Gluten Free Dairy Free Oatcake

Gluten and dairy free oatcake. Omm nom nom

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This is, hands down, our favorite easy gluten free snack. It’s a very simple oatcake, not very sweet. The kids like it with strawberry jam, I’m okay with it as is. It’s quickly assembled and then only bakes for 20 minutes! So easy and as close to instant gratification as a person can get with baked goods.

I always double my recipe and bake in a 9×13, but below are the measurements for an 8×8 pan.

Delicious Oatcake

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk substitute of choice

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup applesauce (not chunky)

1/4 cup creaming peanut butter

Combine the oats, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together the vanilla, milk and egg. Pour the liquids into the dry and mix well.

Lightly grease an 8×8 pan and pour the mixture in. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Allow the cool completely (if you can!) before cutting into squares. The cooler they get, the less fragile they become.

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Notes on substitutions:

If you don’t have quick oats, you may be able to get away with whizzing old fashioned oats in a blender for a few pulses THEN measuring.

I’ve replaced the brown sugar with coconut sugar with great success. If you want to use a sugar substitute, please use a dry ingredient instead of wet (like honey, maple syrup, etc). This batter really can’t handle much more liquid without falling apart.

Eggs are the major allergen in this cake that I can’t figure out how to replace. I’ve tried with a flax seed egg but that just hasn’t worked out well at all.

If you don’t have any applesauce, you can replace it with one mashed banana. Some members of our family have latex allergies, so bananas are a no go for us.

Peanut butter can be replaced with any nut or seed butter.

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WIP: Striped coat

I've modified this pattern so much. Hoping I like how it turns out.

Putting this out here for accountability.

At this very minute, all I have left on this fall sweater (for Hazel) are the sleeves and picking up the button band. That’s it! Nothing else. I modified the original pattern SO much that I didn’t have a full grasp of just how much work it was going to be. The 6 inches of pleats at the end really burned me out.

To make matters worse, I have the most AMAZING yarn calling my name. It’s actually begging me to knit it up. Instead of spurring me on to finish the sweater at record pace, I’m dragging my feet even more. I don’t even pretend to understand that one.

I’m well past the first day of autumn. The wind has a crisp bite to it and my baby needs her sweater.

Must. Get. Knitting.

WIP means Work In Progress, for you non crafty folks. 😉

 

Green Stripes

Grandmas set

Years ago, I was helping Grandma do some cooking. I reached into the cupboard next to the oven and accidentally dropped her green striped bowl. It was like time slowed but I couldn’t move my hands to catch it. The beautiful bowl crashed to the floor, shards flying everywhere. There was no hope of repair. No amount of glue and prayers would put it back together.

My breath caught and tears welled in my eyes. I knew these bowls were special to Grandma. They were a gift (my memory wants to say wedding gift but I wouldn’t stake my life on it) and Grandma treasured them. I had begged her to let me use her special bowls to mix in and now I broke it. My mind reeled and I immediately began an internal dialogue, chastising myself.

Before I could even say a word, Grandma hugged me. I cried and sniffled out that I was so sorry. It was an accident. I didn’t mean to and would she please forgive me?

She smiled at me, pulled a tissue from the bread drawer for me to blow my nose and asked if I was hurt. After a quick examination and finding nothing amiss, she thanked me for my apology. Then she sent me to get my shoes on and get the broom. When I came back, I could see how sad she was but Grandma reiterated how glad she was I wasn’t cut. That was the important thing. Bowls are replaceable (well, not really in this situation but she didn’t say that) but granddaughters are not.

This entire incident buried itself into the recesses of memory until I had my own children. Things have been broken. Ruined beyond repair. Lost. We talk about being good caretakers of our belongings and respecting property. The first time I found myself reaching a point of frustration where I just wanted to berate my child the clumsiness or unintentional damage created, my breath caught. This entire incident flashed through my mind in a split second and the emotions I experienced as the child came flooding back. Instead of using harsh words, I hugged my child, whispered that I knew it was an accident and how glad I was she wasn’t hurt. We cleaned up the mess together while talking about ways to be safer in the future.

Now, I have Grandma’s precious striped bowls in my own kitchen. I am always on the search for a green replacement bowl but I’m okay if I never find one. It’s a reminder to always take a breath.

 

This post is linked up at The Parent ‘Hood. Be sure to check out other bloggers moments in parenting!

Serenity Now

Napping in arms today.

I’m learning to accept getting Hazel down for nap as an exercise in finding serenity. Grasping moments of mindful quiet when and where I can.

The real struggle is not falling asleep with her.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Gluten free chocolate muffins

Truly, these are delicious and you’d never know they were gluten free. I’ve made this recipe two times in the past eight days in an attempt to photograph them and they were eaten before I could snap a decent picture! They are that good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

While your oven is preheating 350, gently melt together butter and honey. Whisk in cocoa powder and peanut butter until smooth. Then whisk in cocoa powder and peanut butter until smooth. It will be the consistency of hot fudge sauce. Continue to whisk in the eggs (I beat them in a separate bowl before adding) and baking soda.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter into standard sized muffin tins. This should yield exactly 12 muffins. You could just grease them, but I would encourage you to use a paper liner.

