Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Almond Flour Pancakes That Will NOT Leave You Wishing for REAL Pancakes


If you've given up wheat flour for any reason, whether you have celiac disease, are just gluten-intolerant or -sensitive, or have adopted a Paleo or Primal diet, you know that horrible moment when you bite into a flour-free version of an old favorite and it is either a) gross or b) only okay.  Either way, all that tends to happen is that you now miss the original more than you did before you tried the substitute.  Well, I won't say this recipe is perfect, but my most-of-us-try-to-stick-to-a-Paleo-diet family really, really enjoys it, even the non-Paleo members.  If you're looking for a good pancake recipe, this one is worth a try.  Best of all, it is a simple recipe.  No weird substitutions, no hoops to jump through to get it to turn out.   It works pretty much like any other pancake recipe you've tried.  Honestly, you just get to have good pancakes that won't make your stomach hurt, your skin break out, or whatever nasty side effect you get from wheat.  Even better?  Almond flour and eggs turn this into a high protein meal...if you forego the sweetener, which we often do, you're really having good for you pancakes.  Who knew? 
Almond Flour Pancakes
(adapted from Elana’s Pantry)
 Ingredients:
Whole Batch
3 cups Honeyville blanched almond flour
½ cup water
8 eggs
½ cup ghee or coconut oil, melted**
2 tablespoons real maple syrup or agave nectar*(I often omit this)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Ghee or butter for frying
 
Half Batch
1 ½ cups Honeyville blanched almond flour
1/3 cup water
4 eggs
1/3 cup ghee or coconut oil, melted**
1 tablespoon real maple syrup or agave nectar*(I often omit this)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Ghee or butter for frying


Instructions:

  1. With mixer or blender or whisk, combine ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. Using ghee or butter, grease griddle.  (I use an electric griddle set to 350oF.)   
  3. When griddle is hot, pour pancake batter onto griddle.
  4. Pancakes will bubble.  When the bubbles stay open, flip pancakes and cook other side.  Serve warm.

Hints and Tips:
The recipe as written makes a more liquid batter and, thus, a flatter pancake.  Sometimes I like to make a more cake-like pancake, especially when I’m adding blueberries to the batter.  Just play around with the liquid to get your desired consistency.

A half batch is ideal for my still-at-home family of four.  When I’m making them to be eaten at home, I omit the maple syrup because my family will pour syrup on top no matter what.  When I’m making them for quick weekday breakfast on the go, I include the syrup.  They reheat really well, so they’re the ideal commuter breakfast (not that anyone I know eats while they’re driving!)

**The original recipe called for heavy cream, which I never have on hand.  I played around with liquid to fat ratios to get the desired texture.  When you use butter instead of ghee or coconut oil, you might run into a problem with your batter being too watery.  If that happens, just decrease your water or increase your almond flour until you get the consistency you like.

NOTE:  Elana’s Pantry recommends Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour for all of her almond flour recipes.  I haven’t tried a different almond flour with this recipe, so I don’t know how that might work.  If you try a different brand, let me know.

 

 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Grain-free Dark Chocolate Cookies

My daughter is constantly on Pinterest pinning divine-looking desserts.  Most of them just stay on her boards, never again to see the light of day.  This recipe from Divine Baking, however, piqued my interest enough that  I gave it a second look.  It met my grain-free criteria and looked like it could be adapted to work with what I had on hand.  A few batches and tweaks later, we had a winner. 

Amazing Flourless Dark Chocolate Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips!
My husband and son think these are amazing and say they taste like truffles.  Seriously, these are good enough that my son asked for them for his birthday INSTEAD of a cake.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from this recipe from Divine Baking

Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Ingredients:

6 oz of Baker's Bittersweet Chocolate
3 large egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar (plus 1/4 cup for coating)
1/2 of Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat or spray your baking sheet with non-stick spray.

2.  Melt the bittersweet chocolate in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

3.  Whisk together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, dark cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in bowl and set aside.

4.  In medium bowl, beat your egg whites to soft peaks.  Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.  Continue beating until your egg/sugar mixture looks like marshmallow cream.  On low speed, add in sugar/cocoa mixture.

