Friday, March 13, 2015

Bible Study Launch Team!

I, among many other women, was invited to be a part of the launch team for the new Seamless Bible Study by Angie Smith. I'm super excited to see the stuff they put out for us to share. So I'll be putting some up here occasionally too. Angie's book about her daughter Audrey really helped me start to heal after losing our baby the Christmas before we had  Asher. I read it and cried and cried but it helped. So I'm excited to see what this brings for a small bible study as well. She's so approachable. 

Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I discussed this in depth with Coach and on facebook but I'm still irritated.  I bought an old serger off a facebok buy/sell/trade over a year ago.  I love it.  It was perfect, and I really loved the way it serged (sergered? no idea).  But the knives (if you don't know what a serger is, check this out and it'll kind of explain why those knives are important) are dull.  This wouldn't be a problem if I hadn't totally become accustomed to using it for a wide variety of things I never thought I'd want it for.

I got spoiled.

Then I also tried to find new needles for it.  They don't exist unless you special order them.  Aka $$$$$$$$$$$. So I put it off hoping I wouldn't break one.  Then the knives stopped cutting through much and then the machine would jam up as the fabric got stuck.  This almost ruined a custom order dress or two.  So I got frustrated.

I spent the hour I got alone Tuesday as Coach took the kids to the park making random phone calls, then decided to use The Google to find a shop that could service it.  It should also be able to gather fabric but doesn't, which wasn't a big deal but if I was going to have to haul it to a shop for repairs might as well get it serviced.


Six shops around the metroplex, and all quoted me this:  service on a serger begins at $99.99 but could cost up to $139.99--not including parts.  New upper and lower knives cost about $40-60.  I just.... WHAT!  A service on my fancy-pants pilot-the-space-shuttle Bernina quilting machine only cost me $75!!!  How????

I had a freak out.  Do I sink money into this old thing or just buy a new one.  Which, by the way, would only cost me $190 and come with a warranty.  And needles I can buy anywhere and replace easily.  And it would gather fabric.

I really didn't want a new machine, I like this one.  But I did it; I bought the new one.  The gamble was too high fixing a 20+ year old machine to buy it time to possibly die.  But why did a service cost that much? I'm just flabbergasted.  Do they not realize that you can find a brand new machine for that?  I'm clueless.

Poor Coach. I had promised no new machines after the 440QE and the embroidery machine at thanksgiving.  I had just started turning profit enough to put away for the trip I'm so desperate to take to NOLA.  Now I'm back at square one.  I mean lucky I'm already booked with orders in the shop through June, so it'll be fine, but I'm still really sad about this.  Poor old serger.  You lived a good life, boo.

This came in Thursday and I set it up yesterday, which is good because I have a stack of things I couldn't serger with the old one.  Sorry buddy, you have been replaced.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Tuna Cakes

I really struggle with Friday's during lent, it's just not at the forefront of my mind to remember to not eat meat. And fish is so expensive these days. Lloyd can also put away a shocking amount of shrimp, so making that every week is $$$$$. I found this recipe online, edited with what I had on hand, and it worked really really well with my egg substitute. And quick. Super quick to throw together. 

Tuna Cakes

Makes about 10 patties

2 cans tuna, packed in water
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 tsp capers
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp homemade egg replacer, mixed with 2 Tbsp of boiling water

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a baking sheet with oil. Mix all ingredients together with your hands until well incorporated, but careful to still keep the tuna in good sized-chunks. 

Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, or your hands, place rounded balls into baking sheet then flatten lightly. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden and sides are beginning to crisp. 

We ate with Thai sweet chili sauce. Or I put mine on a biscuit and it was really yummy as a tiny sandwich. A really really good alternative to all my regular Friday lent fish ideas. Plus easy. Win-win-win. :)


Other than a few food posts I haven't really been here since I finished up Asher's first year. Whoops, my bad yall. For some reason the spring has been flying by. 

Probably because it's soccer season and I can barely find my own children under the piles of laundry Coach creates during season. On game nights he makes a solid load of dirty, damp, smelly clothes the second he walks in the door. Good heavens the laundry. And soccer laundry mildews it's so damp from being out in the cold and muck. Our poor washer. I'm glad appliances don't have feelings.

