Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Craving something sweet the other day, I made Elana's Strawberry cupcakes. I had ordered her Cupcake cookbook to use with my dear granddaughter, Olivia, during her summer visit, but we ran out of time!! I modified the cupcake recipe since I do not use sugar (or Agave nectar). I used a mixture of Stevia and Erythritol (both from natural sources and very low glycemic properties). This recipe uses coconut flour which is a great alternative to processed white all purpose flour (which is a big NO in our home!) We loved the cupcakes topped with a SF cream cheese frosting and I am sure I will be making them again. This recipe made 8 regular sized cupcakes. My only regret is that Olivia did not get to take part.... next time! :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Custom Necklace Giveaway!!

Great giveaway!! Quick... Look here:

Beautiful jewelry that is custom designed and made my Lisa!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

Always read a recipe all the way through before cooking! This is the lesson for today! Unfortunately, the printer cut off the bottom of my recipe. I did think... gosh, this is a LOT of dough, but my own rolls make a lot of dough, also... Well, I finally went and looked at Pioneer Woman's page and found out it makes SEVEN pans full! SEVEN round cake pans full of delicious cinnamon rolls with Maple frosting! Too late to turn back now...

They made the house smell wonderful! I am now giving them away... Here is a link in case you want to try "gaggle" of cinnamon rolls (47 to be exact, my son counted them!)

They all assure me mine are better, but I would love to taste for myself! I printed this recipe off before Christmas thinking I would try them this year for Christmas Breakfast. Well... the kids vetoed that idea right away, requesting the traditional Angel Cinnamon Rolls I always make each year. I found the recipe today and thought it would be a great day for making them. My son, who is a senior this year, was home on a snowday. I knew he could take care of quite a few of them! :) I, however, am on my annual "first of the year" diet. I can't even TASTE one! :( I am not one to dilly-dally with a diet and would like this misery to be over right away! lol 20# gone and another 13# or so to go.. then I will want one of these rolls... but hopefully by then they will be gone..??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If you can't find it, make it!

I've searched high and low for a new ironing board cover for my short, little "sewing" ironing board. I keep it in my laundry room slid between my washer and the wall. It is very handy to pull out and use on the kitchen counter but lately it is starting to look pretty terrible. I get sticky iron-on interfacing on it, water stains, etc. Whatever you are picturing, it was probably worse... When Ikea let me down (what DOESN'T Ikea have?) Well, the answer is obviously those small ironing board covers (or ANY ironing board covers at all...). I saw one to sew at Sew, Mama, Sew! but honestly the instructions to make it "easier" seemed to make it harder to me. Rather than cutting off the OLD bias tape portion of the cover I bought a package of new (for 1.89) and just sewed on the new. Voila! I had a new ironing board cover AND enough fabric left over to make a clothes pin bag! I am spicing up my laundry room and making it more efficient! I found the cute teapot fabric from Sew Mama, Sew! and it arrived in 2 days from across the whole United States. I was impressed! Now if the retractable clothesline would only come...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Completely Coastal Giveway!

Want to win something really coastal and summery, right in the middle of our wet fall? Hurry over to Completely Coastal for a chance to win a tabletop piece here: My choice is the aqua pitcher... :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home Made Autumn Soap with Streusel Topping

I have been gathering the ingredients for quite a quite now to make a batch of home made soap. I wanted to make a snowy white, thick bar like Rhonda, from the Down to Earth blog (see link below, left). I like the plain & simple things in life the best. My husband built me a great soap mold out of wood with a removable end. Monday, I got out the stuff and mixed up a batch. As I added the Palm Oil I noticed it was a goldeny-orange sort of color but I hoped that maybe that would cook out! NOPE! As I reached the trace stage I added some cinnamon oil for fragrance and quickly decided to pulse some oats, throw in some cinnamon & cloves and make a sort of streusel topping to swirl over the top and down through the bars. I quickly covered it with a towel to cure and said a prayer! Today I removed the cover and sliced the bars. I got 19 big bars of soap and they turned out quite nicely, albeit, NOT anyplace close to white! Still, for a first attempt I am satisfied and will certainly try again to get a simple smelling (I LIKE a soap smell) thick, WHITE bar.

Here is the recipe I used: (can't for the life of me find it again or remember where I got it! I have now located Rice oil to use in my next batch and will try Rhonda's recipe!)

5 1/4 oz Beeswax
8 3/4 oz Palm Oil
8 3/4 oz Coconut Oil
2# 12 oz Olive oil (use a lighter shade, or B the good stuff for cooking!) :)
9 1/2 oz Lye (you MUST have lye to make soap, but don't worry it is changed in a chemical reaction and will not be lye when you are done)
32 3/4 oz H20 (distilled or rain water)

First mix the lye into the water. (Do NOT do it the other way around! Never add water to lye!! ) Also make sure to wear eye gear, a mask and gloves (I do this outside). Prepare a place inside to work on (towels work great, or old newspapers) Allow lye (which will become VERY hot when mixed with the water) to cool to a lukewarm (by feeling the sides of your pitcher). Never use aluminum utensils, or pans, etc., when making soap!

Heat solid oils until liquid, then add other oils. Remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm. (You can use a thermometer and it should be about 100-110 degrees. )
Start beating the oils with a stick mixer or electric mixer and pour the lye into the oils in a THIN stream (think divinity!) When all the lye is in put your pitcher in a safe place where no one will grab it or use it until you are done to wash it! Now beat until you get "trace" which is a thin line of soap, that when dripped from a spoon stays for a moment on top of the surface of the soap. When you reach this stage you can add color, fragrence, or the topping like I did. If you add another color or swirl to the top, reserve enough of your soap in the pan to cover the top of your mold. Pour the rest in a mold that you have pre-lined with freezer paper (shiny side up). Now color the remaining saop and pour it on top of the other soap in the mold and swirl it through the first layer with a knife, dowel or similar tool. Cover the top with Saran wrap or freezeer paper, again, then cover it with a towel so it will cool slowly. Let sit 12-24 hours (I peeked!!) and the soap will set up and should be ready to cut into bars. Let sit (on end) for about 4-6 weeks (the longer it cures the longer each bar will last and the more gentle it will be to your skin!) It really wasn't hard (although I made a mess doing it my first time grabbing things and not fully knowing which step was next) and I did get 19 good smelling big bars of soap that looks good enough to eat! I plan to make a nice Christmas gift with mine!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Baby is absolutely named correctly! When my daughter brought him home and named him "Baby"" I wondered if she had lost her mind. This was a "baby" Boxer who would probably (and did) grow to be about 90#! "Baby" didn't seem to quite fit! Today he is about 13-14 years old and there could not be a name for fitting for this gentle giant! He is the sweetest, big, guy. He whines to talk when he needs something but otherwise wants to be right with you to the point of laying on your foot, or leaning into you to get closer. What a sweetie! He has big, brown soulful eyes that follow you so you won't get away from him! Here is a photo after he ate some of the home made dog treats. Doesn't he look content? What a big BABY!!!