Candid Reflections

January 12, 2009

Territories, Trails, & Expeditions

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 1:41 pm

Did I mention that History is my favorite subject?  We’re making these not exactly proportionally accurate maps as part of our Westward Expansion study of U.S. History.  A little bit of salt dough for our mountain ranges and some water colors on cardboard, a great reinforcement for the kids as they listen to each lesson.   Today, we read about the First Transcontinental Railroad and they drew tracks across their maps.

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January 10, 2009

Savory Coconut Cupcakes – gluten & dairy free

Filed under: Gluten-Free — Tags: , , , , — candid reflections @ 12:06 pm

Not just an ordinary cupcake… they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and assuredly delicious!

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Coconut Cupcakes

1 c. sifted coconut flour
½ c. potato starch
½ c. tapioca starch
3 t. baking powder
2 c. sugar
1 c. margarine
6 eggs (or egg substitute)
1 c. coconut milk
2 t. vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients, set aside.  Cream together sugar and margarine.  Combine eggs, coconut, and vanilla, then add to sugar mixture.  Mix into dry ingredients.  Pour batter into muffin tins lined with paper cups.  Bake at 350º for 20-30 min.

Coconut Frosting

4 Tbsp. coconut flour
1 c. coconut milk
1 c. margarine
1 ½ c. powdered sugar
½ c. brown sugar
2 t. vanilla

Heat coconut flour and milk in a saucepan until thickened.  Set aside to cool.  Cream together margarine, sugars, and vanilla.  Beat in cooled coconut mixture until it is smooth and resembles whipped cream.  Add 1tsp. of xanthan gum to stabilize, if necessary.   *note:  Next time I think I’ll try heating the brown sugar with the coconut milk and flour, to eliminate some of it’s graininess.

A Good Family Read

Filed under: On the Nightstand — candid reflections @ 8:23 am

This rainy weather has our family curled up with a most captivating friend:

The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart

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January 6, 2009

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Filed under: Gluten-Free, In the Kitchen — Tags: , , , , — candid reflections @ 10:15 pm

When my youngest little fella was diagnosed with a few food allergies recently, I really felt quite sorry for the little guy.   The thought of going through life without the ability to devour scrumptious cinnamon rolls fresh out of  the oven, and to have to face a plate of spaghetti without the noodles or a cheesy piece of garlic bread to gnaw on – I think I’d lose my mind… I’d definitely lose a few pounds! 

Anyway, I love to bake, and I’m on a new found quest to find delicious, not just tolerable, treats for my food challenged little guy.  The standing test on whether a recipe is a keeper or not in my kitchen is how fast it gets gobbled up, and I’m making no exceptions with the allergy recipes.  So for this cake to go from this:

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to this in one short evening, you know it’s good!  and to think only one of us has the food sensitivities!

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Yummy Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups brown rice flour
¼ cup almond meal  if you have it
¾ cup cocoa
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs  – or 2 Tbs. flax seeds in 2/3 cup of water for those who can’t do eggs
1 cup milk – or rice milk, or soy milk for those who can’t do dairy
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 .  Grease and flour a 9×13 baking pan, or two 9″ rounds.  Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, beat on medium speed 2 min. (or if you can’t have eggs like my little guy then place the flax seeds in a pan with the water, bring to boil, and then simmer for five minutes.  Add this mixture to the other wet ingredients in place of the eggs.) Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin.)  Pour into pan.  Bake 30-35 or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick of margarine
2/3 cup Cocoa
3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup rice milk or soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip soft margarine and cocoa with electric mixer.  Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed.  Add vanilla.  Spread on cake.

January 3, 2009

making a baby album

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , — candid reflections @ 6:00 am

 I put together these album pages using pictures from my photo session with baby Paige. 

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Now I’m anxious to order the album   but there are so many choices! 

Cloth? 

   

Or leather?   Flush mount or hinged?

There are even baby sized books with baby sized colors!

 

I think I’ve narrowed it down to either the beige leather one in the left center, or the lavender cloth with purple leather binding one on the right… what do you think – is beige leather too distinguished for a baby book?  Should I stick with a pastel colored cloth, or maybe leather gives it a timeless feel?  I’ll be using it as a sample album… if you were in the market for an album, which do you think would be more appealing?

 

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