Bake for 18-22 minutes until done. It only took 18 in my temperamental oven.

I used butter and peanut butter in my recipe but I’m sure coconut oil and any sort of nut or seed butter would be delicious. I haven’t added chocolate chips, since I’m using these as an on the go breakfast for the kids (the holy horror mess chocolate chips make in a car seat is enough to push me over the edge!), but I can just imagine what a decedent addition they would be. Or what about soft dried cherries with chocolate chips? That makes me think of Valentines day.

My kids snarf these down ASAP and I found Miles actually gathering crumbs up off the floor to make sure he had every last bite.

Recipe adapted from Gluten Free Fix

Doomed

After 3 kids, I finally get to buy one.

I have pined and lusted after a Sophie the Giraffe for YEARS. Every since Ella was tiny, I’ve wanted one but just couldn’t justify it. I finally bit the bullet and ordered one. This might be our last baby and she’s growing so fast. I wanted a Sophie the Giraffe in my house, so I had better get her sooner rather than later.

After three kids and a click of the mouse, I waited and waited until  Sophie the Giraffe finally showed up on my doorstep via Amazon.

I gushed over her in her tiny little box. Then I pulled her out and felt how nice the texture was — not gritty and not slick. Perfect for a teething babe.

Then my beautiful Sophie the Giraffe squeaked and the world as I knew it ended.

We don’t purposely choose toys that independently make noise for our home. Kids are noisy enough. Come to find out, my ultimate baby toy makes noise and Hazel screams whenever I take her away.

Also? She smells like a tire.

Doomed. I’m completely doomed.

Hello To Goodbye

I’ve been mulling over the phrase “motherhood is a long series of goodbyes” from this post on Renegade Mothering. It struck a spark of conversation between some friends and I and it was rather revolutionary for me.

At first, I wasn’t sure if goodbyes were the right perspective to hold. The word goodbye seems so… sad to me. Negative. Despondent. Those adjectives are polar opposites of what I want my life as a mother to reflect. But then, through further conversation, I realized the other side of goodbye is hello.

As I say goodbye to the sweet smelling head of my tiny infant, he is saying hello to new found mobility and exploration.

As I say goodbye to knowing what my almost five year old is doing 95% of the day, she is saying hello to experiencing taking the bus and going school.

Other goodbyes are more subtle. Having to assist with every stitch of apparel to being down to only tying shoes. Picking up tiny crumbs of play doh off of the floor before stepping in it.

The most vivid and current goodbye I had was sending Ella off to half day school, which started last month.

Untitled Untitled
She loves her teacher already. And she's home!
(1) Obligatory first day of school picture (2) Too excited to be still.
(3) She loves her teacher so much. (4) Home safe and sound.

Her joy and enthusiasm for saying hello certainly eased my goodbye. All I can do is hope and pray I can continue to accept goodbyes with grace while encouraging my children towards greeting the new stages of their life with excitement and curiosity. I absolutely know some goodbyes will be harder than others but I cannot allow my struggles with saying goodbye to a part of their life hinder their ability to move forward. I’m sure that we’ll meet a hello they are dreading and it will make it all the harder for me to say goodbye, but we’ll make it.

Insta Week

Insta Week

A highlight reel of my week, via Instagram.

(1) Amazing gluten free muffin that I will be posting about next week!

(2) Best after school snack EVER. (ps she loves those huge bows)

(3) Epic popcorn fail involving coconut sugar. The kids still ate it, though…

(4) Miles mimicking a cartoon character frantically searching for something. All while I was in the bathroom for 30 seconds, max.

(5) Miles say the phrase, “I love you” to the tune of Jingle Bells. I joined in and we both felt loved.

(6) Out of the world food came from that Brazilian grill. YUM.

As Seen On Pinterest: Doll Hair Taming

Floating around Pinterest is a concoction of fabric softener and water that supposedly tames unruly doll hair. My beloved Felicity American Girl doll has horrible hair and I loved the idea of fixing it instead of sending her to the pricey doll hospital.

Before testing it out on my childhood friend, I decided to attempt it on good ol’ Pinkie Pie.

Before

I put 2 tablespoons of Mrs. Myers fabric softener into 2 cups of water. I spritzed it heavily on her hair, combed it gently and set her outside to dry.

After

This was the end result! I also tried it on a pony from the 80s to see if older hair mattered and it actually took the solution better than the McDonalds toy.

In 2 weeks time, both ponies had frizzy hair again. They got tossed right back into the toy rotation, so maybe if they had been display toys it wouldn’t have happened. Also, I felt like their hair had a weird, tacky residue. Maybe if I had used a main stream fabric softener (Mrs. Myers is plant based) or less fabric softener to water, it wouldn’t have happened. Who knows.

While I wouldn’t use it on my AG doll, it makes for a great pony salon day.

Serenity Now

My daily life. It's as awesome as it is difficult.

My life, with three young children, is awesome as it is difficult. Sometimes, the only way I can catch a breath is with the baby on my back and handing the kids cupcakes. Then I breath deep and think serenity now.

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