Tag Archives: baking

Gluten Free Orange Rosemary Drop Scones

Remember that time two years ago when I started a different blog documenting our explorations into the Orthodox Church? Well, that’s still happening. It’s been a winding, up and down, stop and start journey. I’m no theologian and I’ve bumbled and fumbled quite a bit along the way, but the journey continues.

Yesterday, we spent some time picking oranges and lemons in my in-laws backyard while we were there splitting up our Abundant Harvest produce box. This picture perfectly depicts Ethan’s intensity and enthusiasm in the endeavor:


Even though baking and I have a bad relationship (I swear, something always goes completely wrong even when I do everything completely right), I decided I wanted to try to make some yummy scones for coffee hour (the social gathering in the church hall immediately following Divine Liturgy each Sunday). We got a ton of rosemary in our box and I already had some that was used in our house blessing Thursday night. My first instinct was to make cheddar rosemary ones, but it’s a fasting season in the church right now and so that wouldn’t work. I don’t know how orange and rosemary went together in my brain, but it seemed a good combination. I Googled “orange rosemary scones” and quickly found this recipe from Food & Wine. I adapted it to be fasting friendly (vegan) and gluten-free. They were a big hit and gone in minutes.

Here is my version:

Gluten Free Orange Rosemary Drop Scones

-2 cups Pamela’s biscuit and scone mix
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 Tbsp baking powder
-pinch of salt
-zest of one softball size navel orange
-juice of one softball size navel orange
-3 Tbsp solidified coconut oil (this happens naturally in my house this time of year, you may need to refrigerate yours to get the same effect)
-2 tsp minced rosemary leaves
-1 Tbsp TJs raw organic honey (this stuff is much thicker than other honey I have purchased in the past, the consistency of butter)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest, rosemary and honey with a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly.

Stir in orange juice until just combined, do not over mix.

Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet as you would cookies or drop biscuits/scones.

Bake for 10 minutes until just golden on the top and edges. Remove from oven and move scones to a cooling rack. Serve.


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Gluten Free Pumpkin Granola Muffins

It’s that time of year, time for all things pumpkin. Thanks to Pinterest I’ve been trying new things, but I really should whip out some of my tried and true favorites because there have been some seriously awful flops.

Today I was craving pumpkin muffins since I can’t enjoy the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin anymore (sniff, sniff, tear). After a little searching on Pinterest with lots of dead-end and spam links (don’t even get me started on the problems with that site), I decided to try to adapt this recipe from The Yummy Life and it worked out pretty well. I decided to forego the granola streusel topping though and I cut back on some of her amounts for sugar and spice.

• 1 3/4 cup Pamela’s gluten-free baking mix
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 2 eggs from pastured chickens
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
• 1 can (minus 3 Tbsp that I used in another recipe yesterday) pumpkin purée
• 2 Tbsp butter, melted
• 1/2 cup chopped (with a hand chopper) gluten-free granola (I used TJs loaded fruit and nut kind and it had a lot of big chunks which is why I chopped it first)

Preheat oven to 400. Toss all the ingredients in your stand mixer, mix until combined. Spoon into paper lined muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or less. (I recommend less. I followed the 20 min and wound up with some extra crispy tops.)


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I’m not even sure this recipe is reproducible, but I am going to try my best to explain what I did and hopefully that will be enough for you to attempt it.

We had a barbecue potluck to attend for our community group and I had a bunch of random fruit from our CSA and the farmer’s market that I needed to use up. Cobbler just goes with summer and barbecues to me.

So at first I wasn’t sure whether to do a cobbler or a crisp, but I finally settled on cobbler because I wanted something more doughy and we’d had a crisp that someone made the week before.

I started looking up cobbler recipes and figured out that cobbler is basically just marinated fruit with biscuit dough on top baked in the oven.

Those that have read my blog for a bit know that the best biscuits ever are my friend Cara’s family recipe. So, hello, why would I even try any other biscuit dough recipe? Not happening.

You may also remember that some time after Cara posted her recipe, I adapted it into a scone recipe. I was thinking a sweetened biscuit might be better on top of the fruit in this case.

So here is what I did:

Fruit base:
-3 or 4 peaches or nectarines (I think I had 1 nectarine and 3 peaches), chopped
-1 Asian pear, peeled, cored and chopped
-1 small package blueberries
-4 or 5 large strawberries, chopped
-a couple handfuls of Rainier cherries, pitted and chopped

I don’t think it honestly matters what combination of fruit you use. Use what you have and what is in season. In all I had about 6-8 cups of chopped fruit.

