Saturday, May 29, 2010

The First of My Gluten-Free Recipes: Chocolate Nut Cake

Most of my whole family is Gluten-Free as most of us also have Celiac Disease. Likewise, many of us are allergic to dairy and soy. I am lucky in that we also all cook. My mother and I decided that most of the bread choices out there were horrendous, as well as many of the recipes. so we have worked on our own for years. Much of what follows started out as another recipes and have been changed, refined, and fiddled with until they seemed tasty, had good texture, and baked up consistently. So in the interest of putting some good stuff out there, here you go:

Seven Ingredient Chocolate Nut Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free)
  • 2 1/2 cups Walnuts/Pecans, or 10 oz. any other tree nut (Use only one kind for best result)
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch Processed)
  • 9 Tbsp egg whites/liquid egg substitute
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • optional: confectioner's sugar to dust the top
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease sides and bottom of an 8" round cake pan and line it with a circle of parchment paper.
  3. Pulse nuts, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Stop when mixture starts to climb the sides of the processor and threstens to become a paste.
  4. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachement, beat egg whites/egg sub. and vanilla for one minute and then slowly add the sugar. Beat on high speed until mixture triples in volumes and is at the ribbon stage. (Where you can see ribbons of mixture form on top as it is mixed.)
  5. Fold nut mixture into egg mixture in 3 batches.
  6. Pour batter into pan and smooth top.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake resists slight finger pressure, edges start to pull away from sides, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out only slightly sticky.
  8. Take out and leave in pan for 10 minutes.
  9. Finish cooling on a cooling rack.
  10. After cake cools, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bug Addiction - My First Giveaway

Well, if you read my last post, you'll know that I made a ladybug pincushion for the heck of it. My previous post contained the link to the tutorial for it as well, but here it is again. I decided to make 4 more. They are that fun to make. So, one is for my daughter Rose, 2 are for a pincushion exchange with friends, and 1 may be for you:

This one. I am giving this ladybug pincushion to one of my readers, if you'll leave a comment below. I will close the giveaway next Friday, June 4th, 2010 at midnight CST. I will allow my son to pick a number randomly and announce the winner on Saturday, June 5th. I'm interested in hearing about everyone's first memory of a pincushion. Let me know!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ladybug May

Just a few sneak peeks of a project I've been making. Its a present, so I can't show you everything until my friend gets it.

Life in spring is full of ladybugs. At least, here in Texas.

And one more little ladybug - a pincushion. You can find the tutorial here. It's teeny and cute and it hangs off of your thumb to keep pins in easy reach. It took about 15 minutes total. I recommend everyone make one NOW.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Random Bits of Goodness

Here is the beginning of one of my next obsessions. I will be making a circular knitting needle case, a double pointed knitting needle roll, a sewing needle book or two, and a few pincushions. Woodland and gnome themed, with lots of little mushrooms. I even have little mushroom buttons. I find this very funny as I am really allergic to mushrooms. I must be trying to enjoy them vicariously. I have a pattern for a rug that looks like grass, lots of mushroom knitting and crochet patterns, acorns, little woodland animals, leaves, stumps, and gnomes. I'm thinking that I must make a woodland themed living room. Wouldn't it be fun to lay on a wool rug that looked like deep grass (and not in the 1970's scary shag rug way) and be in a little forest themed room where you hang out and play? I would have given my dolls away for the chance.

Speaking of food - that is the theme of the other craft obsession: play food. Now, to tell the truth, play food and other non-food representations of food have been an obsession since before the age of 3. I used to draw pictures of food, pictures of dishes, and a large red-and-white checkerboard tablecloth. I would then cut everything out and make a little play picnic. Why? I have no idea other than it was the 1970's and all of the older people I knew had large bowls of glass grapes and marble apples and pears. I am entranced by fabric that has images of fruits and vegetables on it. I go gaga over wood food toys and little tins at the toy store. I collect knitting and crochet patterns of play food. And I am starting to collect wool felt play food patterns and tutorials. It is a good thing that I have children who enjoy play food - otherwise I'd be some crazy woman in a house full of play food with no other excuse.

Just a few other things being made here: this is Rose's latest dress made from the same pattern that I made for her to make a nightgown in the fall. A remnant piece I found just before she was born. Cool and comfy cotton batik.

Rose is enjoying one of her new halter tops and skirts. But mostly she is enjoying being in the box.

And for parity's sake - a photo of Badger. He's still wearing the shorts I made for him for Halloween for his wood sprite costume. I noticed that he tends to wear mama-made shorts and pants more than the few store-bought ones he has. Must be roomier, or just funkier. He's a funky guy. Here you see that he needs a haircut - but has decided to grow his hair long again. Going for the wild man look, I guess.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Partying like its 1885...

Oh, I've been a busy Mama...

First, I decided that I needed to get rid of my old, ratty pin-tomato, so I took some scrap tattoo print fabric and a vintage button and made a dirt-simple pincushion.

I think that I am continuing a really strong obsession with pincushions that began when I was little. I found a list of really lovely tutorials for all sorts. I am going to start making the little bottlecap ones. I love the idea of recycling bottle caps. We have a few, but don't drink soda, so I may go through my husband's stash of them. I may have to initiate a pincushion exchange. I wonder if I can make tiny Altoids tin sewing kits as well. Hmmm.....

Then, I started up on the summer clothing for Rose - looked into my fabric and picked out a pile.

This morning was spent cutting out summer clothes for Rose - 3 chemises, 2 dresses, a knit skirt from one of my old T-shirts all added to a dress I cut out for her last night.

All of the lace, perle cotton, thread, buttons, and elastic for said items. (Also fat quarters for a small purse. This is my newest small work basket. Yay, resale!

This is a skirt and halter top made from scrap fabric - every inch of a scrap that I've had for 5 years. I made this last Sunday.

This is a skirt and halter made yesterday from 4 quilting fat-quarters that I found on sale. Including the thread, I spent less than $6.

Another fat quarter and scrap skirt - 2 fat quarters found on sale, the rest is sewing scraps. Made last week. Rose loves red, as do I.

Here is the last skirt I made yesterday. Two fat quarters - not as full as the others, but light and airy fabric.

And, lastly, my husband and mother bought an antique printing press in order to start a card and stationery business. An 1885 Golding #3, we believe. It needs a few parts and a tiny bit of work, and some type and plates. But we should be up and running soon. We are all very excited.

Now to draft a pattern for a circular knitting needle case, and double pointed knitting needle case. With mushroom, gnome, woodland creature fabrics, and beautiful red wool felt, all with vintage buttons. Mmmmm.....