And we have had some crazy ice/snow weather down here that has kind of disrupted our normal routines and by the time we get back into a good one it happens again. Examples:
I'm trying to think of what we have even been up to and other than being giant children with crazy appetites, I can't think of much. 

I've been embroidering more and waiting for another busy wave of sewing orders to hit. Graduation memory quilt spots are already being "reserved" but I don't have any in-hand yet to work on. I would bet after spring break I get a bunch. 

We are trying to plan a trip to New Orleans this summer. And while I generally would completely forgo a trip to the bayou during the summer months, we are well overdue for a family trip. We haven't ever taken a vacation and most of my dad's family has never met Coach, much less the boys. I'm already having anxiety about the 9 hour drive but I'll be glad to go. I'm already looking forward to it. If we survive the trip with a 4 year old (!!!) and an 18 month old (cry all the tears).

My sister and brother-in-law are also—as we speak—PCSing down to Ft. Sill in Oklahoma and it'll be nice to have them close, even if only temporarily. A few months is better than none! Plus it'll be summer so we can do lots of pool time with the kids. My niece is getting gigantic. 

And we still haven't celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! Every time, every year, we plan something the world blows up in our face. So here it is 3 months late and still we haven't had a date night. Or used our fancy restaurant gift card. We need it SO BAD. I cannot even tell you. So prayers that we can have that sometime in the next century. So need time with my man. 

And that's it. Had to get a new phone. Silly but that's a big deal in mommy-land. And the case is RED. Like yikes red. 

Lloyd picked it out. He's obsessed with the red gingerbread man in Candy Land. Serious business, playing board games with a 3 year old. :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dairy Free Banana Pudding

Here's the continuation of the wanted-banana-pudding-but-didn't-have-wafers saga. Part 2, if you will. 

Vanilla Pudding
(Adapted from good Ol' Betty Crocker)

1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (or potato starch)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups dairy free milk (we use Original Coconut Milk)
1 tsp real vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter 

In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, arrowroot powder, and salt together. Over medium heat, whisk in milk. Stirring periodically bring up to a boil, allow to boil and thicken for about 1-2 minutes. 

I always separate my egg yolks into the milk measuring cup to make this next part easy. Pour about 1/3-1/2 of the hot mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs don't scramble--aka tempering the yolks. Add this back to the pan and allow to come back up to a boil again for one minute. Add the vanilla and butter, stirring until butter is melted in. Remove from heat.

Pour into a large bowl, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate. I do this overnight because if not someone (my husband, cough cough) will eat it. 

In the morning:

Banana Pudding

1 recipe Vanilla Pudding
2 large, ripe bananas, sliced
1/2 container So Delicious Coconut Whipped Topping (thawed in your fridge)

I was ghetto and just sliced into the whipped topping, cutting it in half, and let it thaw on top of the pudding over night (putting the remainder back in the deep freeze to hoard for later). Anywho, gently fold the whipped topping into your pudding.  Then mix in your bananas (you can do this trifle-style, but who has time for that nonsense). I like to do this first thing in the morning so it can get nice and banana-like to serve at dinner. You could add the bananas when the pudding is still hot, you may just break them up a bit adding the whipped topping in.  

I then pushed as many vanilla wafers down the side and put a whole bunch on top. We like lots. 

There you are! I know it seems like a ton of steps but it's all easy stuff and the taste is wonderful.

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers

So I wanted to make banana pudding this weekend. Which snowballed into this. They're not gorgeous because I had no interest in taking the time to locate a piping bag. That's just too much for me. But they're really tasty! 

Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers
(Adapted from here)

1/2 cup of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Beat butter, salt and sugars together until creamed. Beat in your egg (I just used a yolk since my boys are allergic to the whites) and vanilla. 

Soft your dry ingredients together and add into your wet. Beat for a few minutes to make sure it's combined. Allow to sit for about 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I added the whole recipe to one ziplock sandwich bag and snipped a corner off. I then "piped" out quarter sized dollops onto the baking sheet, leaving a good distance between since they will spread a bit. Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are turning golden. Remove from oven and aloe to cool on wire racks. 

