Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Follow instructions on organic canned pumpkin but replace the sweetened condensed milk with organic coconut milk.

Recipe on the can is:

1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 14 oz. can coconut milk (substitution) *note, since the sweetened condensed milk is not being used in this recipe, I am sweetening slightly with pure maple syrup.  I am going to do 2 tbs.  Honey would be more paleo.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
The above is paleo, and if you did an almond crust that would be in line with paleo as well.  The pie crust shown in photo is not paleo.

1 9" deep dish pie shell (g-free)
or you can not use a crust at all and have it as custard.

***See below for recommended changes.

For the crust you can make one from almond flour or a box mix.  I had a box mix on hand so I will report back shortly with results and final photos.

***This pumpkin pie was so close to the original except for one thing...not sweet enough for the family.  With 2 tablespoons of maple syrup it just did not make it sweet at all.  It was more like savory pumpkin pie so I would change the sweetening to 1/2 cup sugar next time.  If it had been sweeter the family would have loved this, but they didn't like it as much.  I think if I had some whipped cream that might have helped but sprinkling with powdered sugar was the next best thing.

The crust mix was an extensive task but so well worth it in the end.  The crust was flaky and rich, everything you would expect a crust to be.  The almond flour crust is easier to make but I feel the extra steps for the regular gluten free crust is worth the time and effort.

In case you want the easier road (and more in line with paleo):

Almond Flour Crust

1 1/2 C. Almond Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup olive oil for baking
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Press in and bake for 10 min., then add filling and bake for about 50 min.

Cornflake Chicken

Here is a delicious recipe I got inspired to make this weekend.  There really are no measurements.  You just need to have the following ingredients:

  • Gluten free cornflakes
  • Chicken breast or whatever part you prefer
  • 1 Egg
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Favorite spices
  • about a cup of sour cream
  • tablespoon honey (optional)
egg, sour cream, salt & pepper, spices, honey (whisk all together until a nice sauce consistency)

crushed cornflakes (you can put in a baggy and yield a rolling pin over the flakes until crushed consistency you desire)

Dip chicken into wet mixture and then roll in crumbs on a flat plate.  Drizzle with melted butter and fry in olive oil designed for high temperatures or bake.

Baking Instructions: 375 for at least an hour.  Cut a piece open to make sure all pink is gone and chicken is completely cooked through.  This is absolutely divine with the honey mustard dipping sauce.

Bon Apetit

OK Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!  That is just a funny saying but it means that this dish was a huge hit with the entire family.  I cut the kids portions into strips and gave them the honey mustard dipping sauce.  They were commenting the whole time with "mmm" and this is "so good".  Sunday dinner was definitely comforting especially after the wild weather we had yesterday.

edited to add: I ran low on the corn flakes so I had some other gluten free cereal that were shaped like cheerios.  I just combined those with the corn flakes and crushed it altogether.  I think it was even better than having only cornflakes because I had done a test batch the day before and comparing the two, I liked yesterday's version even better.  So you can experiment with using any cereal as the coating.

One last tip is when you dip the chicken to let it drip quite a bit before placing in the crumbs.  This will prevent the crumbs from getting too soggy before you are done making all your pieces.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wrap Shirt revisited and altered

I absolutely love the wrap shirt I made that was one of my first sewing projects.  I thought the lace at the bottom would be my signature look on all the tops I created.  I think it might still be but I decided to alter the blouse to not include the lace and it fits really well this way.  The lace was sort of confining and went around the rear end a little on the tight side.  I cut through a side of it and tucked it under.  This was if I change my mind or want to try something different again, I still have the stretch lace there.  I also shortened the wraps.  They were so long I was wrapping them around about 3 times and that was too much.

For the original design visit the wrap shirt post, and here is the finished, altered look:



I am going to be doing my apron this weekend and probably a few more sewing projects...maybe a pillow?  And hopefully some more of those cookies!  If I attempt any new recipes I will post.

Thanks for your awesome free patterns and a big shout out to the girls at the shabby blog that I got my free header from.  I am really jazzed about the new blog look!  I feel it represents me better and makes me more enthusiastic about posting and sharing + Free is awesome and helpful!!! xxoo  So thank you again to those sites that make it possible to express our creativity without having to spend extra bucks.

Have a great weekend and see you next week :o)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inspiration to craft!

Must see video tutorial:

T Shirt Purse

And my results:

(click photo for close up view)
 SUPER FUN project but these little bags are really meant for light loads.  I put a water bottle and some items to run to the store and the water bottle sunk very far down and made the bag look extremely looong.  It's all good though!

Each was made with a recycled scarf and belt I had laying around so of course this cost ZERO.  This would be so great to make in a summer camp setting.  Kids would really go crazy with this :o)


Pressies I recently made!

Well I completed these two projects little over a week ago.  Now that I'm certain the recipient has gotten the goods I couldn't wait to post about them.

To me, homemade gifts are given from the heart at a deeper level than "standard issue" items you can walk into the store and pick up or click online with your mouse. 

I was super happy with the outcome of these items made for a special August birthday girl, my friend Ella from the UK.  There were a lot of imperfections on these items but the love that goes into something you sew is greater than any flaw in my opinion!

