Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shopping Fun at CVS

CVSing outdid itself this week.

In a summary, I spent $7.08 (including tax) out of pocket. But, I got back $14 worth of ECBs (talk about doubling your money)! Total before coupons et all...$50.95 (before tax)!

Quick Breakdown for those interested:

  • Dawn Detergent: on sale for $0.99 each - $.25 coupon = $0.74 each

  • Old Spice Deoderant: on sale 2/$5 - $1/2 coupon = 2/$4

  • Sunsilk gell and mouse: on sale 2/$7 - 2/$1.50 coupons = 2/$4 and I got $2.00 ECBs back making it $1 each.

  • Gillette Fusion Power Razor: on sale for $9.99 - $4.coupon = $4.99 and I got $5 in ECBs (this was advertised as $4.99, but hey, I'll take an extra penny!) making it FREE!

  • Colgate Total: on sale at 2/$5 - $1.00 off CVS coupon that printed for me and another $1/1 coupon = 2/$3 with $2.00 ECBs making it $0.50 each.

  • (My favorite today) Post-Its were on sale at 2/$5. I had three $3/2 coupons which brought each set of 2 down to $1.00 each. Plus, I got $5 in ECBs back ostensibly making each post-it pack $0.16 each!

  • And I got a couple of other items to remain undisclosed due to gift-giving probability. Well, one is a definite present the other has really good gift-giving potential and definite other uses potential. Plus, buying this item brought my total to just over $50 which meant I could use my lovely $10 off of $50 CVS coupon.

  • Plus, I spent $17 of ECBs from prior shopping trips.

Just a note for those newer to playing the CVS game. If you have a coupon for x amount of dollars off of x dollar amount of purchases (for example, my $10 off of $50 worth of items coupon today) always give that coupon to the cashier FIRST. Unlike Walgreens which annoying requires that you can only use one of those coupons AFTER all coupons have been applied, CVS let's you use it whenever. So by giving that coupon first, you don't have to buy as much to make the coupon worth something.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Springy Corn Bread (Gluten Free)

It's Fall and with Fall and Winter comes chilli. And with chilli comes - corn bread. Monday I had planned to make a white chilli with corn bread. But of course the obstacle of how to make a gluten free corn bread had to be faced.

Below is an extremely tasty and difficult to tell apart from regular corn bread, corn bread recipe. Once again this recipe is one that builds off of a basic flour mix, so don't get all confused!

The instructions below are for an 8" square pan, greased.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients:
Four Flour Bread Mix - 1 cup
Yellow Cornmeal – 1 cup
Xanthan gum – ½ tsp
Egg replacer – 1 tsp
Sugar – ¼ cup (although I used honey in place of this – just mix it with the wet ingredients)
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Salt – ¾ tsp

In a second bowl, blend the wet ingredient:

Plain yoghurt – 1 cup
Eggs, beaten – 2
Margarine, melted – 2 tbsp
Orange juice or water – ¼ cup (as orange juice and I have been having rather violent disagreements the last few months, I used the Simply grapefruit juice – worked brilliantly!)
(add the honey at this point if you are replacing the sugar)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just blended. Spoon the dough into the pan and bake at 400F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bread springs back when gently pressed. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Makes 9 servings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Confession

Yes, dear readers, you are going to find out a horrible, awful secret that I have been bearing the last few weeks. I would hide this from the world if I could, but a few other key people know about this already, and so it would come out someday. Someday when I'm running for president it would get spilled to the vile news-media and my deepest, darkest secret would be revealed to the world. And I would have to hide in shame. Flee the country. Change my name, my life, my citizenship. And so I decided it would be better to face up to it now, get it over with, bear my shame to the world.

What is this horrible secret?

Brace yourself.

I will confess.

I have officially become concerned about the security and safety of our country from zombies.

Think I've lost it? Perhaps I have. But it is true, nonetheless...to my everlasting shame.

Allow me to explain.

It all starts with a book. Well, two books. The first book is called The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks. This is a practical manual on how to protect yourself in time of zombie attack. A friend of ours got his hand on this and started telling us how to protect ourselves from the zombies. This of course generated all sorts of discussions among the boys of the best ways to kill a zombie, can zombies climb stairs, how fast can a zombie travel, etc.

Us girls shook our heads, laughed, mocked, and basically put up with it.

