Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Goodness!

I ran across a great source for Gluten Free/Dairy Free (and many other allergy considerations) a while back through Facebook.  Her name is Brittany and she's written a couple of cookbooks.  Yesterday I gave my first attempt at one of her recipes....

For the last several years, I've been using a GF flour blend from Namaste Foods.  I like how it's worked on many recipes, so I've been loyal to it.  Brittany suggests finely ground almond flour as it's much healthier than the alternative grain blends.  I wasn't able to find a pure almond flour locally, so I ended up buying a blend with some almond flour.

I followed the recipe and it just wasn't coming together like she said it would.  That's when I read further into the recipe and discovered the problem....
  • Coconut flour or any of the starchy grain based flours will NOT work in this recipe. Only use other Nut/Seed flours.
Oh no.... I had a problem.  It was like a bowl full of saw dust that no matter how hard I pinched it together, it would not come together at all.  Instead of throwing in the towel, I decided to add one egg to see if it would help.  We don't have egg allergy issues here, so what did I have to lose?

The dough came together beautifully!  I added half of a dark chocolate bar (dairy free) and made 8 glorious cookies!

I was so happy with the results, and I got double thumbs up for my official tasting crew.  Finally, a cookie I can enjoy!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Valentine's Day card for you!

Today I shared a free Valentine's card that you can download and print.  You can grab one from  Just click on the graphic below and it will take you there.

So you may notice that I changed the look of the blog a bit.... I am still working on it, but wanted to get a quick face lift in action as I work on building my own design.  There are a lot of big ideas I have for my own blog, but I am really loaded down with work lately.  I'm not complaining.... but I am going to try to dedicate a little time to my own creative blog and make it look sweet like all the other work I've been doing!  

The countdown is officially on.... just 21 days until QuiltCon!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Baby it's cold outside....

We are deep in snow here and my bones are cold!  I can't think of a better way to keep warm then lots and lots of hot tea and spending time in my craft studio.  Since Christmas is a mere memory, I've moved on to Valentine's Day.  You can check out two tutorials I have posted over at CutCardStock, hopefully I will inspire you to make something special for your sweet one!

While I'm trying to stay warm, the boys don't mind the cold a bit!  In fact, they love living in this much snow. They've adjusted so quickly and now look forward to coming home from school and sledding down our long, steep driveway.  The other day they built a snowman; he was cute while he lasted but the deer got to him and knocked off his head, chewed up his twig arms and devoured his carrot nose!

Poor Snowman!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Looking Back at 2012

Most of my blogging time in 2012 was spent over at the CutCardStock blog, but I thought I'd post a few highlights of the year and hopefully get to posting again on a more regular basis here on my own blog.

Monday, August 13, 2012


It's peak cherry season and we have over 70 cherry trees..... You can imagine there's a lot of work to do.
Just the other day we made and froze 14 pies, canned 2 batches of whole cherries and washed/weighed/packaged over 70 lbs to sell at the farmers market. Luckily my mom was helping me in the kitchen and at the market!
If you'd like a deliciously easy recipe for fresh cherry pie, just head over to Lawrence-Farms.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Road Trip

We are heading out on a little summer road trip. Off to Port Angeles, Washington to help my grandma celebrate her 85th birthday. The boys are watching a DVD with headphones in the back while hubby and I contemplate solutions to the world's problems in the front.
Should be a great visit for all. We are loaded down with cherries and raspberries to share and I baked a strawberry rhubarb pie too!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

At the Farmers Market

This weekend I tried my hand at the Farmer's Market.  Though there are several to choose from in the area, I wanted to go for the big one in Kalispell, about 25 miles from where we live.
We didn't really have any idea how to best prepare for this, so there was a lot of "winging" it as we were getting all the fruit ready and deciding how I would run my stand.  We picked all the cherries fresh on Friday evening, hand washed all the fruit and then weighed/packaged them so things were ready for the market.

I would certainly call the day a success.  I sold out of fruit (cherries and raspberries) within the first 2 hours of the market and peddled several bottles of honey in the last 1 1/2 hrs.  I only came home with a few big jars of honey and one wilted bunch of kale.... not too shabby.

I did come with a lot more fruit & honey that is pictured here.  I kept things on ice in a cooler at the back of the booth.  It was fun to talk to people and be able to say that yes, I picked, washed and packaged it all by hand.
I think I could have easily sold another 100 pounds of cherries and another case of 1 lb jars of honey.  I'll know for next time..... there will certainly be a next time as we are facing tons of cherries in the next few weeks here.

