Monday, December 1

Hat and Arrows

This is a new adventure in knitting for me, which is super exciting to learn more. This technique is kind of hard with tension and changing between holding each color strand of the yarn. For the knitters out there, it's all about the tension and making sure the yarn isn't pulling while picking up the new color to knit for pattern. I kind of lost my cool the first time I've tried doing something like this. Which of course the best thing to do is just put it down and walk away. Come back to it when you are ready and refreshed...which is what I did. This hat was the first of the projects that I felt like I knew what I was doing. The picture below shows how it's look after finishing the first set of arrows. I don't know about you, but I get really excited when I start seeing a pattern or that point when things are really coming together for a project. Plus that yarn combo!!


I don't normally do this, but I decided to put it on and model it so you can see the slouch and how wide the band came out. I fell in love right away and I hardly ever keep one of my projects, but this baby is staying with me. Also it will be added to my store soon with color choices...gotta have the color choices!



Monday, November 3

To Our Bella Mia

It was three years ago that this sweet little girl came into our lives. Not a human baby, but a sweet furbaby in need of being adopted and loved. Her previous owners were cruel to her and I thought we were going to be on a rocky road at first with her. That wasn't the case at all! She took to both my husband and I right away...seriously it was like she was part of the family right away. My husband has had pets growing up but and in his adult years living in Oregon, he thought of the wildlife as his pets to a degree. Our home is surrounded by woods and lots of wild life. So I know what he meant right away with his logic of them being his pets too. Every year we have the new and last generation of deer, turkeys, etc coming around our property.

Our little one has proven to Ed what it feels like to have dog truly become part of the family. I remember him saying a few months after adopting her..."I can see why people live longer from having pets". The love, playfulness, loyalty and the gift to make you smile at almost anytime is a gift we cherish. Bella is our daughter more than a dog in our life. She goes with us almost everywhere (within reason of course) and loves to travel. I love making stuff for her and she actually likes it too. This picture below was taken seconds after I put her newly knitted sweater on. That tale was going crazy with happiness!


I was tempted to add a picture of my husband playing with Bella, but he frowns on that since he was wearing his Valentine's pj bottoms. That always makes me giggle! I wanted to share this because she is precious and she filled a hole in my heart where I wanted a baby so bad at many points in my adult life. She is perfect in every way and I wouldn't change a thing. Happiness, content, furbaby, love is what I feel everyday spent with her and the moments my husband Ed is goofy and loving to her is the best ever.


Friday, April 11

Balsamic Beef Roast


I love cooking roasts for dinner...whether it's a beef chuck, pork tenderloin or even a whole chicken. For the two of us it can make 2-3 dinners, but for a family it's great to have an easy no fuss dinner. My favorite beef roast is the flat chuck roast, it really ends up falling apart and has always turned out so juicy. With this recipe you can do so many things with it...I've made pulled beef sandwiches (or French dip), tacos or shredded on top of nachos. This has become my go to recipe and sometimes I change it up by adding organic cola to the mix instead of the broth, or adding herbs like thyme and basil. Once you try it you will be inspired to do the same and it's a no fail recipe with so much flavor!


Balsamic Beef Chuck Roast
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • 1 3-4 pound beef roast (I prefer chuck but you can use round)
  • 1 cup water or broth (vegetable or beef)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (make sure it's gluten free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon basil (optional)
Directions:
  1. Place roast beef into the insert of your slow cooker. In a measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low)
  2. Once the beef has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs to a serving dish. You can either let rest and slice or break apart lightly with two forks & then ladle 1/4 of the juice onto the beef. 
  3. The remaining juice can be made into gravy or keep as juice for French dip. 
  4. To make gravy...melt 1 tablespoon butter into sauce pan on medium but only melt the butter, don't allow to get too hot so it bubbles. Add a tablespoon of your favorite gluten free flour and whisk to combine to melted butter. Add juice to the pan while whisking to create the gravy. Also yummy with sauteed mushrooms or sauteed onions. 