I decided to chop all my fruit the day before mostly because it was close to being at its end and I wasn’t sure it would make it to the next day sitting out. Plus, Sundays I always seem to never have enough time and I was trying to get part of it done ahead of time.

After I chopped it, I mixed it with about 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp TJs pumpkin pie spice (LOVE that stuff), and the juice of one grapefruit that we got a couple CSA boxes ago and also needed to be used. I covered it up and stuck it in the fridge overnight.

The next day I poured the fruit and all the juices out in a baking dish and sprinkled some whole wheat flour over the top (about 1 tbsp) then used a spoon to mix it in.

Next up was the biscuit topping. I decided to follow along more my scone ingredients than the original biscuit recipe ingredients so it would be sweeter.

So changes to the scone recipe were that I only used whole wheat flour (so two cups) because that’s all I had, I used 1/2 cup of sugar instead of a full cup, no dried fruit, and I was out of milk, but I did have some homemade apricot yogurt so I used that.

After working out the dough into the flakey layers I cut as you would for biscuits or scones and layered the cuts over the top of fruit in the baking dish, overlapping slightly.

I preheated my oven to 400 and the baked for 20 minutes.

Hello puffy flakey cobbler goodness.

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Lisa’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Mix

When it comes to gluten-free baking everyone has an opinion about the right combination of flours because no one other grain seems to be able to mimic the elasticity, texture, flavor, etc. of wheat. The Internet is a really great resource for those with Celiac’s, wheat allergy or gluten intolerance. There are tons and tons of websites, blogs, gluten-free stores, cookbooks, and recipes to be found. And behind all of them is an opinion on this subject.

One baker will tell you that millet is a gluten-free bread baker’s dream. Another will say sorghum flour has a great texture. A lot of people are not fans of rice flour because of the grainy texture, which is funny because so many pre-made mixes are mostly made with rice flour (you’d think the makers of these mixes would listen, but I suspect it probably has more to do with the fact that rice is cheap). Certified gluten-free oat flour, I’ve heard numerous times, is the closest thing to wheat. Almond meal is perfect to bake with and produces the fluffiest baked goods. Some prefer to add things like flax seed meal or garbanzo bean flour to their mixes for extra protein and fiber (though just like eating regular garbanzo beans you might want to grab some Beano before enjoying a baked good that contains this flour). These are all things I’ve read on numerous websites and books dedicated to making the gluten-free life a little easier.

It has been nice having all these resources to go to since several family members have discovered varying levels of allergy and intolerance to wheat. Most recently my husband has gone gluten-free and about 6 weeks in now he is definitely noticing some benefits including the loss of 7lbs and a little pooch he’s never been able to get rid of (what some people refer to as “wheat belly”) no matter how hard he worked out or watched what he ate. I still have a stash of a few things I am holding onto and when we eat out I indulge, but for the most part our house is gluten-free now.

So the creative wheels have been turning. I needed a good mix of flours because one of the biggest obstacles, at least for me, to gluten-free baking is having to pull out several different bags of flours and pull a little from each bag. It takes up a lot of space on your counter and in your cupboards and it’s just annoying having to measure out that many ingredients.

The best stuff on the market that most people I know with wheat allergies use is probably Pamela’s mix. Unfortunately, it contains cultured buttermilk so Bean and Sprout can’t have anything that is made with it. I have had some seriously yummy treats baked with that stuff and so it is really a bummer that it won’t work for our family.

I decided today that I would take the opinions that I’ve read plus my own experience with gluten-free baking and try to come up with my very own all purpose mix that could be used as a cup for cup substitute in any recipe calling for flour that I tried. I am finally pretty happy with the result. No grainy textures, no bitter aftertaste, something that is somewhere between whole wheat and white in texture and taste, and a great elasticity in doughs and batter. So here it is, I am throwing my hat in the ring of gluten-free flour combo opinions:

Lisa’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix
-1 cup arrowroot starch/flour
-1 cup sorghum flour
-1 cup millet flour
-1 cup almond meal (I do like the blanched Bob’s Red Mill stuff better than the “Just Almond Meal” from TJ’s)
-1 cup oat flour
-1 cup potato starch
-1 cup sweet rice flour
-3 tbsp xanthan gum

Sift ingredients together (the almond meal and the oat flour had quite a few chunks, so this is important for a smooth end product) into a large bowl then use a wire whisk to combine thoroughly.

This made enough flour for a batch of muffins and a loaf of bread with some leftover. I made a second batch just before I put things away to keep in my big flour jar and have on hand for the next time I feel like baking. That way I can just take out the jar and measure out the amount of flour I need without a big production.