Perhaps the greatest illustration I can provide of the crazy obsession of these boys is to tell you of my husband's reaction to the fact that we woke up one morning and realized that our garage door had been open all night and anyone could have walked into the house very easily. Did he say something like, "We're lucky we didn't get ____ (fill in the blank: robbed, murdered in our sleep, etc)." No, no he did not. His immediate reaction was, "We're lucky the zombies didn't try and come in. There would have been no stopping them!" Seriously obsessed.

Then the next book appeared: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War also by Max Brooks (why this man's obsession with Zombie's, I have no idea).

Chris read this book incredibly fast, raved about it, and informed me that I absolutely needed to read this book. He assured me that I would really enjoy it, and it didn't read like a creepy zombie book but more like an oral history book.

After months of his commenting about how I should read this book, I finally caved. It's good for a wife to make her husband happy, right? And it was a little thing. With all the books I read, I might as well read this one book he was dying to share with me. And so one night, I began reading.

I will admit, I was immediately intrigued. The man writes this whole history of a Zombie war (humans against zombies - humans who have been infected by some type of disease which basically makes them undead) from the perspective of a reporter who is doing interviews with people. Which means that he has to tell all these different stories and connect all of these different sections of this make-believe war from a whole slew of different voices. While there are parts of the book that gave me chills to even consider what that would be like to live during, for the most part it was not a scary book. It was just intriguing. He lays out years worth of war through these interviews, provides commentary on politics, ethics, and other such difficult subjects while at the same time giving flashes of emotional, real life, humanity in his work. It's well written enough that I could almost believe this war had actually occured.

There was a night, however, when I knew things had gone too far. I had turned off my light and lay in bed listening to the breathing of my husband and wrestling of the dogs. And as I glanced at our window in our bedroom, I couldn't help but start thinking: You know, we have a problem. American windows have no burglar bars. They are just screen and then glass. If a zombie attacks, there's no way we could stop it from getting through the windows. And the rest of the house is just as bad. The front door really wouldn't stop anything that determined to get in and our book is a glass sliding door. A zombie could totally break in.

And it was at that point that I knew I had gone to the dark side. My self-respect shattered, memories of teasing the crazy boys for the zombie obsession haunting me, I groaned as I realized that I had been sucked into this crazy, zombie-obsessed world. And there was no turning back.

And so there you have it, dear reader. My confession of shame. I have gone to the dark side and am now obsessed with whether or not I could escape and protect my family in time of zombie attack.

Monday, September 22, 2008

FlyLadying - Week 3 September

Home Blessing
I'm proud to say that I thoroughly blessed my home this week. It's the first time in several months probably that I actually made it through five days worth of blessings. That was happy!

Last week's zone was the laundry room. I got started with this and managed to clean out the cupboards; however, I still need to pull out the machines and do a good vacuum behind each of them. And I also need Chris to help me pull the hoses out so we can actually vacuum the dryer hose as I haven't done that in a shamefully long time!

All in all though - a pretty good flying week!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Movie Review: Ballet Shoes

I watched a movie last night I just had to share. As you've probably deduced from the title of my blog, it's called Ballet Shoes. If any of you have had the delightful experience of reading Noel Streatfeild Shoes books - Ballet Shoes, Skating Shoes, Dancing Shoes, and Party Shoes - you will love this movie.

Actually, quick note on Streatfeild's works in general, I love them. Always have; always will. They just have that comfortable, charm about them that make them classics. And of course the fact that many of her books have to do with the performing world is an additional draw factor for me. She not only is a talented author but due to her own background in the performing arts, she can describe the emotions and experiences of those in that world with great accuracy. Love her!

Ballet Shoes is one of my favorite books of hers, and the movie actually held true to the plot! It's about three young girls who are all orphans and are brought up together by this woman who herself was an orphan as a child. Due to financial difficulties, they take an opportunity given to them to train for the stage. And the movie follows their paths in that training. As Chris said when the movie was done, it's just a wholesome movie. It deals with some hard issues of the performing world but does so in a delightful way.

