Friday, September 30, 2011

Food Friday: GF Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Fall is finally here!!!  We even had to pull out some long-sleeve shirts and sweaters this week :o)  We decided to welcome Fall with some GF Apple Cinnamon Muffins.  I found an excellent recipe on Gluten Free Goddess and altered as needed (we did not have some of the ingredients in our pantry).  They sure were delicious though!

INGREDIENTS:

DRY
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

WET
1 cup natural applesauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons apple juice

STIR-IN
1 1/2 cups chopped apples

DIRECTIONS:
 
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Whisk together the dry ingredients:
3.  In a separate mixing bowl beat together wet ingredients until smooth
4.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine well. Add more apple juice a tablespoon at a time, as needed to make a smooth batter.
5.  Stir in apples.
6.  Spoon the batter into twelve muffin cups.
7.  Sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired, for a crunchy top.
8.  Bake in the center of a preheated oven until firm and golden- about 20 to 25 minutes or so. Test with a wooden pick if you need to. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
 



"M" actually took this picture of "Boo".

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Technology

Those that know me well know that I am definitely not a "lover of technology".  I still have a "dumb" phone, and know only the very basics about electronics.  I have a Kindle and have found it's usefulness (especially when traveling), but nothing beats crawling up with a good book - the texture, the sound of the pages as they turn, the smell...  And some will tell you that I single handily am keeping the post office in business.  I just love sending (and receiving) a letter in the mail (again, there's something nostalgic there that you just do not get with an email). 
But, I have to say that this deployment I am so thankful for advanced technology, and how it has allowed for almost daily communication.  A few months before my husband left someone had asked me if we were going to be able to "Skype" with each other.  I had to go home and google Skype because I had no idea what it was.  And yes, we have been able to Skype and what a blessing it has been for the girls to see their Daddy and for their Daddy to watch them grow.  "M" just loves to cook up her Daddy a good meal! 
You can hardly tell, but Daddy is there under all that food.



Monday, September 26, 2011

Make-It-Monday - Peasant Dress

Honestly, it was a busy, full week and I got very little sewing done all week.  So while "Boo" took her nap earlier today, "M" and I whipped up this dress.  It took just over an hour, and was very simple.  I followed this tutorial which I had found on this Happy Together blog post.

"M" is normally around a size 3T.  The dimensions I used for the bodice were 15"x22", and for the sleeves I used 12.5"x8".  The elastic for the arms was 9", and 18" for the neck.  I did shape it into an A-frame, and I also had shaped the neck line (but I would not recommend doing that).  The tutorial is very detailed with lots of pictures, but essentially you just sew the arms to the bodice, and then make a casing for the elastic for the arms and neckline.  Hem the bottom and you're finished!

Bodice

Sleeves

So cute!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekends are for Family Worship

Each morning and/or night we try to have Family Worship together.  This is not something that I grew up doing and in the beginning it seemed like an impossible task, especially with little ones.  Oh how hard it was in the beginning!  The girls would scream, cry, throw fits, talk, and certainly not sit still.  But I wanted to be faithful to the Lord and His direction in this area, so I kept up with the discipline and prayed a lot.  Slowly we have made improvements and it is a joyful time in our home.  "M" enjoys singing songs and "Boo" usually beats along on one of her instruments.  The girls have been trained to sit quietly and listen as we read a passage of scripture.  To help them learn to listen, each night I pick out one key word (for example, last night we read Acts 1 and the key word was "witnesses"), and if they hear the word and raise their hand, they are awarded a sticker.  We conclude each time by praying together.  I just love hearing "M's" requests.  What a sweet time!  We are certainly no where near perfect in this area, but we are seeking the Lord and praying that this time in His Word and praising Him is pleasing to Him.  What does Family Worship look like in your home?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Food Friday: GF Monkey Bread

I absolutely love baking with our children.  Baking day could quite possibly be my favorite day of the week.  It provides such an opportunity to teach my children, to build up their confidence, to instill character traits, and to have fun together.  This week we made monkey bread, and "M" just had a blast helping with this.  It's perfect because you can have the child drop in balls of dough and do not have to worry about it being perfect.  They get to make their own creation and watch it rise and transform in the oven.

RECIPE
It makes a very small loaf, but I would definitely recommend doubling or even tripling the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon oil
¼ cup milk
½ cup rice flour (we used half white rice flour and half brown rice flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract

FILING INGREDIENTS:
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS:
*Preheat oven to 350o F and grease a medium-size (we used a small-size) loaf pan.
*Beat the egg whites until frothy.
*Add the remaining dough ingredients and stir until quite thick. (This may take a minute). Set aside.
*Combine the filling ingredients with a fork.
*Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough in the loaf pan. Sprinkle the filling on top and keep layering until the dough and filling are gone.
*Bake for 30-35 minutes until bread is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then invert onto a serving plate.





