Friday, November 30, 2012

GF Biscuits

This recipe makes a lovely dough.
It doesn't rise like traditional biscuits,
but the finished product is light and flaky.
Something new to give my Lil' Guy for breakfast
is always welcome.
I also use this recipe to make
homemade pizza dough for him.


Gluten-Free Biscuits

•2-1/2 cups GF biscuit mix 
•1/2 cup Shortening (we use light olive oil)
•2/3 - 1 cup Water or Milk (we used seltzer water)

Place biscuit mix in a medium bowl.
Using your fingers, cut or rub in shortening (or oil) 
until the mixture resembles a course meal.
Add the liquid and stir until evenly moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board
and knead briefly.
Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out biscuits.
Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet
and bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12 biscuits.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Simple Thing-Keep It Under Wraps!

We don't buy a lot of gifts each year.
We'd rather go on an outing than accumulate
more stuff.
There are special containers made for storing
wrapping paper and gift bags.
Here's what we were using.

These elongated plastic bins did a great job for the long rolls of paper, and they do hold quite a bit.
They are made to store under the bed,
something of which I'm not a fan.

Here's what it looked like until I found the perfect solution.

This suitcase was acquired at our recent
community-wide yard sale.
For two bucks, I got a new wrapping container
that is cool enough to leave out and display.
Jami over at Oregon Cottage got me thinking
about using luggage for all sorts of things.
Then while on vacation,
there were tons of them to be found.

The first step to get this project started
was to lay everything out and sort.
A few things were purged, but most stayed
and just got tidied.

Ribbons and bows were already placed
in small gift boxes, along with double-sided tape.

Different colored tissue paper had been in a bag.
It was all taken out and sorted by color.

Gift bags were pared down to a few of each size.
These are great when you need to wrap it up fast.

Only a few gift boxes were kept.

The gift bags and boxes were placed in the largest gift bag.
As you can see, there is room to spare.

Not only does it look better,
it'll be nice to be able to use it as part of the decor
instead of shoving it under the bed.
Practical is my middle name.

Brown paper that comes in packages is saved
for wrapping parcels or books that we send out.
We sometimes sell items online
or send books through Bookswap.
I haven't had to buy butcher paper in years.

The bin can now be reused as a mail packing station.
I have a spot for it in our spare room
which will be staged this weekend.

One Simple Thing


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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Tidings-Hillsborough River State Park

With the beauty of autumn weather,
we decided to go to a state park we've never visited.
is located in Thonotosassa.
(Try saying that three times fast.)
It was well worth the hour-long drive.

(I apologize ahead of time for the picture quality.
The new camera should be here anyday.)

This piece of history was one of
the first state parks in Florida.
It was one of the many endeavors of the CCC.

When I read that it was certified Autism-friendly,
I knew we had to pay it a visit.

"The Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida has designated the Hillsborough River State Park/Florida Park Service an autism-friendly state park. This 3,383 acres property became the Tampa Bay area's first autism-friendly state park after CARD-USF provided training to Florida Park Service staff members. The training covers topics such as autism spectrum disorders and strategies that enhance the experience while visiting the park."

This cabin which serves as the interpretive center,
was the original park entrance.

Inside you'll find a collection of relics
and a description of the history of the area.

We enjoyed the tour with our own bikes.

Rentals of bicycles, golf carts
and these cool surreys is also available.

There was fall color to be found.

Wouldya look at that view?
I can't wait to go back with a working camera
because these photos don't do it justice.
The rushing water was intoxicating.
It was really somethin'.

The highlight of our visit
was the massive suspension bridge.

We later realized that bikes are designated
for certain areas-the bridge not included.

We had a great time and it was such a beautiful day.
How blessed we are to live in such an amazing place.
Enjoy your day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lettuce Give Thanks

This weekend was a beautiful time
to visit the farmer's market in a nearby town.
I featured the Lakeland Farmer's Market here.

There was quite a pleasant surprise
waiting for me this time 'round.

Look at the gorgeous organic produce I found there.
I mostly buy from Debbie of Ecofarms.
She and her crew work so hard
to bring us delicious, pesticide-free veggies.
The Red Sails lettuce you see here is hers
and it is so delicate that it almost melts in your mouth.

She also provides us with these Calabaza pumpkins
which are used for baking Lil' Guy's pumpkin bread.
I'll work on getting it roasted and processed today.
I just keep it in the freezer until it's needed.

The most wonderful surprise of the day
was that I found another organic vendor.
These purple beans were grown by The Bilbrey Family Farm.
Not only do they sell at the farmer's market in Lakeland,
they also run a CSA which provides for many families
in our area.
After speaking to co-owner Carol,
we are planning a field trip to the farm
which I will feature on the blog.

Those purple beans magically transform
into these delectable nuggets!
Isn't nature just a wonder?

Looking forward to sharing more about the farm
and the CSA in coming weeks.
I'm so thankful for those who provide for our family
and do it with an unending passion and integrity.

Do you have an easy time finding
locally grown organic produce?
Fortunately, it seems to be getting
a little easier in our neck of the woods.
Oh, yeah...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

With Lil' Guy's sensitivities to wheat, soy, dairy,
and a multitude of other ingredients,
it can be challenging to offer him traditional foods.
I found this recipe here
and it required no substitutions,
so I gave it a go.
I'm glad I did!
This is a great recipe for those following a raw diet,
as there is no baking involved!

This is the first time I've used dates,
but they really add a subtle sweetness to the crust.

The crust is pressed down into a glass pie shell.

The filling gets whizzed in the processor.
One bowl, less to clean up!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

1/2 cup raw pecans (other nuts will work)
1/2 cup dates (soaked in water for 2 hours)

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
juice of a lemon (I used 3 T)
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup honey, warmed (agave for vegan)
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
4 T sucanat
1/4 cup water if needed

Process nuts and dates until somewhat smooth.
(I liked the nutty texture, so I kept it rustic)
Fill pie plate with crust and press down.
Melt coconut oil.
Place remaining ingredients in processor
and combine until smooth.
If too thick, add water 1 T at a time to desired consistency.
(Ours turned out perfectly fine without added water.)
Pour filling into pie crust.
Freeze 2 hours, then defrost 15 minutes before serving.
Keep in fridge 3-4 days, or in freezer for up to 1 month.

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