I am a Mormon stay-at-home-mom of six. Yeah, I know, "that's a lot of kids"! Sometimes it truly is A LOT. Most of the time it's not. It's simply put...our normal. On my page you'll find spiritual thoughts, tales of trials, happy moments, recipes, funny stories, and more. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tomato free Chili

I had practically written off making anything like chili once I had to get rid of tomatoes. Until I read some blogs and a suggestion was made. Then I decided to give it a try. Here is the recipe that I used as my starting point. And this is what I came up with:

Gluten free Dairy Free Tomato free Chili

2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
2 cans red kidney beans drained and rinsed or mild chili beans
2 cans great northern beans or white kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 15 oz can carrots
1 15 oz can beets
40-48 oz chicken broth
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder or use fresh cloves
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika

Put carrots, beets and pumpkin into blender and purée. Add a little chicken broth to make it easier. Set aside. In large pot brown meat. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn onto low. Cover. Simmer.  Enjoy with corn chips or corn bread!

Now go enjoy your delicious bowl of awesomeness!!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The happy girl

The fat rain drops pounded on the ground.  It echoed through the chimney; plink, tink, plonk.  It gushed out of the gutters and onto the brown grass.  There was freshness in it as the drops poured from the gray cloud-filled sky.  I sat, looking out the window, as the rain drops hit the puddle that had formed in the folding chair. I have always felt a sadness that went along with rain.  And this time was no different. 

Cassie was happy today though.  There are so many days when she is just sad, grouchy, and angry and those days always seem to be followed by rainy days.  She can feel it coming, and it doesn't make her feel well.  I think, from what I can determine from her mood and actions that it down right hurts. 

When I was a teenage girl and I was babysitting, I loved the children I cared for…for the most part.  Having children looked fun and easy.  Now, as I am in my 17th year of mothering/parenting, etc., I have found that the fairy tale only exists in pieces; small glimpses of wonderful-ness.

There are fairy tale moments, indeed.  There are glimpses of beauty in motherhood. And when they happen I pause and try to take in those precious pieces of my day. They don’t last, but THEY are what make parenting worth it…especially when many moments are filled with the day to day, and the hurts, trials and troubles of life. 

One of my struggles has always been in knowing what each child needs and finding a way to meet those needs.  Months ago we eliminated food dyes and other dyes from Cassie’s life followed by ridding her of gluten.  The change in her has been extremely significant. She is happier.  She talks more.  She actually talks to people outside of our house….sometimes. She is sweet and funny.  And when she has a bad day I find myself searching again for answers and ideas that could help her to be happy. 

As of late, the topic or thought on my mind has been trying to determine a cause for these hard days and then a solution. I haven’t found it yet, but I’m sure through prayer and pondering I will be led to the right information that will bless our lives as a whole.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gluten Free Flax Bread

I found this recipe for gluten free bread in my desperate search to replace bread made with wheat and white flour.  I don't eat a lot of bread but once in a while would like toast or a sandwich.  The kids eat bread a lot more than I do.  When I eat it I want it to taste as much like regular bread as possible.  While its extremely difficult to make a good gluten free bread I have found that it can be done.  Here are some great places to find good recipes:

"The Gluten Free Gourmet" by Bette Hagman
"The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread" by Bette Hagman
"Special Diets for Special Kids" by Lisa Lewis, PhD

I've used a few of the recipes from these books and from others.  Many times they are SO pricey to make that it's better if I just go purchase a loaf or two.  This recipe came out awesome the first time, no tricky techniques required.  I have even used different flour blends in it with good results.  The flaw with the recipe is that it makes too much for the normal loaf pan and it spills over the edges and all over the oven. The reviewers warned about this, but did I listen...nope.  I just HAD to try it myself.  Haha!

I decided to adjust the recipe to fit into a regular loaf pan so that I wouldn't have to go and purchase a new pan.  Below you will find my adjustments to the recipe.

Gluten Free Flax Bread

1 cup gluten free flour mix
3 Tbsp garbanzo bean/chick pea flour
6 Tbsp potato starch
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp flax seed meal
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup water or almond milk or coconut milk (I do half water and half dairy free milk)
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 1/4 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Combine flours, flax, starches, gum, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In the mixer, combine wet ingredients together and then add the dry. Scrapes the sides of the bowl.  Mix on medium speed for 4-5 minutes.  Pour into 1 greased loaf pan.  Let rise to the top of the pan in a warm, but turned off oven for about 40-80 minutes. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool and slice.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I have been trying to make a good gluten free cookie and knew that all it would take was the right recipe with the right ingredients.  Sounds easy until you try to find one.  I was SO frustrated. I almost gave up....a couple of times. BUT I decided to be relentless and I finally found what I was missing....the right flour mixture.

I searched and searched and finally found some helpful information and mix recipes on the Living Without website. They have a great list of substitutions too! Then I thought I hit the goldmine. I found this page with a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that looked promising.  LOL!  They were NOT good!  UGH!!  The kids ate them so they weren't a total waste.

But the page was NOT waste of time.  I found the awesome recipe for the flour mix that is amazing in cookies on that same page that had the not-so-tasty chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Look down at the bottom and you will find it.  :)

I was craving some lemon cookies the other day and decided, after much searching, that I would attempt to create my own recipe for these delicious cookies.  The second batch was BEAUTIFUL!  (I've also included the recipe using regular white flour below)

GF DF Lemon Cookies

½ cup all natural shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ tsp lemon extract
1 egg
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup gf  All Purpose flour mix (below)
¾ cup gf cookie flour mix (below)
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ heaping tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt

Cream together shortening, sugar, extract, egg and lemon juice until well blended. Place flours, soda, xanthan gum and salt on top.  Mix well.  Scoop onto cookie sheet or baking stone.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned on edges.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cool on pan for about 5 minutes.  Move to cooling rack.  Enjoy!

 All-Purpose Flour Blend
Use this blend for all your gluten-free
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch

All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend (or GF Cookie Flour Mix as I called it)
Makes 9½ cups

2 cups super-fine brown rice flour
1½ cups sweet rice flour
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup chickpea or garfava flour
1 cup tapioca starch
2 cups sorghum flour

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate in an air-tight container until used.

For a cookie made with regular wheat/white flour see below:

Lemon Cookies 
½ cup all natural shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 ½ tsp lemon extract
1 egg
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ¾ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Cream together shortening, sugar, extract, egg and lemon juice until well blended. Place flours, soda, xanthan gum and salt on top.  Mix well.  Scoop onto cookie sheet or baking stone.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned on edges.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cool on pan for about 5 minutes.  Move to cooling rack.  Enjoy!