5.  Add in lukewarm melted chocolate.  Add in chocolate chip minis.  At this point, your dough will start to stiffen as the melted chocolate cools.  Don't worry about it!

6.  Put your 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl and roll 1 rounded teaspoon (I used my small Pampered Chef scooper) of dough into a ball and roll in the sugar, then place on the baking sheet.  Repeat and don't worry as your dough gets stiffer and stiffer.  These cookies do not spread much at all, so you don't need to leave tons of room between them.

7.  Bake until puffy and the coating cracks (approximately 10 minutes).  Cool and serve.

Don't they look fabulous?
No flour and lots of chocolate...what is not to love?  These are a fabulous little cookie.  Buttercup definitely had a good eye when she pinned the recipe that inspired them.





Saturday, May 25, 2013

Definitely a "Fashion DON'T" and old enough NOT to care!

I long ago gave up trying to be fashionable, trying to be trendy, trying to be cool.  I have a wardrobe full of clothes I like, that are comfortable (unless my weight has fluctuated too much!), and that look mostly presentable.  Still, that means that I have many articles of clothing that would warrant citations from the Fashion Police...not the least of which would be my collection of overalls.

Me, mowing in a pair of my overalls!
I love my overalls.  Seriously.  I love, love, love my overalls.  If you know me in real life, you know I wear them a lot.  I wear them to do chores, I wear them to work in the yard, I take them camping, I wear them to craft.  I pretty much wear them anywhere.   I know you'll find it difficult to believe, but it is hard to find overalls.  Despite my love of them, they haven't caught on in the mainstream fashion world, so I make do with what I've been able to find over the years. I have five pairs, all of which are 8+ years or older.  

Faded, dingy, old favorites!
My favorite pair overalls is roughly 15-years old and, yesterday, finally showed unmistakable evidence of how much I love them.  I was devastated.  A big old hole right on the butt.  Not on a seam, not easily hidden, and certainly not something I could just keep wearing.  It never occurred to me, however, to toss them.  Nope...not even for a second.  After a moment of hesitation, I decided that patching holes isn't just for kids clothes.  

Isn't this the cutest fabric?  Not exactly understated, though.
I pulled out one of the last little scraps of my favorite vintage owl fabric and got to work.  First, I enlarged a flower silhouette shape on the Silhouette machine.  Then I ironed Wonder Under on the back of my fabric and loaded into the Silhouette on the cutting mat and had the Silhouette cut the shape.  After that, I ironed it onto the section of my overalls and made quick work of using a zig zag stitch to attach the patch firmly to my beloved overalls. 

Look how big that patch is!  No hiding this!
Overalls are definitely a "fashion DON'T" and having a huge flower patch on my butt is probably compounding the violation, but I truly am old enough NOT to care.  In fact, I'm just happy to have my old friends back in wearable condition. 

Holding on to things you shouldn't?  Good for you!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friendly Front Porch - Another Pinterest Inspired Project

I made a deal with myself when I realized how much time I spend on Pinterest.   I have to translate the inspiration I get from my pins into action. 

The Pinspiration:  Beautiful project by
9 o'clock Dance of Joy
This particular idea came from a pin from via The Diary of Dave's Wife who pinned a beautiful welcome sign posted by 9 o'clock Dance of Joy

I loved the original post so much that I immediately shared it via email with Superman.  Obviously, Superman loved it, too, because the very next day I had a post with a hook!  Time for me to get my fanny moving and figure out the rest of it.


My Silhouette machine made this so easy!
 Superman was able to take a board and use his router to give me the edge I wanted and a can of spray paint and some time with my Silhouette machine later, we had a sign for the post. 


Loved it just like this, but it needed a little something else.
I loved the way the sign with the post turned out and thought it looked really sweet with the cat we already had on the porch, but I felt like it needed something else.  So, I went on to use the spray paint to update some old plastic terra cotta pots to match and they are now lining the stairs to the front porch.    Looks fabulous!   Not bad for not too much time and $10, wouldn't you agree?

It is fabulous!  This is our interpretation...friendly, isn't it??
This was a simple project (at least the parts I did!).  Honestly, I think we spent more time waiting for paint to dry than anything else.  Oh, did I mention the best part, Sam-I-Am approves, too!

