Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mommy Diary Take Two: 40 Weeks

September 26, 2014

Dear Asher-

This week has been quiet. We think you've said Dada but it's so hard to tell with baby babble. You do signal for "up" now, we will sign it then you will wave your hand mimicking it. It's pretty cute. You love playing with your brothers play toy balls, anything round you will chase after. You are also wicked fast little speed demon with the crawling and all we listen for is your thunder-hands, as Daddy calls them. Your face has started to thin out and you have a neck now for the first time ever. Makes me sad! I've also put almost all your one-piece 24 month outfits in the too-small bin because the buttons will pop the second you start moving. So I grudgingly got the 2T bag out and washed a few items. You're making me sad honey bear! 

Love, 
Momma

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gluten Free Scones

I've posted my moms scone recipe before but I thought I would repost it with my gluten free adaptations. If you want to make it vegan you can easily use a chilled butter substitute.

I'm a personal fan of using tart dried cherries and blueberries. My mom loved dried apricots. Coach, of course, likes chocolate chips with cherries. Play with it! It's part of the fun!

Gluten Free (Dairy Free) Scones

1 1/2 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
2/3 cup cold milk substitute (we use coconut milk)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup (chopped) dried fruit(s)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine milk and vinegar and allow to combine into your vegan buttermilk. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients except the fruit. On low, add cold butter cubes and turn speed up to medium.  

 Allow butter to crumble in, but there will still be flakes interspersed. Do NOT over mix, you want those butter flakes! Slowly add milk in and stir to combine, scraping down the bowl.
Mix in dried fruits of your choosing. I'm using mango, golden raisins, and blueberries today.  But get creative!

On a greased piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, form the dough into a ball.  Cut into 8 pieces with a knife and separate. 
sorry, forgot to photograph the cutting.  Then someone stole 2 *sigh*
Chill in fridge if the dough has started to warm, if necessary. Bake on middle rack for 12-15 minutes, until edges are starting to brown.  

Serve with butter and jam, clotted cream (for you people not allergic to dairy), or just by themselves! Yum.

Note: I've also made them using various sized ice cream scoopers. Adjust time as necessary, you don't want them overbooking and drying out! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mommy Diary Take Two: 9 Months

September 20, 2014

Dear Asher:

Our photo this month is from the beautiful breastfeeding photos I had taken of us. I so desperately wanted to capture this sweet time in our life together. You still have that delicious milk smell when you wake up, and I know that soon that smell is going to disappear and make its way for all kinds of toddler mischief.  You started crawling this past month and it only took you a few hours to start making it quickly around the house once you finally did it. Your hair is also really filling in and starting to curl up in back as it gets longer; all day the comments about your red hair get us stopped by people. It's so you though, so spunky and unique. Your curiosity is really fun to watch. You also know your name and are hearing "No, Asher!!" a lot as you (constantly) manage to be exactly where you shouldn't be. You just look at me with those huge eyes and a beautiful smirky smile. Oh honey bear, so much adventure in your future!

Love, 
Momma

Mommy Diary Take Two: 39 Weeks

September 19, 2014
Dear Asher:

This week you have been hilariously chatty. Constant babble and bouncing around the house as you pull up on every surface you can manage. You tried spaghetti squash this week and couldn't shovel it in fast enough, the same with butternut squash. I love watching your chubby fists get after your veggies. You've got banged up knees from all the quick crawling you've been doing. This includes booking it to the bathroom when daddy or I are showering, ripping open the curtain, and managing to almost completely crawl in to splash the water. Every time we end up pulling your already partially soaked body in with us and letting you splash to your hearts content. You just want to be where the action is. You are always a little lost when big brother is at school; I don't think you know what to do in the quiet, just us!

Love,
Colleen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mommy Diary Take Two: 38 Weeks

September 12, 2014

Dear Asher-

You are just so big. You are signing milk now purposefully. You will often crawl to me, look at your hand, and sign it a few times--pointing those big puppy eyes at momma. You are also eating more people food. We gave you pasta this week and you could not shovel it in fast enough. Also, you pull up on everything and side step a bit now too. Current favorite: pulling up on the side table where my waters are for nursing, dumping them on the floor, and making your own personal pool and splash pad. You're very quick and sneaky. Not to mention you are completely drenched. One day it happened 4 times!! I also keep forgetting to write down that you find air being blown at you hilarious. Gut-busting, flat-out, hilarious. Daddy squeezing the half empty mustard container onto his sandwiches makes you die laughing, bath toys when not filled with water blown in your face, being waved with the hair dryer, all of it! You've always found air being blown at your ears funny, but lately it's been making us all laugh even more as you enjoy these silly things. We love your easy nature!

Love,
Momma

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mommy Diary Take Two: 37 Weeks

September 5, 2014

Dear Asher:

You crawled!!!! Finally! You just decided to take off and went from no movement to being able to book it around the house in no time. As a result, you got a hold of your brothers bath crayons before I could realize they were in your reach and managed to eat both the blue and red ones. You were one sneaky little bugger and happy about it. You love crawling to doors and swinging them, crawling to stalk after the dogs, and finding big brother. You crawl to anything that you can use to pull up and stand up on, sometimes unsteady things that can't hold you and you end up plopping down.  So far, your biggest nemesis is getting stuck under chairs: the kitchen chairs, desk chairs, anything with four legs. It's hilarious how mad and jammed in there you get! Love your cute tush bookin' it around. 

Love,
Momma

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gluten Free Cinnamon Apple Bread

Oh. My. Word.