Monday, April 7

Gluten Free Pizza Crust


Looking for a great pizza crust? Well I love the French bread recipe so much, that I decided to try it out for a pizza crust. Love it!! You can either make two medium sized pizzas with this recipe or you can make one medium pizza and one loaf of French bread (like I did). I will admit I'm not a chef by any means so I do make mistakes and learn as I go along sometimes. The pizza crust turned out pretty awesome, it was chewy and even had a great crunch to it. I did leave the pizza in a little bit too long towards the end, but my husband loves crunchiness so it was a win win!


Gluten Free French Bread
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • 1 cup sorghum flour (you could substitute for gf oat flour or millet flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I use coconut sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)






  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1½ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup tapioca starch or flour
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum (or xanthan)
  • 1½ Tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees)
  • - See more at: http://glutenfreehomemaker.com/gluten-free-french-bread-recipe/?utm_content=buffer2e01b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.nD01xLK6.dpuf
    Directions:
    1. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the dry ingredients (flour through yeast)
    2. Add olive oil and egg whites, and mix to incorporate
    3. Add the vinegar and most of the water. Beat for 2 minutes, adding the remaining water if needed to make a soft dough.
    4. Spoon the dough onto the pan and carefully shape with a spatula. Because the dough is soft, it will go through the small holes in the pan. Don't press hard when shaping.
    5. Split the dough in half and either use both for two medium pizzas or you can use half the dough for medium pizza & the other half for the french bread loaf.
    6. For pizza, line baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper. Spread out thin with a rubber spatula, dipping the spatula in water to help keep the dough from sticking. Making it thin but make sure there are no holes in the dough. If you are making half the dough into French bread...add half the batter into one side of the French bread pan and with a wet spatula form the dough to be a long skinny log. Use a sharp knife to cut several slits in the top of each loaf.
    7. For French bread place the pan in a cold oven on the middle rack and the pizza dough can go on the bottom or near bottom rack. Or if you are doing just the pizza, bake on the middle rack as well. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees and begin timing for 15 minutes for pizza, until it is firm but not golden brown. For the bread you leave on the middle rack to finish baking for 30 - 35 minutes. 
    8. Take the bread out (if baking bread) and allow to cool on a rack. Put the pizza on the middle rack and bake until the crust is golden brown, for about 10-15 minutes. 
    9. Remove from oven and allow to set for about 5 minutes before cutting. Serve right away and enjoy! 

    Sunday, April 6

    Gluten Free Peanut Butter Granola


    Another yummy granola recipe! Sundays have become a ritual of baking breads and snacks for the week. Granola can be so fun to make and this is a great base recipe, with lots of possibilities! You can change it up by adding some seeds, nuts or skip the peanut butter and go with all honey. 

    Peanut Butter Granola
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 2 cups old fashion oats, gluten free (not quick oats)
    • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
    • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, or another type of nut butter
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter and honey, pop in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds, until they have melted. Stir together and add the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
    3. Add in the oats and stir until all the oats have been coated with the mixture.
    4. Spread mixture in an even layer on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. It may take more or less time for yours to turn golden brown. Ovens vary. It will look soft when you take it out, as it cools the granola will harden up.

    Saturday, April 5

    Gluten Free Alcohol Safe List & Info


    One of the things about going gluten free or dealing with Celiacs, is what you can have. It can get so confusing with so much information online, although there are conflicting information. I created this blog as my personal reference and to share with others what I find. Kind of pulling it all together. When it comes to alcohol...you do have to be careful as well. I've done some research and found an updated list of spirits to put up. Keep in mind it's always in your best interest to be careful, if you don't feel good when drinking or eating anything...then stay away. 

    The European Food Safety Authority considers alcohol "unlikely to cause a severe reaction" in those with grain allergies and the Canadian Celiac Association allows distilled alcoholic beverages for celiacs even if they're made with wheat, rye or barley...since "the distillation process should remove the reaction-causing proteins". However, the Celiac Sprue Foundation recommends no hard liquor from grains containing gluten during the early phases of a gluten free diet. 