First off we have the classic apron for all your household domestics, cooking, cleaning, etc.  I feel this is more of an apron/smock because I made quite a few pockets if you wanted to paint in this or have some tools placed in the pockets.

I made this in my favorite style of "empire waist".  All I did was attach a pillowcase (as you know I am famous for using).  I feel empire waist styling is really flattering, even in apron form!  The pillowcase serves as the front bodice and styling and as the pockets which I thought was clever.  I love this apron so much.  The only problem is I did not make one for myself and I am always on a domestic project.  So the next thing I will be making is my own apron and I will definitely post the results.  My real inspiration was that Ella and I speak about (and dream about) doing a gluten free bakery one day.  I imagined us donning these aprons as we applied fluffy pink frosting to our that was the method behind the madness on this idea :o).  I say dream big and big dreams come true.

(wish this photo was more clear, have to rely on the kiddos to help with blog post pics, lol)

And now for the handbag.  I decided not to use any patterns on these creations.  I wanted it to be an original design by myself, which I feel adds a special quality when you decide to undertake handmade gifts.  You can tell that the bottom part is not perfectly aligned when I did the cutting but again more character! HAHA.  I also did a fun embellishment I learned on You Tube which is a fabric flower.  I will try to find that video to post because the gal that inspired me for making the fabric flowers is great at her craft.  All you do is take a piece of scrap material and cut about 5 half circles in them.  You then hand sew to bunch it up into a flower shape.  It is very easy and adds that special touch.  It is really hard to make out in this photo, but watch the tutorial above for instructions on making a fabric flower.

Well these are my last gifts for awhile (if not forever).  I did enjoy making quite a few things for friends and family.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Homemade Dressing #1 (Honey Mustard)

Well it's salad season in sunny California.  I would say salad is probably my most favorite dish even in winter.  I have always made my own dressings from scratch and they are so easy, I don't see why anyone would want to buy the prepared stuff anyway!

You can literally whip this up in seconds.

Honey Mustard Dressing

2 Tbs. Mayo
1 Tbs. Yellow Mustard
1 Tbs. Honey

Use whisk to incorporate all ingredients.

This also makes a delicious dressing for hamburgers, chicken, anything really.
Bon Apetit!

Chocolate Decadence Cookies

Have I got a great recipe for you chocoholics!  My youngest sons and I came up with this one to honor the head of our household for his birthday.  Happy Birthday Hunky Hubby!!!  He adores chocolate and these are cookies everyone can be happy about.  Gluten free and so rich and chocolatey.

Cheers To You!

 2 1/2 C. Blanched Almond Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 C Butter
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Nutella
2 eggs
1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Chocolate Chips

Spoon rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper in batches of 6 each.  Refrigerate dough in between batches.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before removing with spatula.  Transfer to wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before eating.  I really couldn't tell you the yield on these but a good estimate would be at least a dozen =).  We sampled quite a few before the final count.  Refrigerate cooled cookies in a ziploc or tupperware container.

The cookies spread out huge so they are a great oversized snack and dessert.
Bon Apetit!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In search of "fun" exercise!

On my list of things to do I have quite a few things to accomplish this summer.  One of those being to put a exercise regime full place in my life.

I have been researching quite a bit, and I want to make sure whatever I buy (if anything), will be a good investment and be really fun to do.

I came across an informercial for this product: Kettleworx which looks like it might fit the bill.  But for $90, not sure I want to spend that right now on something that might ultimately end up collecting dust.  I do really like the fact that on this one, you only work out Mon, Wed, and Fri for 20 minutes each day.  That sounds doable.

I also stumbled across: Bodyrocktv That woman's body is killer and she makes it her life to work out.  I am not sure I am that inclined to follow her routine.  Maybe I will take a little of each of their programs and make my own?

Was thinking to at least get a 5 lb. and 10 lb. kettleball as a starting point and go from there.  If anyone has exercise ideas or tips or what you are currently doing for exercise, leave a comment.

Enjoy your day! :o)

Lunch with Mother Nature

Well this week I am into short and sweet posts!  I have posted quite a few extensive topics since I resurrected the blog last month.

After our camping adventure it has taken me several days to get back to normal life.  Don't get me wrong, I adore being outdoors and roughing it a little.  But that was a long time to be living in a tent!

Yesterday I decided to go gathering in my backyard for my lunch.  Groceries are a bit scarce around here since we came back from camp.  So I thought I would see what Mother Nature provided me with.

I rounded up:

  • Eggs from our backyard chicks
  • tomatoes off our vines
  • green onions out of the garden
  • apples off the tree
Now if only the cilantro had not bit the dust :(

Anyway, I thought I did pretty well with my meal!  Completely satisfying and all provided from things we grew or raised.

And I felt very "paleo" :-D

Wrap Shirt

I found a great website for free patterns:

I made this cute top from their design.  It states to be a "beginner" pattern, but it was a little on the advanced beginner side in my opinion.

I added the lace detail at the bottom which is going to become my signature look on all the things I design.

This cute little purse is the next project I have in mind: