loved Christmas, a LOT.

Growing up, Christmas was truly magical. There were traditions; going to the Christmas tree farm, with saw in hand and cutting down our tree, decorating said tree while we all felt habitually sicker and sicker (years later we would discover we are all allergic to pine trees and half of us are allergic to the gluten and sulphites in the cookies we were scarfing down), baking a kajillion cookies (extra sulphites added), playing the Nutcracker Suite and Holiday Classics records (I'm old, get over it.) and the Midnight Mass cassette tapes (see, not that old).  I clearly remember the excitement we felt on Christmas Eve, tucked in our beds, when no one was stirring, not even a...oh, wait, no.  My mom was definitely up.  Filling stockings, finishing icing the Christmas Stollen bread and making sure there were tater tots for the eggy casserole goodness that passed as our only non-sugar food source until the turkey dinner.

why, yes, the 154 million feet of lighted garland is a pain to fluff and wrap around the banisters. but totally worth it.

We didn't "do" Santa.  My dad had the traumatic experience, as a lad of five, of hiding behind the wing back chair in the living room, to catch Santa and discovering it was his mother putting the presents under the tree.  It was 1950 and Christmas was a sham and his mother a liar.  He started drinking heavily and doubting the existence of God or something along those lines.  So, yeah, we never "did" Santa in our house.

our school does a Kindergarten Polar Express parade every year.  the parents have to make a train car out of a box for their youngling.  this was one of the dodgiest, most slap dash cars there.  people in this town need to get a life.
My family now-a-days don't "do" Santa either.  For many and various reasons that I'm not really interested in debating.  Seriously, immediately following religion and politics, nothing gets people more het up than voicing your views on the jolly old elf.  I think it's really what started WW2.  Poland was all "Santa's the real deal.  You're all killing the magic of Christmas." and Hitler was all "Oh yeah?  Well, the Easter Bunny's a sham too!" and then there was much bloodshed.

Four Little Birds.  Making light of history's darkest hours since 2010.

he was known for his excellent finger strength due to strenuous daily digit exercises.

Anywho, we have shared the real story of Saint Nicholas with our kiddos.  So they know who he is.  And they have been threatened with all kinds of wrath should they utter the truth to any other children.  We have explained that some parents like to "play" Santa with their kids and it's not up to us to interfere.

Last Christmas an older gentleman, standing in line with us at the grocery store checkout, asked Neill (then four) if Santa was coming to his house.  Neill gave him an impatient look and said "Of course not!  Santa's DEAD."

Needless to say, the elderly gentleman looked at me like I had just clubbed a sack of baby seals to death.

My parents didn't need Santa to make Christmas magical.  You know, it really is true that you don't understand how much your parents did for you growing up until you are a parent.  Christmas wasn't magical all on it's own.  My parents made it magical.  They instilled the traditions.  They spent time with us and allowed us to be involved in all the excitement and celebration of our Savior's birth.  They climbed step ladders in the cold to hang big, colored lights on the house (which I still think are pure, unspeakable delight), they spent weeks staying up well past midnight to sew little dresses for our dolls and fairy ballet costumes for us.  And it was all wrapped up and surrounded by what Sufjan Stevens calls "that creepy Christmas feeling".  That other-worldly, Word-become-flesh, God incarnate thing that transports us all from our comfortable suburban reality into a stable where an inexperienced teen girl and a nervous carpenter somehow delivered God himself safely into the world, screaming and covered in amniotic fluid.

"my mother leaves me on the floor under the tree. but aren't I adorable?"

The story of Jesus' birth is very intentional in our celebration of Christmas.  We enjoy our advent calender.  Each day yields a chocolate treat and a couple verses from the first two chapters of the book of Luke.  Candy and scripture is often paired together in my house.  After all, in Biblical times they would give children pieces of honeycomb for memorizes parts of the Torah.  It's ok to teach your children that the Word of God yields good things in our lives.

Every year my kids "help" decorate the tree (admittedly fake. allergies, you know).  They usually hang a couple ornaments and then wander off to play a computer game or spill something sticky.  This year though, they hung every ornament.  Every. German. Hand. Blown. Glass. Ornament.  It was terrifying.  There was such speed and excitement and loudness.  And yet, not a single ornament was broken.  See?  Existence of God proven.

And I am proud of myself.  Because I let them do it and I decided that even if one broke, it wouldn't be the end of the world.  Or even that important.  unless it was the cuckoo clock or the giant mushroom or the bluebird or the weird toadstool gnome guy.

And after they went to bed, I moved half the ornaments up north.  And hid the pickle deep in the branches at the back of the tree.  On Christmas Eve, they go searching for it and whoever finds it gets a little prize.  Usually a forgotten chocolate from a missed day in the advent calender or something equally lame.  I'm only one woman here, people.

every year we have a little snowflake cutting party on the first cold night of winter.

We also make a lot of cookies.  This year I've made one batch regular and a half a batch gluten and dairy free of my favorite recipes.  And so, as a little week before Christmas gift, I will leave you with my recipe for Chocolate Candy Cane Crackles, gluten and dairy free!

yeah, they kinda look like poo, but trust me, they are SOOO delicious.

