Friday, September 3, 2010

Amaranth Gluten-Free Bakery Review

Charlotte and I have been following a gluten-free life for two weeks now.  My favorite g-free food has been the cinnamon-raisin bread made by Amaranth Gluten-Free Bakery.  They are based in Lancaster, PA - my hometown.  Their breads and baked goods are carried in most of the Whole Foods stores in the Philadelphia area.  I've only tried the cinnamon-raisin bread, but I can't wait to try more! It is well worth the price.  It has a great texture, very similar to a non-gluten-free banana bread.  Very moist and delicious!

This has made my move to gluten-free much less painful.  We both love it and I will be placing an order for pick-up next week! They do ship to a small market on the east coast and are sold in quite a few stores in southeast PA.  I'll do another review when I've tried more of their product - I can't wait!

What do you think I should try next? Cupcakes, cookies or muffins? Leave a comment and let me know!

Ric-Rac Baby Blanket

I fell in love with this blanket when I first saw it on Prudent Baby.  I was just dying for an excuse to make one.  Luckily, my cousin and his wife welcomed a beautiful little girl into the world a little more than a week ago.  I finished this before she was born, but didn't want to blog about it until they had received her gift. 

I am so happy with how it turned out that I'm making another one as a baby gift for a little boy due in November.  Charlotte loved it too, so she may get a car blanket in the future.

Here is the finished product.  I don't know the exact size of the finished blanket because it was based on the size of the fabric and the pattern.  I would estimate that it ended up being approximately 40" x 40".  I love a large blanket for a baby.

The polka-dot fabric is cotton and the check is flannel.

The tutorial was fantastic and very easy to follow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Going gluten-free

We found out the C's tiny stature (14 1/2 lbs at 13 1/2 months) can be attributed to Celiac Disease.  So ... we are going gluten-free/casein-free.  We may switch to just gluten-free in the future, but we will try to give C's gut a break to heal.

One of my first questions to all of my GFCF momma friends was "is there a decent GFCF bread?" I had heard that most breads tasted like cardboard and well, I am obsessed with like bread.  A couple of people recommended Udi's.  (There is a coupon on their website too!)

Well, we bought a loaf of their white sandwich bread during our first outing to the local health food store.  Wow! It looks like real bread, tastes like real bread and is pretty yummy all around.  I really like it toasted and so does C.

Stick around for more gluten-free food reviews.. and more recipes and crafts of course!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pomodoro Inspired Pasta Salad

One of my favorite foods is Capellini Pomodoro.  It is a must have whenever we go to Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill.  We have an abundance of tomatoes available right now, so I went scouting for a recipe.  I ended up making the knock-off Macaroni Grill recipe found at Suburban Euphoria.  We loved it and had plenty left over.  While waiting for left-overs to reheat I tried it cold. I have one word - YUM! Sooo... time to make a Pomodoro inspired pasta salad.

3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
2 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced - this translated to 6 small tomatoes
1 handful of basil leaves, sliced
1 box of penne pasta
1-2 peppers, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese with tomato and basil (or add more if you love cheese like I do)
1 cucumber, diced

  1. Heat olive oil in sautee pan (over medium-low) and add garlic; cook until white, about 2 minutes
  2. Add tomatoes, basil and Balsamic vinegar and heat through, stirring constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Tomatoes should not lose their shape. Remove from heat
  3. Transfer hot, cooked pasta to large bowl (I used the cooking pot)
  4. Toss pasta gently with tomato mixture
  5. After pasta mixture has cooled for a few minutes, add diced peppers and cucumber
  6. Allow pasta salad to cool and then add feta crumbles

I can't wait for lunch today!!!

Let me know if you try this and how you would change it.  I'm always looking for new ideas!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chicken Corn Soup ... ready for winter

One of the best parts of living in Lancaster County is the Corn Wagon.  I guess that may sound strange to many of you, but it is a key part of summer living here.  The best part of the corn wagon is the cheap sweet corn.  Now that I'm home during the days, I finally have time to freeze food.  The project last week was chicken corn soup.  I apologize that I don't have any photos to add, but I had corn & chicken covered hands.  I used my grandmother's recipe with a few modifications.

1 fryer chicken ~ I used a 7 1/2 lb roaster
10 ears of corn ~ I used all 12
chicken bullion ~ I used 3 Kohr's large bullion cubes
1 small/medium onion quartered
3 celery stalks sliced
small bunch parsley chopped ~ maybe 1/4 cup
5 hard-boiled eggs sliced both ways

makes 8 quarts 

I started by boiling off the chicken with one of the bullion cubes and the onion.  It took about 1 - 2 hours until it was done.  At this point you can remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside to cool off a bit. Remove as much fat as possible from the broth at this point.  Strain the broth and add back into a large pot.  Mine was 10 qt and that is probably the smallest I would recommend.

Add the chopped parsley and sliced celery to the broth and allow it to simmer.  Pick the chicken from the bones and chop into bite-sized pieces and add to the broth.  Slice corn from ears ~ uncooked.  It helps to have a corn cobber.  Mine is a borrowed wooden one similar to this one: Lee's Wooden Corn Cutter.  Add to broth.

At this point, you may need to add more water to get to 8-quarts.  If you add water, please add at least one more bullion cube.  I had to add about 4-quarts so I added 2 cubes.  I also added salt and pepper to taste at this point.

10 minutes before you are ready to put the soup into it's final resting place (mine was 8 1-quart containers) add the sliced hard boiled eggs.

Enjoy! We had a bowl for dinner last week and the rest I'm saving for a few of those cold winter's nights!

These guys are freezer bound!  It is a good idea to let the soup cool a bit on the counter and then chill in the fridge before finally landing in the freezer.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Feeling crafty ...

I have been silently moping for the last few weeks ~ I lost one of my favorite pairs of earrings.  So .... how best to remedy that? Make a new pair of favorite earrings!

Here is the end result ...

I tend to wear basic gold earrings every day ~ give me a break, I have two small children! I love these!! They are light weight and a nice basic addition to my wardrobe.

My grandmother saw them today and wanted a pair but smaller ... 

These will show up in my etsy store soon but I'm looking for your likes.  These are my favorite - would you prefer silver? More rings, less rings? Let me know!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Easter Time!

We've spent the last few days getting ready for spring and Easter! This of course means a new dress for Charlotte and cute baked goods for the family dinner.

I love Prudent Baby and for my first real sewing project, I decided to make a onesie dress. So simple ~ I added a ribbon detail around the waist, but otherwise I followed the DIY found here.

Here's my little model ...

The leggings were necessary because while it was warm today, the little crawler needs some cushion and it wasn't quite warm enough for just a onesie.

While Oma was visiting today, I was able to get some of my baking done.  I'm bringing cupcakes for the kiddos on Easter day.  I found these adorable little bunny cupcakes on the All For You magazines.  The directions can be found here.

I think they will be a big hit!

I also made some grass and egg cupcakes - no real recipe - just a Wilton tip 233 and some Runts speckled eggs.

Now, I'm going to try my hand at cakepops (inspired from MckMama and Bakerella).  I'll check back tomorrow with how they turn out!