    Liquors distilled from Gluten-containing grains include: some Vodkas, Whiskey & Bourbon.

    Here's the list, with a few notes:
    • Absinthe
    • Armagnac
    • Beer - GLUTEN FREE only, check Gluten Free Beer list
    • Bourbon
    • Brandy
    • Calvados
    • Champagne
    • Cognac
    • Frangelico
    • Fruit Brady - that's fruit brandy, NOT flavored brandy
    • Gin
    • Grand Marnier
    • Grappa
    • Jagermeister
    • Kahlua
    • Kirschwasser
    • Mead - honey wine
    • Ouzo
    • Pisco
    • Port Wine
    • Rum
    • Sherry
    • Southern Comfort
    • Tequila
    • Triple Sec
    • Vermouth
    • Vodka (I stick to potato vodkas personally like Belvedere)
    • Whiskey
    • Wine - not wine coolers or wine drinks.
    One thing to keep in mind when if you are dealing with Celiacs...your liver & kidney could be weak. So it's best to be cautious when drinking alcohol. If it doesn't feel right or makes you feel bad, then it's always best to not have it. Also I've been told at the beginning of a strict gluten free diet, you might want to be careful with drinking as well. Let you body start it's healing process before you start adding things that make your organs work harder. When in doubt I call the company or go on their website to find out more information. Sure it takes a bit of time, but when it comes to your health and a happy body it's worth it!

    Sunday, March 30

    Gluten Free French Bread




    So Sunday's are my baking days and I wanted to try something new for bread. I'm so excited about this recipe, it turned out so amazing! This didn't have an off taste or reminded you of eating gluten free. The other great thing about this recipe is, it only takes an hour to make. Yes you heard me right...it's easy, yummy and ready in an hour!! One thing that happened to me the first time I made this recipe, my yeast wasn't as powerful as I thought. So the loaves turned out on the smaller side. It also helps to putting it in a cold oven, while it heats up for the rising of the dough. I do recommend forming the dough into long skinny logs. The second time I baked this recipe... I had new yeast and oh boy did it rise! But I didn't make the longer skinny logs of dough, so it puffed up kind of crazy. I will be adding new pictures soon, to show the follow through process. Still getting used to getting my camera out for my baking and cooking.

    I did have to buy a special pan to bake this recipe, but for was worth the small amount I paid for it. You can buy the pan here at Amazon. Hope you enjoy this amazing bread as much as I did! I would love to hear from any of you trying this out or post some pics in the comments. It's exciting to have such wonderful bread in our gluten free world.



    Gluten Free French Bread
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 1 cup sorghum flour (you could substitute for gf oat flour or millet flour)
    • 1 1/2 cups potato starch
    • 1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar (I use coconut sugar)
    • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3 large egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
    • 1 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)




  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1½ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup tapioca starch or flour
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum (or xanthan)
  • 1½ Tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees)
  • - See more at: http://glutenfreehomemaker.com/gluten-free-french-bread-recipe/?utm_content=buffer2e01b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.nD01xLK6.dpuf
    Directions:

    1. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the dry ingredients (flour through yeast)
    2. Add olive oil and egg whites, and mix to incorporate
    3. Add the vinegar and most of the water. Beat for 2 minutes, adding the remaining water if needed to make a soft dough.
    4. Spoon the dough onto the pan and carefully shape with a spatula. Because the dough is soft, it will go through the small holes in the pan. Don't press hard when shaping.
    5. If you like, you can brush the top with beaten egg white. Or you can wait till the end of baking and brush on melted butter.
    6. Use a sharp knife to cut several slits in the top of each loaf. 
    7. Place the pan in a cold oven on the middle rack. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees and begin timing for 30 - 35 minutes.
    8. Cool the loaves on a wire wrack before slicing.