Gluten-free bread dough rising.

The finished loaf. I just found a simple bread recipe that used regular flour and substituted my flour mix.

Strawberry banana muffins using strawberries we got at the farmer’s market yesterday. Again, I just found a strawberry muffin recipe online and used my mix for the flour, a combo of hemp and coconut milk for the milk, and a banana instead of the egg it called for.

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Gluten-free vegan banana spice muffins

My sister-in-law’s husband made this amazing banana spice cheesecake for her birthday. Before that cheesecake I never would have considered banana and the spices you would find in a pumpkin pie together. I was inspired by it to make some muffins.

• 2 1/3 c gluten free flour mix
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 2 Ener-G “eggs” or if you can have eggs, regular ones
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/2 cup water, milk or almond milk
• 2 1/2 bananas (almost black ones work best)
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Prepare your egg replacer, whisk until frothy.

Mash your bananas until mostly smooth.

Mix remaining ingredients together with bananas and egg replacer.

Spoon into greased muffin tin. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool a couple minutes in pan and then remove to wire rack so they don’t get soggy.

Makes one dozen muffins.

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Delayed Fermentation Gluten-Free Millet Oatmeal Bread

I recently checked out Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads from our library because I have been so frustrated trying out different bread recipes in the hopes of baking my own bread that tastes as good as what I can buy in the store or at a bakery. While I haven’t had any horrible flops like a completely unrisen loaf or burned one, it just hasn’t been up to the level of what I want that tastes as good.

The book is pretty overwhelming and full of a lot of information on grains, the chemistry and theories behind baking, and even some of the recipes are quite complicated. I had hoped to take the book home from the library and dive right in, but that first day upon cracking it open straight to the recipe section I looked at it for a minute then gave up and decided to try the much simplier recipes found in the Panera Bread Book I had also checked out. Big fail there. I wound up with two more dense loaves of whole wheat bread.

So, I took the lesson from the failure and decided that there really wasn’t a quick and easy way around this. If I want to bake good bread, I am going to have to do it the right way and it is going to to take more time. So I studied the book, had my mind boggled a bit and came to a better understanding of how the whole thing works.

I’m glad I did because with what I learned I was able to apply the theory to gluten-free baking and it makes such a huge difference in the end product.

Look at all those fluffy air pockets and the great big rise on that GLUTEN-FREE bread! Can you believe it?

So, if you have to be gluten-free and you are willing to take the extra time, I highly recommend this bread. It cobbles together what is so far my favorite GF bread recipe with Reinhart’s delayed fermentation method.

Day 1: Flour mix, soaker and biga
(See the fact that this recipe is broken out by days, probably scares you right off the bat, but don’t let it. A little work the first day and a little work the second day produces big results, trust me)

Flour mix
I’ll admit this flour combination is taken straight from Gluten-Free Mommy’s Millet Oatmeal Bread recipe.

In the bowl of your stand mixer sift together the following ingredients and use the whisk attachment to combine them:
-1 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 cup certified gluten free oat flour
-3/4 cup millet flour
-1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
-1/3 cup arrowroot starch (you can substitute cornstarch)
-1/3 cup sweet rice flour
-1/4 cup flax seed meal
-1 tbsp xanthan gum
-3 tbsp brown sugar

Transfer the flour mixture to another bowl to get the mixer bowl ready for making your soaker.

-1 3/4 cups (8oz or 227g) flour mixture
-1/2 tsp (.14oz or 4g) salt
-3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (7oz or 198g) milk, buttermilk, yogurt or almond milk

Mix all of the soaker ingredients together in your mixer using the dough hook attachment for 1 minute, until all of the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough.

Transfer to another bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. Rinse out your mixer bowl to prepare for making the biga. You need to rinse it because salt kills yeast and you don’t want any salt residue left in the bowl which will kill the yeast in the biga.

-1 3/4 cups (8oz or 227g) flour mixture
-1/4 tsp (.03oz or 1g) active dry yeast
-3/4 cup (6oz or 170g) filtered or spring water at room temperature

Dissolve the yeast in the water.

Mix all of the biga ingredients together in your mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment. Make sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated, at least 2 minutes.

Transfer to another bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature for 24 hours.

You will have some of the flour mixture leftover. Do not discard it, it will be used the next day.

Day 2: Final dough and baking
Using a metal pastry scraper, chop the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces each. Place the pieces in the bowl of your stand mixer alternating between soaker and biga pieces (in other words, you don’t want all the soaker pieces on the bottom of the bowl and all the biga pieces on the top) and sprinkling 2 tsp of active dry yeast in between all the pieces (if you use the packets of yeast, you will use 1/4 tsp in in the biga and the remainder of the packet in the final dough).