While I was at the market, the rest of the clan was manning the yard sale.  It turned out to be a pretty good success as well.  I sent the boys with all they needed for a lemonade stand and they cleaned house!  They took my advice and kept their price low, just 10 cents per cup; but their cuteness factor kicked in and after sales, tips and donations, they walked away with $20 to add to their Walt Disney World savings fund.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Memories

It's been a busy week here, but I wanted to check in and share a tutorial I just posted up on CutCardStock.  If you're like me, in your ideal world you would create a spectacular scrapbook for every year of your child's life.  I have the desire, and I have certainly collected enough supplies to get a good start on it, but I don't have the time and it feels like such an overwhelming task.  Sound familiar?  Well I am here to tell you that scrapbooking memories doesn't have to mean creating a 30 page 12x12 album documenting every event of the year.  A scrapbook is how you define it.... it could be a picture frame that you change out a couple of times a year, it could be a card that you fill with photos and send to the grandparents.... it's up to you!  Check out my tutorial and see how I created this cute frame for the boys to capture a memory from their time at camp.

Besides doing a little crafting, we visited Silverwood Theme park for a day of summer fun.  The park is in Coeur de'Alene, Idaho, just about 3 1/2 hrs from our little Montana paradise.  So we packed up the kids and enjoyed a day of thrilling rollercoasters and cooling waterslides.  The park is half amusement park, half waterpark and the boys earned free tickets through a reading program at school this year.
It was a blast and the boys both took on their first upside down rollercoaster rides.  I'm such a proud Mama!  I love those kind of rides and was so pleased that day finally came -- they were both tall enough and brave enough to give it a shot.  They've caught the bug, so they can't wait to go again!

Now we are taking on a yard sale tomorrow and I'm going to give a first attempt to selling produce at the Farmers Market.  I'll let you know how that goes.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sweet Freedom..... it tastes like Mountain Dew

We picked the boys up from camp early this weekend and I have to say, I couldn't wait to see them.  Leaving them at camp was the longest they had been away from me without being with their grandparents.  I wondered all week if they were struggling with feeling homesick.  I also wondered if they were just running so much that at the end of each day they were too tired to think about anything but going to sleep.

They were so happy to see us when we arrived at camp.  They were talking a thousand miles an hour to tell us about the friends they made, the activities they did and how they enjoyed camp and couldn't wait to go again next year.  In addition to all the activities they did, we also learned that they enjoyed the freedom of spending their money at the camp store.  They bought necessities, such as bandanas and flashlights, but they also indulged in daily treats such as snickers bars, slushies and pixie stix.  Connor quickly admitted that he didn't feel all "hyped up and crazy" after drinking a Mountain Dew, despite the warnings he's heard from us for a long time when we have denied him the opportunity to try it.  Nope, he didn't feel that way at all when he tried it the first time, second time, even the third and fourth time.  I just had to laugh and be thankful it was the two teenage cabin counselors that had to deal with him during this experimentation!

They seemed to come back 6 inches taller, with deeper voices, new words and expressions in their vocabulary and a strong sense of independence.  That's a good thing and I'm happy we sent them!  Along with all the fun, they learned a lot about faith, Jesus and being a part of the church community.  They both participated in bible drills and learned more about praying.  It was heart warming to hear them share how they feel about the experience and their faith!

So now we are back to as normal gets in our home.  Hubby and I managed to take full advantage of our time alone; it felt similar to our life about 11 years ago.  We went out on dates and enjoyed each others company without feeling the pull to get home or worry about how much the babysitter will cost.  We met friends for sushi one night, ate at a bar another night and even took in the production of "The Music Man" at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse.  It was really a nice time and we are glad the boys want to return to camp next year!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Camp Send Off

It's so hard to believe how quickly kids grow up.... just yesterday it seems I was changing diapers and burping them and in no time they will be enlisting in the Navy or graduating from college, or something else very adult-like.  Today, unbelievably, we dropped them off at camp where they will be away from us for several nights.  I don't know where the time has gone, but as they were running away to meet their new friends in their cabins, I felt my heart sink a bit!

I've been glancing at the clock every hour or so, pausing to wonder what they are up to.  I am sure they are loving every second of it and having a fantastic time -- making wonderful summer time memories!

When we dropped them off, we walked them around to see where their cabins where, add money to their Camp Store account and check in with the Camp Nurse.  I could see they just wanted to go.... go and have fun and talk to the other kids.  So I kept the goodbye brief and happy, sent them off with a hug and kiss and they took off before I could think of anything wise to pass on to them.
So now I just have to figure out how to spend all my free time....