    Thursday, March 27

    Quinoa Stuffed Peppers


    Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite meals to make. I change it up all the time with quinoa or rice and also many different ingredients. Sometimes an Italian one with sausage, marinara mushrooms, rice & Parmesan cheese. It's a great meal in one or serve it as your side and veggie, next too a grilled steak or chicken. The list can go on for these babies! Enjoy and as I make other recipes with stuffed peppers, I promise to be good about measuring my ingredients and taking a photo to share.

    Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions (I usually use a stock or bone broth in mine)
    • 1/2 onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (More if you are crazy for garlic.)
    • Olive oil
    • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
    • 1/2 cup celery, diced
    • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 6 bell peppers (red, green, or yellow) tops removed, cored and seeded
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoons basil 
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan, saute diced onions and chopped
    3. When onions become translucent, add diced celery and mushrooms
    4. Stir in cooked quinoa, diced tomatoes and spices
    5. Divide mixture into bell peppers
    6. Place in greased 9x14 inch baking pan and cover with foil.
    7. Bake until is hot throughout and peppers are softened, about 1 hour.

    Wednesday, March 26

    Eggplant Parmesan


    Let me start by saying...I never ever thought I would like this weird looking fruit. I thought it was a vegetable, but after doing the smart thing and looking it up first before posting...it is in fact a fruit. My brother in-law made eggplant parm for an event and I fell completely in love with it! Since then I've made it a few times as a lasagna style meal or as beautiful rounds of layered cheesy yumminess. 

    Eggplant Parmesan

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 2 eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick rounds (I don't always peel them)
    • 2 bottles of your favorite sauce, or fresh sauce
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 3 - 4 cups mozzarella (or more, because you can never have too much mozzy!) You can also blend some cheeses.
    • Oil for frying (Olive oil, coconut oil or your favorite vegetable oil)
    • 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour
    • 1 cup Parmesan cheese + 2-3 tablespoons for topping
    • basil
    • oregano
    • thyme
    • Olive oil for frying
    • Salt and Pepper 
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. When you are prepping the eggplant rounds, run some water over them, and salt both sides, then leave for 15 minutes in a colander. Rinse thoroughly after this. It's a bit of a pain but it leeches out the bitterness from the eggplants and will make the end result taste better. 
    3. Add enough oil to a frying pan that comes up the sides slightly, heat up for frying.
    4. Whisk together eggs and water set aside.
    5. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, flour and 1 cup Parmesan and 1 tablespoon of your dried spices of choice. 
    6. Dip eggplant rounds in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb/flour mixture, coating well. Add to hot oil in frying pan, being careful not to splash yourself (good reminder to myself as well, I'm a kitchen klutz at times). Keep an eye on them, it only takes a couple of minutes for each side. Turn as they turn golden brown.
    7. Grab some paper towels to place fried rounds on. Let the cooked eggplant rest on paper towels to soak up extra oil. Keep this production going until all pieces are cooked.
    8. Now grab a large casserole dish...add a thin layer of sauce, layer eggplant, cheese, veggies if wanting to add (sometimes I roast veggies to add). Keep the laying going with sauce, eggplant, cheese, veggies or meat optional, then repeat until done with eggplant. Top with remaining cheese and Parmesan cheese. 
    9. Bake uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting & serving.

    Sunday, March 23

    Coconut Vanilla Granola w/Dried Cranberries


    All I can say is I'm hooked on this granola, literally can't stop snacking on it!! Super yummy, crunchy and just enough sweet. This can be made gluten free (like I did) or you can buy regular oats and ingredients. Granola is something I really love to make, since it's my go to snack and you can add so many nutritional ingredients.