Highly recommend it! Oh, and Emma Watson is in it. That's another good draw for the movie!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spiderman and School

Chris started classes this week. He is going back for a second undergrad in Communications. Why a second undergrad? Because (a) the program is really good and is designed for working adults and (b) as his first degree was in psychology, he's a bit more comfortable starting with the basics rather than trying to get straight into a master's program.
So, for the next 22 months of our lives, his schooling is our focus. Basically ever Thursday (he gets the occasional odd break here and there but very few) from 6 to 10, he is in class. Each class lasts 5 weeks and then he switches classes and starts all over again. So, needless to say, he's going to be very busy in the days off because he's got between 10 to 20 hours of homework every week.

To celebrate this momentous transition, I felt he really needed something to lift his spirits. Get him properly outfited for school so that he could feel confident.

So I bought him a spiderman lunchbox.

And filled it with school supplies.

Just to make him laugh because I can.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Funny Dogs

One of the jobs around the house my darling husband takes care of is that of washing the dogs. We do this rather wet job in the guest bathroom tub (don't worry, if you're ever staying at our house, we do clean it out!). He has the dogs well trained via treats in the tub. They don't necessarily like the bath but they tolerate them for the sake of the treats they get.

He has them trained to turn around in the tub so he can scrub their back end and one of their biggest tricks is to shake when he tells them to shake (with him outside the tub and the curtain safely drawn).

So as I sat in our living room, he was giving Mara Jade (the smaller of the two dogs) a bath. Calista, typically, was pacing around nervously being (a) seperated from her beloved Mara and (b) jealous of Mara getting treats and her not.

As Mara came to the end of her bath, I heard Chris in the bathroom telling her to shake. And all of the sudden to my great amusement, I hear the flapping of Calista's ears and tail as she proceeded to follow instructions very well and shake! Needless to say she earned herself a treat. Partially for being such an obedient dog and partially for just making us laugh.

FlyLadying - Week 2 September

Home Blessing - I wasn't very good about blessing my home last week. Probably because I was sick again most of last week and miserable. Tends to really affect how much I can do.

Zone - Kitchen: Theoretically, I'm supposed to just do 15 minutes a day in whatever zone I'm working on and not work on the weekend. However, given how tired I've often been during the week lately, I'm not always succeeding at doing this. So, this weekend when I was feeling better, I tackled my kitchen on Saturday. And boy did it need it!

The biggest thing I needed to do was to declutter my cupboards. Now, I'm normally pretty good about not hanging on to kitchen stuff that I don't use. I really don't like lots of random items around that just take up space.

What I did need to get rid of was food. Yup, lots and lots of food. Basically all the items that are perfectly good but were things that were gluten filled. Don't get me wrong, we've still got plenty of gluten contaminated food in the house. However, these were things that either I bought for myself to eat and Chris doesn't really like or things that I cook with (for example, cream of ____ soups) but there's no way Chris will eat without them being IN something. And since they were all lurking there taking up space in my cupboard now desperately needed for a whole slew of flours and other new gluten-free items....they had to go! And besides, I think I'm becoming paranoid of accidentally grabbing the wrong thing and poisoning myself.

So I now have quite a large box of food that needs to be given away (we have some receipients in mind).

In with all of this food decontamination, I also rearranged our pots and pans. I hate pots and pans. They don't fit. They're always falling over and getting in the way and driving me crazy. But obviously, as they are absolutely necessities to life, I can't just get rid of them. Chris helped me with this, and I think between the two of us, we did a good job rearranging. We'll see how it goes in the next few weeks. If I start kicking them again, obviously a bad sign!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I know I've been absent the last few days, and sadly, I'm not actually going to say a whole lot today! However, I wanted to post this very interesting thought I ran into the other day on Comical Coupon Cents. She did not originally write this and does not know where it originated.

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phone?
-What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?
-What if we flipped through it several times a day?
-What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
-What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
-What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
-What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?
-What if we used it when we traveled?
-What if we used it in case of emergency?

I know I don't own a cell phone, but I was reading through this list and actually applying it to several other items in my life that seem to take precedent over the actual important items at times.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Know You're a coupon addict when...

You go shopping, are putting the food away, spy two coupons on your cans of organic Del Monte (GF) tomato sauce, and stop the entire putting-away process just so you can rip those coupons off the cans and stash them in your coupon binder! And it makes you smile.

Stupid Coloring

It's 2am. No doubt you are asking yourself why I'm up at 2am. Especially given that "night owl" is definitely not in my description.

