Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gluten Free Sharpei

One of the things that David misses being gluten free is cookies.  Well, I've taken it upon myself to try and make many different kinds for him.  One of the things I miss with him being gluten free is just making up recipes AND making the best cookies EVER! 
You've seen them before on this blog.  So, I had to try them gluten free.  They definitely aren't the same but they are still very good.  Kate thought they deserved a little inspection while we were making them but I thought they passed. 
Gluten Free Sharpei Cookies
2 sticks (one cup) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups AP Gluten free flour mix
1 tsp baking soda
1-1.5 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars together in a mixing bowl until very smooth.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix together.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Place 2 tablespoon sized balls on the pan.  When pan is filled, place it into the oven.  Bake for 11-12 minutes (will be slightly undercooked).  Remove from pan and immediately squish the outside of the cookies toward the center of the cookie using the backsides of two spoons.  This gives the cookie its "sharpei" appearance.  Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes then remove to cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Toast from Grammy's

Kate spent spring break with David's family.  She came home with a "recipe" for brown sugar cinnamon toast.  She thought it was the best thing in the world.  I must say that I'm not shocked that she loved it.  I mean, seriously...who WOULDN'T!?!?!?  Toasted brown sugar? Um, yes, please!  So, one Sunday night her supper was brown sugar cinnamon toast with scrambled egg and fruit.  (Sweet supper prayers!)
I will be honest and say that I didn't follow the "recipe" but I'm pretty sure it was close to the same.  And, really, who can recreate Grammy's toast anyway!?  :-)  You could probably do this several different ways - mix the butter and sugar together, mix the sugar and cinnamon together, etc - but this is how I did it.  Kate seemed to approve.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toast
brown sugar

Spread butter/margarine on a slice of bread and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Be sure to put enough and to "pack" it down.  Then sprinkle this with cinnamon.  Place in toaster oven (or oven).  No, a traditional toaster will NOT work!  Toast and enjoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

40 Weeks - Still hanging in there

It is officially my due date and baby still hasn't made his arrival.  The past week has been fairly low key.  Saturday, I took Kate to get her hair cut
and one of her friends came over to play.
His mom is actually my one of best friends, so we enjoyed letting them play while we got to chat.  The rest of the day was spent napping, grocery shopping and watching college football (Roll Tide and Hail State!!!!).
Sunday, Kate had a special breakfast treat - a donut from Donut Palace.  I think she enjoyed it.
 I took Kate to church while David was at work.
Then we grilled out chicken kabobs for lunch and napped again.  Then Kate and I took a little bike ride before she went to her Building Blocks class at church.
She LOVES it.  We also watched a little bit of Mary Poppins.  Such a fun movie.

Monday, David and I got to spend some time together since he isn't on service this week or next in anticipation of baby coming.  We also got to take Kate to school together.
She LOVED that!  I got a text from a friend who needed help with something for the school, so I made peanut butter cookies.  We ate supper outside that night as we have been having some BEAUTIFUL weather these past few days.

Then later that night, David and I actually sat down together and watched a movie.  We always talk about it but never get around to it.  Getting Kate in bed on time definitely helps with that.  After that, I had a little bit of a reality hit while David was praying for us.  He was thanking God for the time that we had gotten to spend together that day, time with Kate, and for the provisions God has made.  Prior to that, I had been just watching my belly move with baby's movements.  All of a sudden it hit me that our lives are going to be changing (for good) very soon...and I felt a little overwhelmed.  Blessed and excited, but overwhelmed.  I thought "I just need more time of THIS."  Overnight, I thought I wasn't going to have it - as I was awake until around 330 with what I'm assuming were contractions.  I thought I was going to have to call our overnight "on call" friend.  Thankfully, around 330, things calmed down and I was able to sleep for about 2-3 hours before my alarm went off.

That day, I had an OB appointment, so I wasn't concerned; but we did pack the car JUST in case we had to stay.  Um, yeah...NO CHANGE!  All that contracting and no change.  She said that she doesn't doubt I was having contractions, it was just not enough to do anything.  So, we now have a plan and will have a baby at some point within the next week - either at his own choosing or eviction.  I'd prefer his own choosing, but we shall see.  I laid low for the rest of the day but did make a yummy new supper that has potential for lots of different options.

Yesterday, it was Kate's school picture day.  I think she looks cute myself!
I worked on an art project for the nursery and David planted berries.  Other than that, we just rested and enjoyed each other.  I'm loving this time with him and at home. 

I took a due date morning walk but not sure if it's doing any good other than helping me enjoy the beautiful weather!
Next pregnancy post - will be a BABY post!!!!

Due Date: September 25, 2014  
How Far Along: 40 weeks

Fruit/Veggie: Pumpkin, Personal/Mini Watermelon  - 19-23 inches, 6-9 pounds
Gender: It's a BOY!  

