Friday, June 28, 2013

Vegan, Egg free and Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

Lately I have been experimenting with lots of gluten free flours, other than rice flour, as I have an intolerance to rice. My new favorite flour combination is gluten free oat flour, and light honey buckwheat flour. These cookies have that flour combo rather than an all purpose gluten free flour, which always contains rice flour. If you can tolerate rice, this recipe will work well with a gluten free all purpose blend. That being said, these are delicious.

You will need:
1/2 c. light honey buckwheat flour
1/2 c. gluten free oat flour
2 c. gluten free oats
1tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 stick vegan butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 c. organic raw sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbs. ground flax
3 tbs. warm water
1 c. raisins

 Whisk together the flax seed and water. Let sit to form a clump.

Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add flax/water mixture, and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture a little at a time. Add the raisins, and mix until combined.

Bake at 350 on parchment lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Apple and Grape Cars

How cute are these? My son was eating mango and grapes the other day with a toothpick. He asked if he could have a pickle. He then proceeded to build a car out of a pickle, grapes and toothpicks. I thought it was such a clever idea. So I copied it. ;) I chose to use apple slices instead, since they sort of go better with grapes than pickles.  Hehe! Simple, and adorable.  This sparks some new ideas on what else we can assemble using fruit. Stay tuned.

You will need:
1 organic apple, sliced
4 organic grapes
2 toothpicks

Monday, June 24, 2013

6 Summer Budget Tips

Summer is here and we are gearing up for some much needed family fun. At our house we live on one income so I am pretty conscious of my family's budget. Actually, truth be told I am a little obsessive over it. I enjoy redoing my budget, and finding even more ways to save money.

Summertime brings with it promises for lots of fun activities, and special memories, which can be difficult to accomplish without a budget. Here are five summer budget tips that are sure to save you money.

1. Pause your t.v. If you tend to spend most of your time during the summer months outdoors, what is the sense in paying your cable or satellite bill? Did you know that you could call your television provider and ask them to pause your account for up to six months? I made the decision to pause our t.v. for the summer months and bring it back this fall. It only costs me $5 per month rather than 49.99 per month. That is a savings of $150 for three months.

2. Planting a garden is a great way to save money on fresh fruits and vegetables. This is especially  true if you are buying organic produce.  For a little money up front to get your garden started you can save money each time you visit the grocery store. I find gardening to be quite fulfilling. You never know, you might discover a new hobby.

3. Dry your clothes outside to save money on your electricity bill.

4. Visit your town's website to find out about community events that are free or of low cost. My town office shares special events on their website that allow for residents to join in the fun. Also visit your local library for weekly story time, and other planned events with the kiddos.

5. Plan your summer spending wisely.  If you make a summer fun to do list early on you will have a guideline to refer back to. Outline the summer outings, and events you would like to do that costs money, and budget for those items.

6. Stay local for summer vacation. If you are planning to use your vacation time during the summer months but you would like to save money in the process, what not stay local? Beach trips, picnics, and the local playground all provide summer fun. You can also camp outside on the front lawn, rather than paying for a campground.  You can still make s'mores in your family's fire pit. The kids will love it.

Do you have a summer fun budget?

Image found here

Friday, June 21, 2013

Egg free chocolate chip cookies

I made these cookies the other day for a gathering. The request was a kid friendly egg free dessert, so I found these online. * Original recipe found here. I did not try them because they are not gluten free, however my sources confirmed that they are good. This is an easy cookie recipe that is not too involved, but keep in mind they are not too healthy either. The aim was to find a recipe for a dessert cookie, not a healthy cookie. That being said, give them a try.

You will need:

1 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c.  organic powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour, I use King Arthur
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 c. chocolate chips


Cream together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and oats. Stir into creamed mixture. If the mixture appears dry, do not add liquid, it is fine.

Bake at 350 on parchment lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blueberry Orange Bread

I made this bread for my husband for father's day. Well, actually my two year old made it, and I helped.  This blueberry orange bread is my husband's ultimate favorite.  He was so excited. I felt guilty that it had been so long since I had made it, since the focus of my baking has been mainly gluten free.