Artificial coloring.

Yup, two stupid little words and not enough attention on my part.

And what contained this lovely gluten contaminated, two worded, curse? Cheese.

I thought I had made sure all of our cheese was safe, but I think this may have been some cheese my baby sister bought when she was still here. Regardless, I wasn't paying close enough attention last night, dumped it on my chili-mac' as I had a very late dinner, and viola, 5 hours later I'm wide awake as my body makes very clear to me it is anti-articifical coloring and thus is going to punish me by keeping me up.

The really annoying thing is that I can generally tell within 4 to 5 hours of eating if something is going to be a problem. Actually, I can often tell much earlier than that, but whether it's going to keep me up or not is easily discernable in 4 to 5 hours. i.e. Right around the time I go to bed because we tend to eat dinner pretty early. So I've learned to ward off a sleepless night by taking either prescription or (if it's not to bad) non-prescription sleeping aide.

Well, because I ate late last night, my 4 to 5 hours later was about midnight. When I had already been in bed several hours. And now I can't take anything because I need at least 8 hours to get a sleep aide out of my system and I don't have 4 or 5 hours! GAH!

Let this be yet a lesson to me and all gluten-intolerant people out there...STOP, THINK, and READ labels before eating!

And so, since I have nothing else to do (except sleep which I can't do...) I've posted a new GF bread recipe and a couple of baking tips below. Enjoy!

Some Random GF Baking Notes

1. I'm not sure what ingredient does it; although, I think it's the xanthan gum, but if you ever lick beaters after making a lot of gluten free bread recipes, you will find the dough tastes very metallicy. Something seems to enhance the metal of the beaters. However, you can't taste it at all when the dough is cooked. Why? I don't know! But it had me really worried the first few times I started baking some of these GF recipes!

2. Also, be aware that home-made bread tends to go bad a lot more quickly than store-bought bread. But if you really want to make it go bad super quickly, put it in the fridge! You need to store it in an air-tight container on the counter if you're not freezing the bread.

If you consider what must go in store-bought bread to make it keep that long on the counter or in the fridge and taste exactly the same as when you bought it - BLEAGH!

Basic Featherlight Rice Bread (Gluten Free Bread)

I LOVE this bread! Closest thing to actual wheat bread I've had yet! And it doesn't crumble.

The amounts I'm giving here are enough to make three medium sized loafs or two large loafs of breads. Make sure you have a big bread pans though if you're only making the two loafs.

Dry Ingredients:
Featherlight Rice Flour Mix - 4 cups
Xanthan gum - 3 tsp
unflavored gelatin - 2 tsp
egg replacer - 2 tsp
salt - 1 tsp
sugar - 1/4 cup (I replaced the sugar with honey and it came out great - just make sure you don't put the honey in with the dry ingredients!)
dry milk powder or nondairy substitute - 1/2 cup
dry yeast granules - 2 1/4 tsp

Wet Ingredients:
Eggs - 3
Margarine or butter - 1/3 cup
Dough Enhancer or vinegar - 1 tsp
honey or molasses - 4 tsp
water (more or less) - 2 cups

Grease your chosen pans and dust with rice flour.

The water temperature will be different for hand mixing and for bread machines. For hand mixing have it at about 110F, for bread machine, read the directions in your manual.

For both hand mixing and machine mixing, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl (or the bowl of your mixer), whisk all the wet ingredients (except the water) until blended. Add most of the water to the egg mixture. The remaining water will be added as need after the bread has started mixing (either in your mixer or in the pan of the bread machine).

Bread Machine: place the ingredients in the machine pan in the order suggested in the manual. Use the setting for medium crust.

Hand Mixing: With the mixer turned to low, add the dry ingredients (including the yeast) a little at a time. Check to be sure the dough is the right consistency (should be like cake batter). Add more of the water as necessary. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 3.5 minutes.

Spoon into the prepared pans, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 35 minutes for rapid-rising yeast, 60 or more for regular yeast or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 50 to 60 minutes, covering after 10 minutes with aluminium foil.

I'm still testing how well this bread freezes. Will try to remember to update this when I find out!

Featherlight Rice Flour Mix (Gluten Free flour mix)

This particular flour mix and the bread recipe, Basic Featherlight Rice Bread, is easily the best gluten free bread I've found yet for making a bread that is the closest I've had to having a wheat bread texture. It's great with sandwiches, toast, etc.