Exercise: Still exercising almost daily...though I still haven't gone to the gym, I'm just not feeling the machines!  I took a break Tuesday after my OB appointment since I had such a difficult night the night before.  However, I have been LOVING the morning walks and still doing my "video" after.  David even went with me yesterday.  :-)  

Sleep: Sleep is questionable.  I have had a couple of nights when I slept FOUR whole hours in a row without waking up, which was fabulous.  However, throw in a couple of contraction filled nights and that doesn't help much.  Oh well. 

Cravings:  Not much to speak of.

What I love: Feeling and watching the baby move! Still SO going to miss that.  Maternity leave!!!  Time with David this week.  Knowing that in less than a week we'll have baby with us (but that is also a little bittersweet).

What I miss: turning over in bed easily, being able to sleep well - I know that I won't necessarily sleep more with baby but hopefully that will be because I'm feeding him rather than an inability on MY part to sleep, being able to pick things up off the floor (I seriously make a sound whenever I pick something up off the floor!)

What I'm looking forward to:  meeting baby!!!!  Finishing the art project I have for baby's room - started painting the letters and will try to get toward finishing it later today or tomorrow.

What I'm thankful for:  Getting to spend time with David and Kate, friends who are willing to help if needed, a job that allows for maternity leave, God's provision for us

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fashion and Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Today (Monday), I am making my grandmother's peanut butter cookies to send to Kate's school for a teacher lunch.  I will probably send some to my dad's favorite car mechanic/friend as well.  He loves them.  However, David can't have them as I didn't modify for gluten free. 
These cookies, however, he could have and loved.  They are flourless peanut butter cookies.  Isn't it weird how you can make flourless cookies and they WORK!? 
I'm going to have to do these sometime soon with the Hershey's kiss in the middle.  David has actually asked for that recently. 

Anyway, as you can see, I had my little helper to make these with me and she was strutting her fashion stuff in full glory that day.  Gotta love seeing what a 4-5 year old thinks looks good.  :-)  I'm pretty sure she just put the tights on and then decided she was playing doctor.  Ha!  Just as Kate adapted her look, we adapted this recipe. 
I didn't use Reece's Pieces (though they are my FAVE!).  I'm pretty sure we used peanut butter cups and chocolate chips but peanut butter would be way good!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies adapted from Pies and Plots

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup peanut butter or chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter cups, cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda, and vanilla until well combined. Add the chips and candy and mix until incorporated. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared sheet pan. Cookies do not have to be spaced too far apart, as they will not spread much. Flatten cookies slightly with your hand (This is important!), as they will not flatten much during baking.  Place the prepared pan into oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until cookies have cracked and are almost set. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pop Tarts - Gluten Free

Honestly, I'm really surprised that there hasn't been a gluten free pop tart to make an appearance yet.  I can't say that we would be frequent buyers, but I probably would get them occasionally as a treat for David. I think that's one of the things he misses the most - Le Sigh!
To me, the hardest thing it going out to eat but I think he misses the snacks the most.  This is probably a good thing, except for the fact that I make him stuff all the time and send it with him.  Anyway, one week, I decided to surprise him and make poptarts.
He really enjoyed them.  I was a bit frustrated with them because I missed my timer and left them in longer than needed; which means that the jam started cooking out of the pastry.  Oh well!  He still liked them and everyone was impressed that he had homemade pop tarts for breakfast as work!  :-)  Guess I should make these again sometime.

Gluten Free Pop-Tarts from Desserts with Benefits
160g (1+1/3 cup) Oat Flour (plus ~1/2 cup for rolling)
160g (1 cup) Brown Rice Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
168g (~3/4 cup) Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening*, soft (Earth Balance or Spectrum Organics)
 1/4 cup sugar

Jam or fruit spread

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (Do not use if you want it to be white!)

    For the Dough:
    In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, brown rice flour and salt. Dump the shortening into the center of the bowl. Fold together until a dough forms (the dough should be too dry or too moist, you should able to form it into a ball without it sticking to the bowl).  Knead this dough then flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour. When ready, preheat oven to 350.
    Break off 1/4 of the dough disc (put the rest back in the fridge).  Place some wax paper, parchment or dough cloth on the counter and dust with some oat flour.  Roll to 1/8" thickness. Use a pizza cutter to cut into rectangles.  Then use a thin/sharp pie server to transfer rectangles to the prepared baking sheet. Add the fruit spread to the dough rectangles, leaving 1/4-1/2" border, then top with another dough rectangle.  Press on the edges with your fingers or fork (I like a fork) to seal the pop tart and use a toothpick to poke holes into the surface (you can kind of see the holes in the post photos). When you have used all the dough, place the pan into the oven and bake for ~12-16 minutes or until the edges have browned slightly.  
    Make icing by mixing all ingredients.  When the poptarts have cooled, drizzle on.  Enjoy!
*She states that you can probably use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of 1/4 cup of the shortening if you want a lower fat recipe. She has apparently had success previously just not when used for the Pop Tart.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Almonds Make Caramel Healthy, Right!?