Chocolate Candy Cane Crackles

1 1/4 c. rice flour (or preferred gluten free flour, fine flour works best)
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. Earth Balance vegan margarine
1/3 c. l. brown sugar, packed
1/3 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. candy canes, finely crushed

1. Preheat oven 350*.  Grease cookie sheet
2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine until thoroughly mixed.
3. Combine butter and sugars. Cream. Add egg and vanilla, beat to combine.
4. With mixer on low, spoon in dry ingredients; mix to combine. Add crushed candy, mix until evenly combined.
5. Spoon dough into 1" scoops. Place 3" apart and flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 min.
6. Remove sheet from oven and immediately use a metal spatula to neaten any edges where any candy may have melted out. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on sheet.  Transfer to waxed paper or wire cooling rack.  Makes 4 dozen.

Thanks for the early Christmas present, husband!  I love being able to listen to Pandora through real! speakers while I bake.

Merry Soon-To-Be Christmas!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Talkin' Turkey

Our Thankful Tree for this year:

My favorite leaf?  My niece, Alli, is thankful for mice.  I think because she wanted to draw them.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Or Thursday for non-American readers?

We had a chill dinner at my parent's house.

We normally go up to Justin's relatives in northern California but this year we skipped the long drive because we have a newborn and we are not insane. 

I also normally eat mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie but this year with the new diet I was afraid these were lofty and unreachable dreams. 

The potatoes, maybe.  But I had my pie and I ate it too.  And it was gooood.

Forgive my iPhone picture.  I forgot to bring my camera to dinner.   But we remembered all the kids, so there's that.

So I decided to share the recipe I used to make not only gluten and dairy free pumpkin pie, but also g and d free whipped cream!  Yay!  Enjoy my fellow wheat and dairy challenged friends.

Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

For the crust I used a pie crust mix by The Gluten-Free Pantry.  Order a box here.
I lined my crust with parchment paper and filled it with dry pinto beans at weight and prebaked it 15 minutes at 400*.  Remove and let cool before adding filling.

found here


  • 15 ounces Canned Pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon all-spice

  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup organic coconut milk

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.Combine pumpkin, sugar, freshly grated ginger, cinnamon, all-spice and cloves in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add coconut milk. Stir ingredients until creamy and smooth.

3.Pour pumpkin mixture into the pie crust. Bake in the middle rack in the center of the oven for about 1 hour (or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.) Set pumpkin on wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

It looked and tasted just like everybody else's pie...maybe better. (sorry, Mom)

Gluten and Dairy Free Whipped Cream
found here

  • 2 cans of coconut milk full fat

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Place your cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours. The longer the better.

Also, place your bowl and whip into the freezer for at least 3 hours to chill.  I used my Kitchen Aid mixer's balloon whisk.
Once you take your bowl and whip out of the freezer and set up the mixer do not waste time. You need to keep the equipment cold. Open the cans at the bottom with a bottle opener to drain off the coconut water. Save this it is great for smoothies. Now open the top of the can all the way and scoop out the thick cream.

Start your mixer on low and move up 1 or 2 notches for speed until you get to moderate. As it starts to whip and increase in volume, gradually add in the powdered sugar. Once it’s mixed and looks fluffy like whipped cream, well you now have whipped cream.

It did taste of coconut for the first couple bites but after that it just tasted whipped creamy.

I'll leave you with two of my reasons for being thankful this year:

Now to decorate for Christmas...

(have I mentioned the sleep deprivation?)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Little More "Me"

(Pardon the mess.  Redecorating in process..)

I've mentioned before how much I detest the faux finish in our living/dining room.  It has been a thorn in my side for two and a half years.  That's way too long.  Don't mock my pain.  It's very real.

I mean, check this out:

What color is that?  I named it Effervescent Poopstain. 

Well, we finally got permission from the landlord to paint.   My mom was there in about five seconds with her painting clothes on and yards of plastic drop cloths.

And thanks to her and my sister, Jenny, this is now the beauty I get to daily behold:


These bookcases are totally on their way out.  They were like 20 bucks at Target ten years ago.  On the lookout for super cool/vintage bookcases to paint!

I adore it.  Before the walls were painted I had begun to question my decorating style.  I was all maybe I don't know what I'm doing with my decor.  But now, I'm like THIS is what I was doing!  It makes sense!

The next project to be conquered was the nursery.  First we kicked the 33-year-old out.  Seriously, we love you, Megan. We also got permission to paint these walls!  Wahoo!  Once again, Mom came with her plastic drop cloths and paint rollers and painted the heck out of that nursery. 

Yep, cat's outta the bag!  This is bubba's name.

I also finally finished the bedding.  I am soo pleased with the outcome!

We got the stroller and car seat and the baby shower is next weekend!  I am almost 37 weeks so this is all a bit by the skin of our teeth!  But as of next Sunday, baby can come!