The amounts below will give you 12 cups of flour which can then be used in various recipes.

Rice Flour - 4 cups
Tapioca Flour - 4 cups
Cornstarch - 4 cups
Potato Flour (not potato starch) - 4 tbsp

Dump it all in a zip-lock baggie, squish it all up to mix. Make sure you mark the bag with what kind of flour it is. And viola, flour for bread recipes!

*Note: The previous recipe I posted for Bette's Four Flour Bread Mix is higher in protein than this particular mix. Something to keep in mind for the nutritious conscious.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

FlyLadying - Week 1 September

When properly utlizing my systems, I have every day broken down into things that need to get done. Helps my stress levels and it's amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes or less!

Home Blessing:
FlyLady has what she calls a Home-Blessing day where she spends one hour getting her whole house in general cleanliness. Not deep-cleaning just a general dust, vacuum, changing sheets, sweeping, etc. Each item takes 10 minutes (no more than) and the idea is that with one hour of work the house should be guest ready. Ready to be checked with a white glove? No. But presentable.

Now, I've found that doing one hour on one day just wasn't working for me; inevitably the day I picked to do my Home Blessing I would be tired, extra busy, whatever. So, I've broken my Blessing down to a daily thing. One job takes me 10 minutes (max), and it's done for the week.

Success this week - well, considering we got back on Tuesday and had left the house clean, I didn't do a whole lot. I hit a few areas that needed it, and otherwise didn't do a whole lot of Blessing this week. Next week Monday will be when I try to start getting into my regular daily Blessing. So more on that later!

The Zoning idea is one of the more brilliant ideas of FlyLady (so I felt). Basically, each week focuses on a different "zone" of the house. This is a time to declutter, deep clean, and generally really focus on that area of the house. Now, her zones didn't match my house very well, so if any of you readers happen to be a FlyBaby, I'm not going to be in the same Zone as her at any time. Just an FYI!

Basically what I do with a Zone is spend 15 minutes (no more than unless I'm really feeling inspired) decluttering (for those unfamiliar with this term - getting rid of extra things that you really don't need in your house) and deep cleaning.

This week's Zone was my hallways, the porches, and the guest bathroom.

The porches, sadly, didn't get touched. They need it, but I didn't have time. And while the perfectionistic side of me sometimes goes a little crazy wanting to clean EVERYTHING, RIGHT NOW, I've come to realize that it's not that helpful and if anything ends up stressing me out. So, having accepted the fact that I just wasn't going to get to them this week, I focused on what I could do.

The hallways got decluttered (not deep cleaned though), especially our back hallway as it tends to wind up with random things on the coat rack hanging on our wall. I think the next few months might find me doing a lot of rearranging as I have some ideas for utlizing our space better and making it feel less strangulated. I do have a pile of things sitting in the hallway right now that need to be put into the garage. That'll happen tomorrow (I think!).

And the guest bathroom got cleaned. Not as thoroughly as I would have liked but enough so that I don't feel embarassed with anyone using it! I tend to be pretty strict on that 15 minute rule with myself.

On top of my regular stuff, I did a quick tidy of the whole house this afternoon. We just had randomness piled up in weird places. It's amazing how much cleaner a house feels with just the stuff being put away. Is it necessarily actually, cleaner? No. But it looks it!

So, September, week 1, I'll give myself an A-! (Yes, yes, go ahead and laugh at me. Get it out of your system. It's allowed. I laugh at myself!)

Order and Chaos

Life is beginning to slow down again, and as far as the changes in my life go, normalize a bit. My baby sister (who lived with us all summer) has moved back out to the dorms, our number of visitors has decreased somewhat (I counted it up, since April - not counting my sister - we have had 2 full 7 day periods of time without guests; it's no wonder I'm a little tired!), and life is beginning to fall into patterns and routines again (upon which I thrive!).

In an attempt to keep myself accountable (if I know I have to 'fess up somewhere, I'm more likely to do it!), I'm going to be talking more about reestablishing my routines around the house - cleaning, decluttering, menu-making, devotions, exercise, etc, etc. Everything has kind of fallen down around me the last few months, and now that I finally feel I'm beginning to get a bit more control over my health, I want to start refocusing my energies on other parts of my life!

