Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Baking Basics

I was telling Jake tonight how I have gone through more dry baking food items in the past four months, then I have our entire marriage (6 years).

Who knew how expensive REAL vanilla was (but so worth the price), or how it is so much cheaper to buy yeast in bulk and keep in the fridge. How ratios and chemical reactions make and break your products...things I never thought I would know, but love that I do.

So in the spirit of this bakin' babe's (yes, I just called myself a babe) growth and discoveries in the kitchen, let's talk about some of my faves:

The all purpose gluten free flour (I make/ mix this on a weekly basis).
I stole the recipe from my "Cooking for Isaiah" cook book; truly the best ratio of flours I have found thus far- I use it in all of my softer baked goods (cookies, pancakes, cakes, bread, scones).

6 cups of white rice flour
3 cups tapioca flour
1.5 cups potato starch
2 tbsp. xanthum gum
1/2 tsp salt

Mix (messy bit, but lots of fun)

Put on shelf and ENJOY!

Speaking of shelf- here is the rest of the gang, my go-to's if you will:

Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose flour (which I use to make my flavored breads, thickening agent, and muffins).
Bob's Red Mill GF Oats
Isaiah's GF all purpose flour
GFCF pancake mix (made from my Isaiah gf ap flour, I just add a bit of sugar and baking powder)
GF baking powder
GF coco powder
GF granulated, powered, and brown sugar
Bob's Red Mill xanthum gum
Bob's Red Mill gf baking soda

Still building my baking empire over here on Olive Street...and when I say empire I mean my shelf, my fridge, my freezer, our tummies- but adoring the learning, the mistakes and the messes each and everyday.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Love. Tolerance. Kindness: Let's Change the World

Having watched the two political conventions, reading facebook comments of folks and the daily news- I think it is about time to soap box some emotions with regards to our current societal political climate (I'm too pissed right now to soap box my emotions on other topics...).

What is going on???
What the hell happened to tolerance, kindness and RESPECT?!?

Listen here:
I think it is beautiful that we all have different stages and phases in our beliefs, values and thoughts.
I think it is awesome we live in a country where speaking those personal truths is not just allowed, but is encouraged.
I love researching, learning and discovering other view points, so that I can learn and grow as a person and either change a view, or solidify one I already had.

But here is the gig:
I will NOT listen to hate.
I will NOT respect disrespect.
I will NOT ever be ok with those who use bullying, rudeness and hate to spread their personal beliefs.

The freedom of speech should coincide with the responsibility to speak wisely and with purpose- not to fill the air ways with rhetoric, defamation and humiliation.

To strive and use intellect and void hate from the battles.
To think of other's feelings and direction.
To honor those differences.
And to learn something from the other side of the aisle.

We certainly don't have the role models in Congress or in most leadership positions these days, but until we expect something better from ourselves, how are we going to hold those in power accountable?

The world would be callus and boring if we all traveled down the same path and fought the same fight; I dig the creativity of thought and presentation of ideas through debate and factual dialogue- but for God's sake, be like Jesus wanted, be like Lincoln lived and RESPECT your neighbors and their colors.

Put your passion into passing out papers, writing your leaders, attend rallies and picket lines. Be a part of the change you so desire, not just a megaphone for all that is wrong with the opposite's.

Be and Do BETTER.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fast and Fabulous Project

Jake surprised me yesterday with an updated version of my calendar area.

He screwed in the little metal container I had laying around and put the bulletin board behind it all- making it an all in one "keep Jill focused" station. He even pinned up my Joann Fabric coupons! Could he be any cuter?

I just adore that dude- and appreciate his love soooo much!

Field Trip: GF Vegan Bakery (LOCAL)

We were delighted (or should I say BEYOND excited) to find out that right in McMinnville there is an adorable gluten free/ vegan bakery!

Ruby Cakes

The gals and I ventured there this afternoon to sample some of their delights.

It was so fantastic to walk into an establishment and not even think about ingredients (literally everything in their bakery is GF and vegan) and the girls had a BLAST!

Quinn got a chocolate doughnut.
Carter got a lemon scone.
Mama got a Marionberry pie.

All were good- best pre-made GF/ vegan pastries I have found yet!

Feeling so lucky to have a joint like this so close to us.

First Day of School

She woke up, and knew that today was the day:
First day of school.

She was handling the morning 'to-do's better than we anticipated, but her nerves were oh so present.

When it was time to go, she was definitely a nervous nelly:

Daddy made sure Mr. Bunny came along for the ride (hoping we could get her jazzed/ relaxed a bit more):

And it worked! The nerves stayed in the driveway, as the four of us paraded to school.

(I only took these three pics, as my full focus was on Quinny's moment to moment. Historically with this kid, activities that bring her anxiety can also bring a boat full of meltdowns, so I needed to continually look out for the warning signs to keep her brain riding the course).

On the way to school (it really is like a 1/4 mile walk) we passed 5 people we knew, who cheered Quinny on and gave such love and encouragement!
This community is so ridiculously rad- walking on main street with our babes in the stroller, Jake's coffee fogging in the air, neighbors saying the good mornings and go-get-em' really could have been a commercial for 'The Blessed Life'.

Arriving at school, entering the door to her classroom the old routine started: "Mommy hold me, hold me." She kept saying in a panicked voice.

But the moment we got into the classroom, it was a different ball game.

She went straight to the ponies she knew were waiting for her, and met a little lass there, a sweet, shy little girl who engaged her in a convo. about Rainbow Dash and Pinky Pie.

Two minutes later:
"Ok honey, we're going to head home. We'll be back soon to pick you up. Remember Teacher Beth is here to help you feel safe."
"Ok Mommy. Bye Daddy. Bye Carter."

And that was that.
No crying.
No meltdowns.
No anxiety.
Totally unreal.

We headed home and waited the 3 hours till pick up time- waiting to see if her streak of tenacity carried her through the day.

It had!
Teacher Beth told us that she was beyond surprised how helpful and attentive Quinny was. How she was the first to clean up, the first to sit down when asked, and the first to line up. She said Quinny had an amazing day.

On our walk home we asked Lou how school was:
"Good. I learned and played. Can I go back tomorrow?"

Such a wonderful day we shared as a clan.
Hopeful-ness is carrying on and this year is going to be so rad!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Apple Pickin' Time

Spent the afternoon picking some Gravensteins.
Thinking we'll make pre-made pie filling for the year (again, in love with this extra freezer).
This could be our last pick of the summer- can't wait for next year!

GFCF Bread

I have been beyond nervous to bake GFCF bread.
I am not one for failures (who is, eh?) so finding a recipe that was in my comfort zone and had an appealing picture tutorial was essential for me to find success!

Luckily I stumbled on to:

Her GF bread recipe used the flours I was used to, the ratios I was used to, and I was easily able to change her dairy products into CF products.

So, this chilly (wonderfully cozy) morning I gave it a whirl (literally, whirled it in my Kitchen Aid):

Her recipe called for butter and milk, so I subbed in rice milk and Earths Best. I went ahead and used real eggs (knowing Carter is ok when eggs are baked for more than 20 minutes in the oven) as I felt the eggs were essential for the structure of the bread (once I get more comfy with this recipe, I'll start playing around with my egg substitute).

Kind of sticky stuff, I didn't even try to use my hands to manipulate- all spatula!

Letting it rise (again).

And then, it happened- a loaf of GOOD GFCF bread for the fam.

A success at 140 s. Olive St. this morning.