Sam, likes the flowers, too!
Pinspirations!  They're great, aren't they?





Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teen Birthday Gift...Pinterest to the Rescue!

A few weeks ago, we were invited to join the celebration as a friend's daughter turned sixteen.  While I know the young woman casually, I really don't know her well, so I was stumped as to what to give her to celebrate her big day. 


Pleated Pouch and Hairband...Pinterest to the rescue!
Fortunately, I've been dedicated to actually making some of the things I pin onto Pinterest and my "Sewing Board" came to my rescue.

First, I had this little bag pinned from way back.  The original post is at Charm Stitch via How About Orange.  Her pattern is fabulous and her directions easy to follow.  It was a really quick project. 

 
Little pleated pouch with added wrist handle.
 
 I decided to add a little handle to make it a wristlet and used some contrasting fabric for the lining to make it fun.

Love the bright lining fabric...it makes the green pop, doesn't it?
I love how it turned out.  In fact, I enjoyed the project so much, I headed back to Pinterest and found another quick project I could add to the gift, using the fabric I'd already selected!

Love these hairbands from The Long Thread.  These hairbands are technically reversible, but I chose to use the same fabric on both sides.  My only concern was that the hairband fit the recipient...I used Buttercup as my fit model and it worked out--phew!

Sorry for the terrible photo...I confess I didn't think to take pictures until it
was time to leave for the party!!
 
As always, you just never know when gifting a teenager, but as the evening progressed, the recipient was wearing the hairband, so I took that as a thumbs up! 

I put the hairband in the purse and attached the card with a curly green ribbon.
Really bright and fun and really easy!
Best of all, my Pinterest boards are not just a time suck...I really do use them!  What about you?  Are you making stuff you pin?




 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Food for Thought

"Leisure is the mother of philosophy."
                               - Thomas Hobbes

Photo Credit: Joy Rickson


Don't forget to schedule time for absolutely nothing.  Your brain craves it...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Scrabble Valentine's Tiles

I wish I could find the blog that gave me this idea, but a quick trip through my Pinterest boards didn't reveal a pin, so it is going uncredited.  Still, just know I didn't think of this on my own.

Aren't these cool?
Anyway, bought these giant Scrabble tiles for family friends for Christmas and when Superman saw them, he said he could have made them.  Well, yes, he could have, but we don't have a router set up to route the individual letters, and besides, I'd already purchased the gift.

See the slightly routered edge?  I love how the grain of the pine is so clear.
Turned out, Superman was right.  These were a quick and easy project.  He made quick work of cutting "tiles" out of 1 x 6 pine board, finished the edges with his router, sprayed on a few thin coats of lacquer and handed them off to me.  


Since they were specifically for Valentine's, I decided to use
a font with more flourish than the actual Scrabble font.
(I think I actually spent more time playing with fonts on the Silhouette machine than he spent prepping the tiles!)  I applied the vinyl letters (with their appropriate points value, of course) and they were done.

Scrap wood and a little time gave us a really cool decoration!
Love them!   Best of all, we used scrap wood, had the lacquer, and the vinyl, so they were a free project!

Monday, February 4, 2013

An Old Standby Gets An Athletic Update

I've been using this backpack pattern for more than a year now and I just love it.  When I found out our gym was having a gift exchange as part of the Christmas party, I immediately thought of this backpack.  The real problem?  Finding the perfect fabric.  I logged on to Spoonflower, where I sourced this Doctor Who fabric, and found this amazing kettlebell fabric!  Perfect for Crossfitters, wouldn't you say?

I love kettlebells
Trust me, it really isn't this bright!
Then I headed to Hancock Fabrics, got some coordinating fabric (solid grey, in this case) and made two of these bags...one for someone at our gym and one for my sister!

I love the way this turned out (both times!)
Isn't it cute?  I love it!


Nice big pocket which zips shut.
It is the perfect combination of looks and function, with a zipper pocket on the outside, and it is washable.

See, not nearly as bright as the image would have you think!
Drawstring opening at the top forms the black straps so the straps won't show dirt.  The perfect little backpack!