I found (or was sent, by my awesome friend Amanda) this pin on pintrest for apple fritter bread. I converted it one evening and we could barely wait for it to come out of the oven after dinner it smelled SO good. I can't even. It's, honestly, almost a cake. Ridiculous. Coach put a scoop of ice cream on top and, really, I couldn't blame him. Half the loaf was gone that night. 


Cinnamon Apple Bread
(Original recipe adapted from here

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Dash of allspice (optional)
2 apples, peeled and diced

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum
Dash salt
1/2 cup milk (we used original coconut milk)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk (depending on desired thickness)

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a standard loaf pan. Combine first five ingredients in a small mixing bowl and coat the apples well; set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; scrape the bowl to make sure the eggs are evenly incorporated. On low add flour, baking powder, Xanthan gum, and salt and mix until combined. Turn speed up to medium-low and add the milk, scraping down the bowl to mix well. 

Pour half the batter in the prepared loaf pan and spread to the edges with a spatula. Press half the apple mixture on top, evenly.  Pour remaining batter over the apples, then press the remaing apples into the top of the mixture--make sure you get all the goodness left in the bowl as well.  

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean from center.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, remove from pan carefully.  Pour prepared powdered sugar and milk glaze over the top. Serve warm. (Ice cream optional, haha!)

Y'all there are no words! Yum....

Gluten Free Quinoa and Raisin Cookies

Since my diagnosis there have really been relatively few things I have missed or not been able to replicate. However, because of the way oats are manufactured even the gluten free varieties are not recommended for Celiacs. Guess what my all time favorite cookie is? Problem #1: Whomp-Whomp, sad panda. 

After making some quinoa for nachos (seriously, try it!) I had left overs. Insert crazy cookie craving and a visit from my sister's mother-in-law aka Gigi. Figured it was worth a try for a special visitor! Problem #2: never having made gluten free oatmeal cookies. 

Nailed it on try number one! They're ridiculously chewy, the flavor tastes pretty close, and wow were they good! You definitely want to watch them closely because if they go to far that quinoa takes on an odd texture. So here is the easy recipe, egg free option included. If you used Earth Balance "butter" instead of real butter you could even make them vegan. :)


Gluten Free Quinoa and Raisin Cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs (or equivalent egg replacer)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup Gluten Free AP Flour
1 1/3 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 375°.  Cream butter, shortening, and sugars in mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Combine baking soda, baking powder, salt, Xanthan gum, cinnamon, and flour in a separate bowl; add to wet ingredients. Add quinoa and raisins.

Using small ice cream scoop or rounded teaspoon, drop cookies approximately 2" apart on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cool dough in freezer for a few minutes, I usually do this while oven in pre-heating. Bake 10-13 minutes, until tops begin to turn light brown and edges turn golden brown. Leave on baking sheet 3-5 minutes then move to cooling rack.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies. 


Monday, September 1, 2014

Rockin' Green Soap GIVEAWAY! [Winner!]

And the winner is: Courtney!! You will receive and email shortly! Yippie!

What what!??? A giveaway?  YES!  I seriously thought it was some crazy joke when the wonderful people at Rockin' Green asked me if I would like to do a Giveaway on my tiny little spot in the 'verse.  But there was no hoax!  I'm super excited to offer a:

$50 Rockin' Green Soap Online Certificate
Giveaway!!

(How many times can I say 'giveaway' in one blog post you ask? A lot!)

We have been using Rockin' Green exclusively for our house since Lloyd was about 6 weeks old (remember? I was even briefly on their blog about their pet formula?).  We started using it for our cloth diapers and as I realized just how clean it was making our diapers and bedding, we stopped buying the expensive junk in the stores and going with that green bag exclusively.  It also enables us to keep our reusable paper towels in tip-top cleaning and absorbing shape as well!  It's a little odd coming from "regular" detergent since your clothes smell like nothing.  As in, they have no smell at all after washing.  At first I thought this was odd, but after reading around I realized how backwards the laundry situation is: your clothes should smell like nothing.  It means they are clean; clean of additives, perfumes, dyes, and anything that is added to your 'clean' clothes to make them 'smell' clean. (As a side note, I've been wanting to buy their new Sport Rock Athletic Wear Detergent and Stinky Gear Spray for Coach's gear.  That stuff is rank.)

Rockin' Green was started by a San Antonio mom (yay Texas!) who wanted a green, natural soap for her family (sound familiar around here?).  From the website:
 "Our product line was developed by a mom who was fed up with the mis-labeling of supposed 'green' cleaners and frankly, not happy with the performance of other so-called eco-friendly products. With the mission in mind to create green cleaning products that are hard working to meet the demands of every family, gentle on sensitive skin, AND Earth-friendly, we work everyday to make sure we release only the best formulas to you, our customer."
All the Rockin' Green products are:
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable Packaging
  • No Phosphates
  • Gluten and Vegan Friendly
  • No SLS or Parabens
  • No Optical Brighteners
Plus it's pretty cool they offer a military discount and a first responder discount!  That just says a lot to me, as someone who has (long ago, in a time far far away) been a part of both of those groups.  So enough babbling, here's what you came for. The giveaway is open to the entire world (sorry citizens of the 'verse, you must be local to Earth--yes I've been hooked on Firefly this summer) as long as you are at least 18 years old, and here is the Rafflecopter widget for your entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





The bottom line: I'm not getting paid or anything for this, they just asked if I would like to do it and so I said yes!  Just passing the awesome along!

The winner will be announced Friday September 12th!