Mmmmmmm.....


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tot School Tuesday: Ii is for Inchworms

What a fun week of Tot School we had!!!  It was a week of the Letter "Ii": inch, inchworm, ice, inside, and more!

Ii is For Inchworm Coloring Page

LETTER Ii CRAFT
She glued together rulers to create the letter "I" and then added an inchworm. 



Ii is for Inchworm Pom-Pom Craft
Using pom-poms, "M" made the letter "i" and an inchworm.

Measuring in Inches
We measured several pieces of pretend play fruits and vegetables.
I also cut up pieces of ribbon between 1 and 5 inches which she measured and put in size order.  This was a great activity because it is self-correcting (if she measured wrong her ribbons would not increase in size).



ART ACTIVITY: Inchworm
This idea, and instructions, came from Homeschool Creations.


SENSORY BIN:
We had beautiful weather, so we went outside to play with our garden sensory bin.  How wonderful to not have rice tracked through the whole house!




I-SPY in the Ice
This idea was inspired by Counting Coconuts.  It was a fun activity, but really took the whole day!  We would come back after meal times and nap times to continue working at chipping away pieces of ice.  We used salt and warm water to help melt the ice.




ICE PAINTING:
I mixed a few squirts of paint in water and froze in little plastic containers (old Gerber baby food containers).  We tried to paint with these on paper, but that did not work the best so I grabbed some spare cloth from my sewing room and we had a lot of fun painting on that and the finished painting was beautiful.  "Boo" wasn't sure that she liked her hands getting so cold.





Monday, September 19, 2011

Make-It-Monday: Felt Baby Doll Diapers

I saw these on Happy Together and immediately wanted to make them for our girls.  What a neat idea!  Now, the girls have not actually seen these yet (they will most likely be part of a birthday present), but I wanted to share the idea with everyone because they are super cute and easy to make.  You can print out the pattern and see the whole tutorial on her website.  You pretty much just need felt, a good pair of sissors, and some velcro.


(I ran out of velcro... need to finish these, but wanted to show off all of the awesome pieces of felt I found at Hobby Lobby)


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Food Friday: Thumbs Up Thumbprint Cookies (GF)

This week we tried another recipe out of "Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone".  These were delicious and super fun to make with the kiddos.

INGREDIENTS:
For Cookies:
*2/3 cup sugar
*1/2 cup shortening (we used butter)
*2 tsps. vanilla extract
*1/2 cup tapioca flour
*1 cup white rice flour (we used brown rice flour)
*1 tsp. baking powder
*1/4 tsp. salt
*3 TBSP milk (or safe alternative)
For Topping:
*1 cup GF rolled oats
*1 cup jam

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*
2.  To make the cookies: With a mixer, partially combine the sugar, shortening, and vanilla.  Add in the dry ingredients.  Mix on low while slowly adding in the milk.
3.  The dough should look smooth but not firm.  You should be able to pinch off a piece and roll it into a soft ball without it sticking too much to your hands.  If the dough appears watery, add in 1 TBSP powdered sugar at a time until the dough reaches the correct consistency.  If the dough is too dry, add 1 tsp. of milk (or alternative).
4.  Pinch off about 1 TBSP of dough and roll into balls.  Set aside.
5.  To make the topping: In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the oats into a coarse consistency like oat bran.  Place in shallow bowl.
6.  Roll dough balls in the oats and coat well.  Place coated balls on a baking sheet.  Using your thumb or two fingers, create a shallow, even indentation in each ball.  Fill with about 1 tsp. of jam.
7.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until edges are golden.  Let cool for about 10 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a flat surface to cool completely.





Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tot School Tuesday: Hh is for Harvest

Mommy was not feeling too wonderful this past week, so Tot School was nothing fancy nor creative, but we worked it into our playtime and reading.  There also were not a lot of pictures taken... sorry!  I will work on doing better this week!

BIBLE VERSE:
"May all the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
Then the land will yield its HARVEST,
and God, our God, will bless us."
~Psalm 67:5,6

LETTER Hh CRAFT:
We glued ("harvested") vegetables onto our letter "H"



MOON DOUGH:
We used cookie cutters to make the letter "H", some vegetables, and flowers.



BENDAROOS:
"M" made garden rows and boxes that she pretend planted.  "Boo" just inspected them... she wasn't sure what to think!