    Coconut Vanilla Granola w/Dried Cranberries
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 2 cups old fashion oats, gluten free if needed (not quick oats)
    • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
    • 3/4 shredded sweetened coconut
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/3 sliced almonds
    • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt or sea salt
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, toss together oats, walnuts, coconut, almonds, dried cranberries, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. 
    4. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until all the dry ingredients are well coated.
    5. Spread mixture in an even layer on the lined baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until mixture turns a light golden brown. You'll want to check on it every 10 minutes and stir around to make sure it doesn't burn.

    Tuesday, March 11

    Gluten Free Dutch Babies



    This is happiness on a plate! It's my first time making Dutch babies and it was a great experience for gluten free. I found the recipe over at Simply Gourmet and it was wonderful. There is a regular version she lists first, with a gluten free recipe towards the bottom. I did one in a cast iron pan and one in a pie pan (pictured above), with both turning out lovely. This batter makes 2 - 3 good size ones.

    It's just the two of us, so it left an extra one for me to play with. As it was getting closer to dinner time, I started thinking it reminded me of a quiche almost...but pizza like. So I added some cooked gf sausage, sliced tomatoes, olives, orange bell peppers sliced and some cheese. Baked it in the oven at 350 degrees and turned it into a quiche pizza, which I served with a salad. It was a great dinner or would be a wonderful brunch!

    Gluten Free Dutch Baby
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 5 eggs, at room temperature. It's REALLY important that you do this!
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
    • 1/2 cup white rice flour
    • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
    • 1/4 almond meal
    • 4 tablespoons butter (2 for the skillet and 2 for mixture)
    Directions:
    1. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet (or glass pie plate) inside the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    2. In your blender add eggs, milk, flour and 2 tablespoons of butter. Blend on high until light and fluffy. You will want the air in the mixture to make it light. You can use a mixer too, blender just makes it easier to pour the batter into the pans.
    3. Remove skillet from oven. Melt 2 tablespoons in hot skillet so that inside of the skillet is completely coated with butter. Pour the batter equally between your pans (either 2 or 3 pie plates or cast iron skillets). It's okay if the butter browns a little bit.
    4. Bake until puffed and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove promptly to serve. Some like to sprinkle with powder sugar and serve with lemon. Or you can treat it like a pancake and drizzle maple syrup on them.

    Wednesday, March 5

    Gluten Free Raviolis!!



    I was super excited about this recipe...it turned out wonderful! I love pasta a lot...however it's been a bit of a change getting used to gluten free pastas. I've found some dried pastas I like, but miss the nice chewiness of fresh pasta. I haven't played more with it in awhile, I would love to make pasta and maybe try to dry it for later use or freeze it. 

    This is a recipe for the dough only and walking through how to make raviolis, not the filling or sauces. Above I did a sausage and cheese filling with a brown butter sauce, tossed with fresh herbs I had on hand. It's a little time consuming, but so worth it! I've made meat fillings, cheese fillings and a cheese butternut filling. Same with the sauces...it varies from brown butter & sage, marinara or cream sauces. Anyways...here we go!

    Gluten Free Ravioli Dough
    Yield: 50 - 60 Raviolis
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour/starch
    • 1/2 cup corn starch (Bob's Red Mill has a GMO free one)
    • 1 cup white rice flour
    • 1/2 cup potato starch
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
    • pinch of salt
    • 3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon water
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 large eggs, beaten
    • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
    Directions:
    1. Whisk all dry dough ingredients thoroughly. 
    2. Add oil, water and beaten eggs; mix thoroughly to form a stretchy type dough, the consistency of soft play dough.
    3. If the dough is too dry you can always add a little water; or if it's too wet you can add a little corn starch or tapioca flour/starch.
    4. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and refrigerate 3, wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in a ziplock bag.
    5. With a rolling pin, roll out 1/16", as thin as possible without being sheer. 
    6. Cut out 2" circles or squares (I used a small tupper wear container for my squares). Remove outer edges and set aside in ziplock or plastic wrap. Continue to do this until all the dough is used. 
    7. Baste all edges of squares/circles with egg wash.
    8. To each square/circle add a slightly heaping 1/2 teaspoon of your filling.
    9. To another square/circle, flatten it with your palm of your hand to make it slightly larger.
    10. Add the larger one to the filled piece and meet all sides evenly: press together and pinch edges to seal.
    11. Refrigerate each batch of raviolis as you make them, covered with plastic wrap until you have all 4 pieces of dough done.
    12. Boil water in a large pot. Add raviolis. Cook for 6 minutes. They float to the top right away, therefore, this is not the indication of when they are done.
    13. Serve with your favorite sauce.
    14. Layer unused portions between sheets of parchment paper. Either refrigerate for 1-2 days or freeze.