Add the following additional ingredients to the bowl:
-remainder of flour mixture
-5/8 tsp salt
-2 1/4 tbsp (1.5oz or 42.5g) honey
-1 tbsp butter or butter substitute, melted

Using the dough hook attachment, mix on slow speed for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together into a ball. Bring the speed up to medium-low, occasionally scraping down the bowl for 2-3 minutes until the pre-doughs become cohesive and assimilated into each other with other ingredients.

Dust a work surface with the gluten-free flour of your choice (I prefer oat because it is usually pretty fine and soft whereas the brown rice tends to be grainy), then toss the dough in the flour to coat. Knead by hand for 3-4 minutes, incorporating only as much extra flour as needed, until the dough feels soft and tacky, but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

Resume kneading the dough for 1 minute and make any final flour or water adjustments. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl, roling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it is about 1 1/2 times the original size.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a loaf pan shape then place in a greased loaf pan. Score the dough and let rise at room temperature for about an hour until it is 1 1/2 times its original size.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the pan in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate 180° and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when thumped and registers at least 195°F in the center.

Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow it to cool at least 1 hour before cutting to serve (I know this is hard, but it helps the loaf retain moisture and continues the chemistry process, so resist tempation and don’t cut it!).


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Honey Wheat Oatmeal Bread

As promised, a yummy bread recipe.

This post brought to you by Time Warner Cable which returned the Internet back to our household yesterday.

I came up with this bread recipe based on three different bread recipes on the the backs of my Bob’s Red Mill flour bags. They were for a Swiss two grain bread, a whole wheat bread and an oat flour bread. Each of these recipes either had something in them I didn’t like or didn’t have on hand or they were too much work. So I kind of took ideas from each of them and made my own.

-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
-1/2 cup steel-cut oats
-1/2 cup oat flour
-2 tbsp honey
-2 tbsp butter, melted
-1 packet active dry yeast
-1 tsp sugar
-1 1/4 cup warm water
-water for cooking oats
-2 tsp xanthan gum (most whole wheat bread recipes use additional gluten to give the bread that stretchy dough quality and help hold the air bubbles from the yeast in so it isn’t dense, but I didn’t have any gluten on hand and did have this that serves the same purpose for making Bean’s gluten-free baked goods)
-4 tsp brown sugar

Heat oven to 200°F and then turn off.

Place oats (not oat flour) in a small saucepan. Fill with water until just covered. Bring to boil and simmer for a couple minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit.

Meanwhile, mix yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Add 1/4 cup warm water to proof yeast. If yeast does not become active and bubbly, start over with new yeast and sugar. Proof yeast for 10-20 minutes.

Sift together dry ingredients.

In a small prep bowl whisk together butter and honey. Add this to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Drain oats and add to flour mixture. Next add yeast mixture and remaining warm water (1 cup), incorporate thoroughly.

Remove from mixing bowl and kneed into a single ball of dough on a floured surface. Place in greased loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Place in oven to rise 1 1/2 hours. Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.

It is really yummy with butter and honey spread on a slice.

*Edited to add: The first time I made this bread I split it into two loaf pans thinking that it would be too much dough for one, but the bread wasn’t big enough for a sandwich slice. The next time I made it I just did it in one and it came out perfect. Evidence:

I am planning to try and create a gluten-free version of this bread too, but I haven’t done so yet. I’ll be sure to post it here if it turns out.

Oh and speaking of good food, just wanted to give a little shout out to some of my fellow foodies out there. Cousin Morgan recently did a post about good food, Cara just started a new blog and is on a homemade food challenge this month, and Kourtni also started a new blog about her journey into eating good food.

I finally watched Food Inc. with my sister and then the next night I watched it again with Stephen. There really wasn’t anything new in there that I didn’t already know from reading Fast Food Nation a few years ago (way back in 2003 right after I got married), but just like with the movie Super Size Me that came out sometime after that book (2004), it was a good reminder for me to get back on track with eating real food. Plus, it was obviously way more visually impactful than the book could be. I am so glad I got Stephen to watch it though because even though he said he was going to eventually read Fast Food Nation, he still hadn’t and now I feel after watching it with him that he is much more on board with my food craziness and I don’t think I’ll have a problem convincing him that we should buy the more expensive organic milk/veggies/meat/etc. He is even willing to consider letting us get a CSA box again! Yay!

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Wheat, buckwheat, oatmeal bread

Does that make it a multigrain bread?