 My husband and my oldest son were the only two who were able to take advantage of this treat, since my little guy and I both have some food intolerances that do not agree with this recipe.  None the less...this bread was gone in about 10 hours. Yes, they ate the entire loaf. :)

You will need:

2 tbs. butter
1/4 c. boiling water
1 tbs. grated orange peel
1/2 c. orange juice
1 egg
1 c. sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

1 tsp. grated orange peel
2 tbs. honey
2 tbs. orange juice


Combine butter and boiling water in a small bowl; add 1 tbs. grated orange peel and 1/2 cup orange juice.

In mixing bowl, beat egg and sugar until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat into egg mixture a little at a time, alternating with the orange juice mixture, ending with the flour mixture.

Fold in blueberries. Grease and flour 9x5 loaf pan ,and spoon batter in. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.

Combine 1 tsp. grated orange peel, 2 tbs. orange juice, and 2 tbs. honey. Spoon over hot bread.


*Original recipe found at

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gluten Free and Egg Free Snack Cake

Okay, this is the best gluten free and egg free cake ever. Hands down, I promise you will not be disappointed. If you truly eat a gluten free diet and you try this cake, you will see what I mean. And, it is very easy to make. Look at how moist it is, delicious.  This recipe is inspired by Betty Crocker. I used her snack cake recipe as a guide, and created a gluten free version.

You will need:
1 c. gluten free oat flour
1/4 . coconut flour
1/4 c. light buckwheat flour
1/4 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. xanthem gum
3/4 c. turbinado sugar
1/3 c. veg oil
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. cold water

3 tbs. sugar mixed with 1/3 c. chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Preschool lunch

This is the last preschool lunch post. :( Ahh..bittersweet. I'm sure I will have a few lunch posts to come this summer for beach trips.  We love summer in Maine, and I have lots of fun events planned for my family. There are lots of little snack cups to choose from in this lunch.

Fresh organic mango
Fresh pineapple (not organic, but a member of the clean 13) see post
Green olives, of course
grape tomatoes, halved
cheese circle
Annie's big bunny crackers
Turkey roll ups with ketchup
Gluten free Glutino cookie

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sesame Chia Bars

Here is another granola bar variety. I made these the other day, and was pleased with the finished product. The sesame seeds give these bars a little something extra. Give them a try.

You will need:
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/3 c. raw honey
1/4 c. coconut oil
2 c. gluten free oats
1/4 c. chia seeds
1/2 c. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. melted chocolate

In saucepan melt peanut butter, honey and coconut oil. Add in remaining ingredients, and spread into parchment lined dish. Set in fridge for 1 hour. Cut into bars. Store in fridge.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Preschool lunch, final days

This looks more like an adult lunch than a preschoolers lunch. That just shows you that big or small we can all enjoy the same foods. It kills me when kids are given chicken nuggets, and boxed mac and cheese, just because they are kids. Kids are picky eaters right. Wrong. At least not all of them. Look outside the box, and give your kids some choice foods you love. You may be pleasantly surprised. If you do have a picky eater, there are still plenty of options for your little one.

In this lunch:
tomato basil wrap with ham, cheese, mustard and spinach
pretzel sticks
Organic grapes, kiwi, and blueberries
egg free brownie

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Smiley face lunch

School is almost over for this year. Ahh.. where has the time gone? My child will no longer be a preschooler, but a kindergartener instead. Sometimes it is difficult for me to wrap my brain around. This time of year is bittersweet for most parents. We say good bye to teachers that your child will never have again, and move on to a new grade, a new group of kids, and a new teacher. Your child will never be this age again. :(  On the up side, summer is right around the corner, and we will welcome it, and enjoy every minute of it.

Today's lunch includes:

1/2 English muffin with cream cheese spread on top. I used cucumbers and carrots for the eyes, a 1/2 tomato slice for the nose, and a thin strip of carrot for the mouth
Organic blueberries
Organic mango
Organic grape tomatoes
sour cream and onion Annie's bunnies
Yogurt tube
Glutino cookie for a treat

My son was so excited to see this lunch. I thought it was appropriate to give him a little smile during his lunch time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

2 ingredients, that's it

I had a Lara Bar the other day that only had two ingredients, dates and cashews.  It was pretty good, however I am not much of a cashew fan. I decided to make my own Lara Bar with dates and pecans instead. You can't get any more easy than this one.  Your taste buds only have to focus on two different tastes, and textures. Sometimes simplicity wins.

You will need:

2 c. dates, pitted
1 c. pecans


 Pulse together until combined, and mixture is formed.  Spread in parchment lined dish, and cool in fridge.  Cut into squares or bars. Store in the freezer.