    Monday, March 3

    Cabled Honeycomb Purse...LOVE!

    I loved this purse so much when I saw the pattern! It turned into one of those challenges to learn a new stitch each week. Love the style and size of this bag...and it's a great pattern to learn out to knit a great bag. The pattern can be found here at The Bees Knees blog... Purse Pattern.




    I actually hand stitched the lining in the bag, it was a bit of a challenge, but worked good for me. She has details on how she put her lining together. I added lace trim to add a cute little detail in the purse...plus I have an embarrassing stock pile of new and vintage laces. Figured it's time to start using them! 


    This pattern I think is advanced beginner and is very rewarding. I did use a bulky weight yarn called LOVE from Red Heart. It's soft, bulky and a great buy for this type of project. Hope you enjoy it! 

    Sunday, March 2

    Spring Knitting Project

    I knit and crochet a lot for my little business...whether it's making up something new, stocking up local retail or orders. The one thing I'm really bad at is making stuff for myself in this process! So this year I started to keep a list of things I've been dying to make. One is this super cute Springtime sweater! Here's the link to this really fun sweater Springfield Sweater.

    These are the pictures of the what my sweater will look like...



    The yarn I've chosen for this project is... Bamboo Pop, it's 50% cotton and 50% bamboo. By far my favorite yarn to use for clothing, great weight and a dream to knit (or crochet). I can get some locally at a yarn shop, but when they are out of colors I do a search online... fantastic buy for the yardage too! The color I used is called rose and it's the perfect rich looking coral color.


    So far this is what I have done, still have to do the bottom cabled band and the arms. So excited to have it done! It's taken me on and off about a 1 1/2 weeks...although it would be much less if I worked on it solid. It's a great project and not too difficult. I would say an Advanced Beginner could do this without a problem. I will post an update of what it looks like when it's all done!!



    Wednesday, February 26

    Gluten Free Bread




    One of the hardest things for most people going gluten free can be giving up bread. When you go to the store and touch the package of most gluten free bread...feels like they can make a good weapon rather than for eating. Most of them are hard as a rock with cardboard taste. I love baking bread, but very new to gluten free world of baking. So I've tried a couple of recipes...which didn't turn out as well as I hoped. While baking this bread I chose to use coconut sugar in substitute of regular sugar. It adds a deepness, almost molasses type taste. Plus diabetes runs in my family, so I'm careful of sugars at times when I can.

    If you are new to gluten free baking, you will find this a new experience in baking bread. I love kneading dough for breads a lot, but with most of the recipes I've found with gf you don't. It's almost like baking a cake with sticky dough...kind of fun. Let's get down to business!

    Gluten Free Bread
    Prep time: 20 minutes      Cook time: 25 minutes      Ready in: 1 hour 50 minutes
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 3 tablespoons sugar (I use coconut sugar) 
    • 1 1/4 cups warm water
    • 1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
    • 2/3 cup sorghum flour
    • 1/2 cup potato starch
    • 1/2 cup corn starch
    • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon xanthum gum
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Directions:
    1. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
    2.  Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.
    3. Combine yeast mixture, rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, cornstarch, vegetable oil, eggs, xanthan gum, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer; mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Spoon dough into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top of dough with the back of a wet spoon.
    4. Place dough in a warm place until it has risen just over the top of the loaf pan, about 1 hour. (My tip for this is...while I'm mixing the ingredients together I turn my oven on to the lowest setting. Let it heat up then turn it off. I place a damp tea towel over the bread & put it in the oven to rise for the hour. Once the the time is over, take bread pan out & preheat for baking.)
    5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    6. Bake in the preheated oven until loaf is medium golden brown, about 25 minutes. (Optional...take melted butter & brush on top of bread 20 minutes into baking. Then continue baking for the remaining 5 minutes.