Anyway, I wanted to make a wheat version of Bean’s special gluten-free bread that I’ve been making. So this is what I came up with.

-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup oat flour
-3/4 cup buckwheat flour
-1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
-1/4 cup flax seed meal
-3 tbsp brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-3 eggs
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tbsp molasses
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 packet active dry yeast plus 1 tsp granulated sugar for proofing yeast
-1 1/4 cup warm water
-rolled oats for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 200 and then turn off.

Grease a loaf pan.

Sift together your dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl whisk eggs, molasses, vinegar, and oil together.

In a small bowl mix yeast and sugar together. Then add 1/4 cup warm water and mix with a fork. Let sit for 20 minutes. It should be foamy and active. If not, start over with a new package of yeast.

With your mixer on stir, slowly add egg mixture and then yeast mixture to the bowl. Then slowly add your water to achieve the right consistency in your batter. The dough should be like very stiff cake batter. If you accidentally add too much water just add a little more flour.

Put the dough in your prepared pan. If desired, sprinkle rolled oats over the top and lightly press into the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in oven to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has risen to the top of the pan remove plastic wrap and bake the bread for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove from oven, cut, slather with butter and enjoy.

It’s pretty good, but it actually came out a bit more dense than the gluten-free bread and I kind of think I even like the gluten-free version better. Maybe I’m just weird. It is good though, so don’t let these statements discourage you.

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Gluten-Free Granola

I kind of get on kicks where I try to make everything from scratch at home because the food industry scares me. This is one of those kicks. And I haven’t even seen Food, Inc. yet, imagine what will happen to me after that.

A lot of granola in the stores has so much crap in it that I can’t even pronounce. And a lot of it has either wheat or egg whites in it, two things Bean can’t have.

Inspired by the Weelicious Wee Granola, I decided to try my hand at making a gluten-free version of this recipe. My recipe is really similar to hers, but I’ve changed things where I needed to accommodate Bean’s food allergies.

-2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats
-1 1/2 cups soy nuts (She has a mix of several nuts in her recipe, but since soy is the only “nuts” Bean has had, I decided to use those. I am not planning on introducing other nuts until after she’s two)
-3/4 cup dried fruit(s) of your choice (Again she has a mix adding up to this, but I just had dried apricots on hand so that is what I used, you can check out her recipe for more ideas)
-2 tbsp flax meal (She uses wheat germ, but Bean can’t have that so I Googled wheat germ substitute and this is what it said to use)
-1 tsp cinnamon (I really like the taste of cinnamon so I doubled her amount)
-1 tbsp molasses (Molasses are a really good source of iron and since our little gal isn’t a big fan of meat I’m always looking for ways to get more iron into her)
-1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp honey (between this and the molasses this adds up to the 1/2 cup honey she suggests in her recipe)
-1/2 cup Earth Balance with olive oil, melted (I didn’t have any vegetable oil on hand)

Preheat oven to 275.

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir until completely combined.

Place mixture on a parchment lined cookie sheet (please trust me and do this, you will thank me later when you don’t have granola stuck to your cookie sheet).

Bake for 40 minutes (OK her recipe has you bake for 30 minutes and then another 40, I tried this the first time and wound up with burnt granola, so I just did 40 minutes total and it turned out great). Remove from oven and let it remain on the sheet until it’s completely cooled so it can harden.

Serve with milk like cereal, with yogurt and fresh fruit, or you can put it in trail mix to munch on as a snack. She has a recipe for chewy granola balls that I may try as well.

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What I’ve been up to…

My sweet sister and her baby came to visit…

Photo by the always amazing John Stephens.

So a weekend with a bit of everything ensued: being lazy around the house, Vernal Equinox treat receiving, checking out cool shops on Main Street in old San Buena Ventura (and feeling very old pulling up in front of Urban Outfitters with my minivan and babies), soup eating and cousin fix getting (Bean’s new favorite word is her older cousin’s name and she was saying it and singing it over and over ALLLLL day long on Saturday), church, our favorite farmer’s market, and a photo shoot with John.

Bean loved on her cousin and her brother…

…while my sweet sister watched all the kids so this mama could go to Whole Foods all by herself and get some supplies for making Bean some yummy food that she isn’t allergic to.

I have been wanting to do this stuff for so long, but I haven’t had the time or energy until now.

So in the last couple days I have been gluten/dairy/egg-free bread making (this is our second loaf, it is so good)…

…and vegan gluten-free blueberry muffin making…

…and dairy-free yogurt making (still in progress).

I’ve also joined a book club, done lots of laundry and just plain enjoyed my kids. OK, back to my life now. See you later Internet. 🙂


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