Makes a TON. But they won't last long.  They're way too easy just to pop into your mouth as you pass by the cooling racks. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cinnamon Sweet Rolls

So I love Pioneer Woman Ree. She's great and funny and I want to be her best friend.  Her recipes are really easy to convert because she doesn't use a lot of weird ingredients I guess.  She lives in the south.  All problems can be solved with butter or cornbread. Or barbeque.  Life is good. Anywho, if you've ever had her sweet rolls oh my word.  They're work but they make a billion, so it's a little less annoying.  I made a full recipe 2 years ago and ended up with 7 pans.  Seven.  

We ate them all.  Yikes.

I have had pretty good luck lately adapting recipes and I can totally blame Caitlin for making them last weekend and making me want them so bad.  So I ventured out and they came out fantastic.  First time out.  So I'll probably never get them that good again.  But that's how it goes.  Anywho, since I'm not a food blogger and just a recipe adapter-sharer here is what I did to make hers good but allergy friendly.  Bare with me, reference her photos for a guide, and take the sticky plundge.  

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cinnamon Sweet Rolls

Adapted from Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond

2 cups dairy-free milk (we use coconut milk around here)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil (not extra virgin, you can use another type but we stick to olive oil here for corn-free)
1 tsp (heaping) Xanthan gum
1 Tbsp (heaping) psyllium husk powder
1 package of yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup millet or sorghum flour
1/2 tsp (heaping) baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of fair trade, organic brown sugar (trust me, this stuff really does taste way better.  It's worth it)
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 cup fair trade, organic powdered sugar (sifted)--for a corn free recipe
dairy free milk
1 tsp good vanilla

Scald the milk, sugar, and olive oil over medium heat--do not let it boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to medium-warmish (she says 45 minutes. I'm not that patient, I gave it like 5-10).  

Add the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, and psyllium husk powder to your mixer and mix to combine.  Slowly pour in the milk mixture on low; once combined add yeast and mix.  Cover and let rest for about an hour.

Add the millet, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the mixture.  Mix on medium for about 6 minutes until it is moving fluidly; it will still be sticky, very sticky--just like all gluten free breads it will not seem right but trust me it is.  

I have a giant silpat that I roll cookies and everything out on, which was awesome for containing my mess but your regular counter works fine.  Just make sure it's clean.  Pouring a generous amount (I used 1/2 to 3/4 cup) of flour on your "rolling" surface, seriously do NOT skimp (if you feel like you have too much, you're just right), dump your dough out of the bowl.  Using a wet hand--I just repeatedly dip my hand into water I've poured into my dirty dough bowl--spread your dough out until it's even and about 1/4" thick.  

Melt your butter and pour the whole stick over your giant rectangle, spreading it evenly.  Sprinkle both sugars and cinnamon all over the bread, I ended up using my already dirty hand to make sure it was all well mixed (Lloyd did the sprinkling).  Using a knife, you should get 12-14 rolls out of this rectangle--so depending on the size of your rectangle you do the cutting, then roll your dough right up.  You'll see I wasn't kidding about the amount of flour.  Place each one in a baking dish--I used two pie plates for this round.  

If you want to freeze them--stop here, wrap well, and freeze.  This is also where I stop to refrigerate if you want to make them a day ahead. I let mine sit for 30 minutes to a full hour at room temp while my oven did a really good preheat to 375 degrees F.  This is important for gluten free breads I've learned, they take a really long time to absorb oils and liquid. Bake for 18-25 minutes, it'll depend on the size of your rolls and your oven.  They'll be starting to brown on top.  Remove from your oven, smell the wonderful scent.

Mix up your 'icing', I add the milk slowly to achieve a good consistency.  You don't want it too thick or runny, so go with your gut and start slowly with the milk.  Pour it over the hot, delectable rolls.  Try not to eat the whole pan.  

And believe it or not this is half her recipe.  Eek! But really, if you're going to take the time might as well make a bunch and freeze them.  It really does make sense for the time/effort it takes, but it was easier to type up the 1/2 recipe I did today.