    Take bread out and allow to sit for about 5 - 10 minutes, then pop out of loaf pan to cooling rack. I allow to cool more before slicing. The bread looks a little different and may have a little crumble to it, but it tastes yeasty and yummy. I mostly toast our bread when we eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I usually keep mine in the refrigerator wrapped up, but if you go through bread within 3 - 4 days it might be just fine that whole time out (wrapped up tightly).


    This is the bread sliced...ready for lunch time! I have to add, my husband had the hardest time with gluten free bread. He said it brought out a gag reflex in him...lovely I know!! But this apparently can be common to most people. So I wanted to mention this...because he actually really likes the bread too! I hope you enjoy this bread and I promise as I try out more recipes I will share them with you. So far happy with this one and it's not complicated with ingredients. These ingredients I keep on hand at all times, since they are used in a lot of gluten free baking. Hope you enjoy this bread!


    Tuesday, February 25

    Body telling me things need to change...

    It's taken me a long time to figure out if I was going to write a blog. A few months back I finally found out what was going on with my health. It's been years that I've been having off and on health issues, there were times I almost thought maybe the dreaded "c" word. Thankfully it wasn't cancer...although I avoided doctors like the plague. My whole family is that way, if our arm was falling off we may consider going to the hospital. My body had a complete breakdown with my first ever full on anxiety attack. It was rather confusing since my heart was beating out of my chest, body started to go completely numb & the list went on. Honestly I thought that was it! Not to sound dramatic...but strokes & heart attacks run in my family. So I thought that was what I was having. While I was in the ER, the doctor started to tell me about food allergies and my body could be reacting to a break down & full resistance of something I eat or drank. I've never had allergies or anxiety before...so this was all new to me. So I started reading up on gluten and after reading all the symptoms I was amazed that it's what I've been having. I kept getting links to Celiacs disease every time I was searching gluten free diets & issues. After reading those symptoms and looking at the mystery rash on my legs...it blew me away! All of it seemed to close to what I've been dealing with, including serious headaches, sinus issues & loosing my concentration so easily (brain fog). I finally went in and was tested, with the first test coming back negative. I soon found out it was a false negative. So I ate some gluten (suffered for it) and trudged back in for testing, which came back positive. So begins my extreme lifestyle change.

    I know gluten free is such a fad, just like coconut oil (which I use a lot of and LOVE). No not everyone has a need to go gluten free, although I suspect GMO's have caused a lot of the issues with our wheat & crops. All that altering can't be good for anyone & we could finally be getting the effects by it. More and more people are dealing with gluten sensitivities as well as finding out they have Celiacs. I'm not going to get on the GMO rant, it's not about that. To me it's trusting your food & hoping you are nourishing yourself, rather than slowly killing yourself. I will tell you that for me taking away gluten has had some amazing positive impacts. I'm not waking up with headache/migraines, loosing weight finally, a little bit more energy every day, some more clarity in the brain & well everything is looking up. Although I still get contaminated from things I eat...although I try hard to read everything carefully and make good decisions. My husband has really helped me so much, he went gluten free with me. Hasn't cheated on the gluten free once! So proud of him & he's noticed a difference as well.

    This long story is the beginning of my new journey. My mood has leveled while feeling better & my new journey of life, cooking & baking. I've been baking my own bread each week & have played with so many recipes I've found online. So this is just my take on things, recipes I love & want to share as well as things I make on the side for my little business.

    Feel free to email me with questions or some suggestions as well!

    xoxo

    Sarah