Now, as far as cleaning/decluttering, etc a lot of what I talk about in those areas are ideas that come from FlyLady. If you are unfamiliar with FlyLady, she is the charming woman who has a website all about the establishing of routines and systems to get your house (and your life) out of chaos and into order.

When I first started reading her website, I found I was intrigued. I'm a pretty tidy person. I view my home as my sanctuary and so want it to be as clutter and stress-free as possible. However, I really struggled for a long time with how to consistently keep it clean, etc, especially when I was teaching full-time and working 60 or more hours as week. FlyLady gave me some really good ideas in those areas. Did I follow her exact methodology for doing things. Um, well, maybe for a couple of weeks! What I did do though (and this is what she's constantly encouraging people to do) is to take her concepts, rework them to fit my life, and run with it. And with the personalization, her ideas really did change a lot of how I do things. For the better, of course.

Unfortunately, I really haven't been utilizing them lately. So, onward I am going to reutilize good things and revitalize my life!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bette's Four Flour Bread (Gluten Free)

This is a gluten free springy bread that is quite nice. I have only made it the plain, simple way shown here; however, I'll list some other ideas that are supposed to work with this bread (and which I plan on experimenting with).

I don't really find this that good of a sandwich bread - I have a better recipe for that. However, it makes a tasty snack or a light breakfast bread.

The amounts I have listed below are for 1 loaf of bread. Obviously double (or triple or whatever other multiplier you desire) to make more.

Dry Ingredients
Bette's Four Flour Bread Mix - 2 1/4 cups
Dry Yeast granules - 2 1/4 teaspoons

Wet Ingredients
Eggs - 2
Margarine or butter - 3 tbsp
Dough enhancer or vinegar - 1/2 teaspoon
Warm water, milk, or nondairy substitute - 1 cup (more or less)

Grease your chosen pan(s) and dust with rice flour.

The liquid temperature will be different for hand mixing and bread machines. For hand mixing, have the liquid at about 110 to 115F; for your bread machine, read the directions in the manual.

For both hand mixing and machine mixing, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, margarine, and dough enhancer. Add most of the water (liquid of your choice). The remaining liquid should be added as needed after the bread machine has started mixing, either in the bowl of your mixer or in the pan of the bread machine.

Hand Mixing: with the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients a little at a time. Check to be sure the dough is the right consistency (like cake batter). Add more of the reserved liquid as necessary. Turn the mixer to high and beat the batter for 31/2 minutes.

Spoon the dough into the prepared pan(s), cover, and let rise in a warm place about 35 - 45 minutes for rapid rising yeast, 60 or more minutes for regular yeast or until the dough reaches the top of the pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 50 - 60 minutes. After 10 minutes, cover with aluminium foil.

Bread Machines: place the ingredients in the bread machine in the order suggested by your machine manual. Use the setting for white bread with medium crust.

  • Lemon-Poppy Seed - for each cup of mix used, add 1 tsp dried lemon peel and 1 tsp poppy seeds to the dry ingredients
  • Quinoa Bread - for each cup of mix used, add 1 tbsp quinoa four to the dry ingredients and 1 tsp honey to the wet ingredients
  • Almond Bread - for each cup of mix used, add 1 1/2 tsp almond meal to the dry ingredients and 1/2 tsp almond flavor to the wet ingredients
  • Cinnamon-Nut - for each cup of mix used, add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients and stir in 2 tbsp chopped nuts after the dough is mixed
  • Sesame Bean Bread - for each cup of mix used, add 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds to the dry ingredients and 1 tsp molasses to the wet ingredients.
  • Other Suggestions: cocoa powder, grains, nuts, fruits

Nutrients per slice: Calories - 90; Fat - 3 g; Carbohydrates - 14g; Cholesterol - 0mg; Sodium - 90mg; Fiber - 1g; Protein -3g

Bette's Four Flour Bread Mix (Gluten Free)

This is a basic flour mix that you can keep a bag of ready to add to any number bread recipes that I'll be trying out and possibly putting up here in the future. The nice thing about this is that once you have the basic flour mix prepared, when you actually come to bake the bread, you don't have to mess around with a lot of dry ingredients. Basically you add the wet ingredients and go!

