Monday, July 12, 2010

Things That Have Made Me Laugh.

Oh my gosh, I just came across this blogpost and laughed until I cried. I tried to call my husband upstairs to read it, but was laughing so hard I just ended up just laying on the top banister. Luckily he came up to see what the commotion was about and I was able to point to the computer.

Some things are too funny not to share.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

My mom used to serve a chocolate cherry cake back when we could both eat gluten. The good old days.

But now that Betty Crocker has the devil's food cake mixes, we are making this again. It is so yummy.

1 box gluten free chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup water
1/2 can cherry pie filling

Mix cake mix, butter, egg and water according to the directions on the box.

When you open the cherry pie filling there will be cherries and some gel-like stuff. First divide your can of cherries into 2 portions. Scoop out as much of the gel stuff as you can out of one portion and mix it with the cake mix. You can freeze the other half of the cherries and filling to save for the next time you make these cupcakes.

Pour a small amount of batter into each cupcake cup. Place about three cherries on top of the batter and then fill the cup almost until the top. I did this with most of my cupcakes and I think it tastes the best, but I did have trouble getting the cupcakes out of the cupcake holder without breaking. I also experimented with placing the cherries on top of the batter. These cupcakes did not break, but they didn't taste quite the same. Experiment with it and see which works best for you.

Bake per the directions on the cake box. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Storing Gluten Free Flours

Any of you who have ever baked gluten free know what a pain it is to store all the flours needed. There are a million different possibilities and it seems that every recipe calls for a different blend of different flours. I realized one day that I was rarely baking simply because I did not have the needed flours on hand or because it was too much of a pain (and too messy) to get out all those flours. So I made some changes.

My first change is that I try to only make recipes that call for the flours I have on hand. I am not willing to buy Aramanth flour for one recipe and find out that I don't like it anyway. It's too expensive and having all the different flours clutters up my cupboard anyway. I keep on hand

*I make Jules' flour mix myself, but I like to make it in bulk and keep it in the cupboard. That way it's always ready since it is my go-to flour mix. It's also the reason I have most of the flours I do stock. It takes six of the ones listed to make the mix.

For some reason most gluten free flours either come in a narrow box or a cellophane bag. I can't get a measuring cup in and out of them and they make a huge mess all over the counter. I bought the store brand equivalent of Gladware in a large flat size. One that could hold an entire box or bag of flour, still fit on my shelves and that I could get a measuring cup in and out of. I got a couple of larger ones for things like my flour mix. I usually make a double batch at a time and I wanted it to all fit in one bin.

They stack up great in my cupboard and I can tell at a glance which flours I need to buy more of if I'm headed to the health food store.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hiding Furniture Scratches

When I go to places like the Salvation Army thrift store I almost never bother to look at the art because most of it is terrible. There is a reason that the person that donated it no longer wanted it in their home and it's usually pretty obvious. But my mom was with me that day and when I went over to that section of the store to get her I noticed this mirror. It was gorgeous. I picked it up and it was very heavy, almost like picking up the Doodlebug.

The wood frame was real, but it had some nicks and scratches on it. And it was half off. That made it $7.50. For a gorgeous wooden frame with mirror.

The next thing I know, I'm in line with it tucked under my arm. Hmm, how did that happen?

I think a lot of pieces look better with a distressed look. But when my hubby suggested trying to touch up the scratches and dings with shoe polish my ears perked up. How could shoe polish fix a wooden mirror frame?

Well, it turns out that shoe polish is basically dye mixed into some wax. That sounds like it could work, so we got out the shoe polish and tried it.

Less than five minutes later the scratches were almost invisible. Amazing!

I loved this quick and easy fix to spruce up my thrift store mirror. Doesn't it look great in it's new home?

For more great tips check out Works for Me Wednesdays on Kristen's blog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Yesh Man

We're already seeing signs of the terrible two's.

Screaming fits on the floor that last twenty minutes at a time. Daily. Multiple times a day.

The cause of said tantrum? I asked Doodlebug to crawl or walk over to his highchair because he said he was hungry. It was ten feet away.

I guess that makes me the meanest mommy on the planet. I know that leads to some really rough days.

But a week ago Doodlebug also learned a new word. Yes. Or as he says it, "Yesh".

It is his stock answer for everything.

Do you want to eat?


Do you want to play ball?


How are you this morning?


Will you financially support Mommy in her old age?


Can I quote you on that?


In a few more weeks the stock answer will change to "No". But until then I'm just going to enjoy my little yesh man.

Isn't he the cutest little boy in the world? Yesh.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Silicone Bakeware

One thing that's different about gluten free baking is that the doughs are a lot stickier. One time I made my pizza crust without parchement paper. Can anyone say mistake? My husband and I were trying to chip it off of the baking sheet. Not exactly the result I was going for.

But for some odd reason the way to tear parchment paper eludes me. I cannot get it to tear in a straight line. Or anything that may resemble a straight line. So I always ended up having to fold some of the paper under and often tear off another small piece to patch up the side that doesn't have enough paper. Not fun.

So when I found out how easily food slides off silicone I was hooked. Until I priced it, that is. Yowza! They want how much for one baking sheet liner? Eventually I found a baking set on clearance. It was a bit more than I had planned to spend, but I got 2 huge baking sheet liners, 2 8"round cake pans, 1 9" square cake pan, 12 cup muffin pan, 2 bread loaf pans, and a meatloaf pan. I'm not quite sure about the meatloaf pan thingy, but the rest are awesome!

Most of gluten free baking requires 8" round pans or 9" square pans. When I used to bake with wheat flours a pan of brownies or a cake went into a 9" x 13" pan, but not anymore. This set is just the right size.

Now, I have been a bit surprised at how much better my bread turns out in the bread pans. Although they hold the same amount of bread dough as my old pan, they are longer and narrower. I think this helps compensate for the structure that is missing from the gluten in the flours.

When I took these pans out of the oven, one of the loaves of bread caught on the heating element at the top of the oven because it was so tall.

I just love my new baking set. It really does make gluten free baking much easier for me.
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