This was one of the first cakes I tried gluten free and I was REALLY excited about it because it used almond flour.  Plus, it was caramel!  I took it to Sunday school and then to work.  I'm pretty sure everyone liked it...though I'm not sure about David.  He really is more of a chocolate person.  We're really pretty much opposite in what we like food-wise, except that we both really like fish.  Crazy! 
Anyway, this is a great cake for anyone.  It does have a nutty texture since it's made from almond meal, but it's not distracting.  I actually modified this a good bit, now that I look back at the recipe.  It calls for "Swerve" sweetener, which I have never even heard of.  I honestly can't remember if I used Splenda or regular sugar, but either would work.  I also didn't make my own caramel sauce.  I cheated!!  I used caramel ice cream topping.  Worked pretty well if you ask me.  :-)  I also added a basic glaze to make it "pretty."  Try it out - even if you're not gluten free. 

Caramel Pecan Coffee Cake adapted from All Day I Dream About Food (original recipe with link)
    3 cups almond flour
    1 ½ tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup sugar or Splenda
    3 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup almond milk
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    Preheat oven to 325F and grease a bundt pan well (this could also be made in a 9-inch springform pan).  In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar/sweetener and beat until lighter and well-combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, scraping down beaters and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in vanilla extract.  Beat in half of the almond flour mixture, then beat in almond milk. Beat in remaining almond flour mixture until well combined.  
    Spread half the mixture in the prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to create a channel in the center of the batter, all the way around the bundt pan.  Pour some caramel sauce into the channel.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans. Top with remaining batter and spread evenly with offset spatula to cover caramel and pecans. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and just firm to the touch. A tester inserted in the center should come out clean (except for some caramel sauce!). Remove and let cool 10 minutes (IT MUST cool!) then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with remaining caramel and pecans.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2014

39 weeks - Really Less than a Week?

39 weeks!  39 weeks!  That means that my baby is due to be born in less than a week.  This is so crazy.  However, little man isn't showing ANY signs of wanting to make his appearance.  I was still not dilated any at my appointment, though my doctor said that she was able to "make" me 1 cm.  It didn't hurt but I did wonder what she was doing.  Ha!  Before going to that appointment, I got to go to Kate' s class and talk to them about doctors.  It's community helper week and a doctor is one helper they learn about.  They did GREAT!  I think I was there for about 40 minutes and they were actually pretty attentive.  We talked about what senses doctors use when they check you out, how they help and I showed them parts of the exam that I do (some of it is kind of like a game for them). 
THEN....they all got bouncy balls.  I didn't tell Kate I was coming; so, she was greatly surprised and excited. What FUN to surprise my girlie.  :-)

Yesterday, I spent several hours shopping for fabric to do my art project.  Thankfully, I found what I needed.  However, before I left, I decided to stop by McDonald's to get a sausage biscuit.  So, I ordered by biscuits (yes, two because I had a buy one get one coupon) and paid.  Then I got to the front window.  "Did you order two sausage biscuits?"  Yes.  "We're out of biscuits.  Do you want that on an English muffin or McGriddle?"  Um...nooooo.  I want biscuits.  Y'all...I seriously almost cried!!!  And by that time, it was too late to go across to another place to get one.  I was a sad pregnant girlie!  Oh well!  I was pretty worn out for the rest of the day.  Thankfully, David is pretty understanding.  On the fun side, I finished our photobook from Disney World last night. 

Due Date: September 25, 2014  
How Far Along: 39 weeks 1 day

Fruit/Veggie: Pumpkin, Personal/Mini Watermelon  - 19-21 inches, 7-8 pounds
Gender: It's a BOY!  
Exercise: Still exercising almost daily...but I took a break from the gym mostly this week.  Tuesday I did go to the gym after my OB appointment but all other days I've walked about 1.5 miles and then did my exercise video.  And...I'm throwing back in the jumping.  Trying to get this little guy out.  Something tells me that just walking isn't going to cut it.  Planning on kickboxing again tonight.  :-) 

Sleep: Sleep isn't so great this week.  I've had a couple of nights where I didn't wake up for 3 or so hours but sleep after that has been a little fitful.  I think I'm just anxious for baby to arrive.

Cravings:  Lemonade.  Yep, I've been drinking a good bit of it this week.  At this point, I'm not craving much food-wise but anything cold is nice.

What I love: Feeling and watching the baby move! Still SO going to miss that.  That I am ON maternity leave!!!  It has really been a good week.  Getting to talk to Kate's class about being a doctor.

What I miss: turning over in bed easily, being able to sleep well - I know that I won't necessarily sleep more with baby but hopefully that will be because I'm feeding him rather than an inability on MY part to sleep, being able to pick things up off the floor (I seriously make a sound whenever I pick something up off the floor!)

What I'm looking forward to:  meeting baby!!!!  Y'all it's almost here!  Making the art project I have for baby's room - finally found some fabric and will hopefully start it today, if I can find paint brushes!

What I'm thankful for:  Getting to spend time with David and Kate, God's reminders that I NEED Him to be a good mom