I'm going to list the amount to make 12 cups of the flour (which will make 6 loaves of bread); however, it's easy enough to double the recipe and have enough on hand to make 12 loaves.

Instructions: Throw all of the following ingredients in a bag together. Mix (I do this just by squishing the outside of the bag). Write which mix the flour is (as I'm going to be posting more than one type of flour mix like this!) on the front of the bag. Store for future use.

Garbanzo and Fava Bean flour - 3 cups
Sorghum Flour - 1 cup
Tapioca Flour - 4 cups
Cornstarch - 4 cups
Xanthan Gun - 3 tablespoons
Salt - 1 tablespoon
Egg Replacer - 1 tablespoon
Unflavored Gelatin (optional) - 3 (7 gram) envelopes
Sugar* - 3/4 cup

*I refuse to use sweet'n'low or any of the other fake sugars as I think they're about as bad for you as actually using regular cane sugar. However, I have been incorporating rice syrup into a lot of my recipes and plan to try applesauce, maybe fruit juice, or some other sugar replacement ideas I've run across. Haven't done so yet, but I will let you know how it turns out. But, if you do use a wet replacement, obviously, don't add it to the bag of flour otherwise you'll have to use all of the flour immediately! Just don't forget to add it into your list of ingredients for making the actual bread!

Gluten Free Eating

I wanted to put up some of the new GF recipes I've been making lately, so the next few posts are all GF related. I feel like I'm slowly getting into a better place as far as food goes. And I think I'm finally getting to a place where the idea of feeling sick and nasty is emotionally frustrating enough that foods that lead to that state of being are becoming more repulsive to me. Still have the occasional craving, but it's all coming together slowly.

Any ways, I'm going to make a recipes label that will become (theoretically) full of GF goodness (and possibly some not so GF goodness as well - thanks to the Domata flour, I can still make a lot of my old baking recipes with just a few adjustments here and there).

Monday, September 1, 2008


A few weeks ago, darling Husband and I were discussing the start of his upcoming schooling and we realized that we really wanted to take a vacation prior to the craziness of the next two years starting. You might remember that we cancelled our vacation in July at the last minute because I was having a hard enough time finding food to eat ate home at the time never mind finding food while on the road! So, after some hemming and hawing, we finally decided to come and visit L & M - some friends of ours in Memphis, Tennessee. So, a few emails later, a bit of packing and arranging, and Friday we headed off.

It was a beautiful drive down and included the entertainment of choosing whether to go to the random towns of Egypt or Pocahontas.

Saturday we spent a lot of the day looking around Memphis - a town that mentally I have always associated with music and now emotionally associate with music!


  • went to St Jude (where M is going to be a doctor)

  • traversed the Mississipi

  • went to a baseball game (where I was entertained primarily by a baby, watched probably about two minutes of the actual game, learned that baseball is a very dangerous spectator sport as objects really do come flying at you, and watched my husband eat a disgusting Memphisian food combo of Nachos, cheese, chicken, and barbecue).

  • walked down Beale street and got a feel for the night life of Memphis

Sunday was church and hanging out playing games.


I was entertained watching Apple, L & M's pug, wake Chris up in the morning.

Then we went back downtown and watched the ducks walk to their pond in the Peabody Hotel. This was definitely an entertaining show. Due to evacuees from Gustav, there was a ton of people at the hotel for the show. Basically what happens is that these ducks live in a suite in the hotel. Every day at 11am, they are taken down to the lobby of the hotel where they walk a red carpet to a pond in the middle of the hotel lobby and proceed to spend their day swimming around the pond. Then every day at 5pm, they are taken back up to their suite! Totally random? YES! The result of too much alcohol? I believe so! But still fun to see.

The other exciting part of Monday was going to the Gibson guitar factory in Memphis where we saw the factory where the guitars are put together. There were no works that day because it was Labor day; however, it was still pretty cool to go.

Monday night we hung out and played more games (Settlers of Catan - our new favorite addiction and a game L had recently received for her birthday, so we were helping her master strategy for the game). We also had a brief Readers Response session as both Chris and I read and then reviewed for L a story she had recently written (she's working on her masters in Creative Writing at the university in Memphis). Both of which activities Chris and I enjoy doing very much!

And then Tuesday morning it was up early and driving back to Springfield. Tired but happy for having had a brief break.

One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...