Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowstorm + cookies = bliss

We've had quite a storm here on the east coast this week.  I have seen people calling it "Snowmaggedon" but I think that is a bit much.  We got about a foot of snow, and it was pretty windy and cold, but nothing like an Apocalypse.   Sheesh.

The big boys went out with some friends and made some money shoveling out the neighborhood.  The two little ones stayed home with me most of the day and we took a sledding break after we got our driveway shoveled out. 

No one wanted to come in, so I bribed them with cookies.  "Come on, we'll go home and make cookies."  It worked. 

I had it in my mind to make oatmeal cookies but Mr. O had other ideas.  He was talking about brown cookies, star cookies and circle cookies - I still don't know what exactly he meant, but when I found a recipe that looked easy, I showed him a picture of the finished product and he agreed.  I started with this recipe for Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers and as usual, tweaked it a bit to make it work for us.  I'll post the recipe below.

Here's how our cookies came out - they tasted pretty good too!

I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips in some of the cookies - they are allergy friendly and so yummy!  And put in some Polaner All Fruit Jelly in others.  Of course, Mr. Picky only likes the plain ones so I had to make a lot of those. 

Here's the recipe the way I made it:


•4 large eggs

•1 1/3 cup sucanat

•1 tablespoon vanilla extract

•2 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel

•Pinch salt

•2-3 cups gluten-free all purpose flour mix (with xantham or guar gum in the mix) See note!  I started with 2 cups of a rice flour baking mix with guar gum, and the rest Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour and about 1/4 tsp. xantham gum.

•1 cup melted, cool unsalted butter OR your favorite dairy-free butter substitute - I used 1/2 cup Earth Balance soy free buttery spread and 1/2 cup canola oil and it seemed to work out fine.

•All fruit Jelly, chocolate chips or anything else you'd like to put on top.  (Optional)



Preheat oven to 375F / 190C

Lightly grease your baking pan


Combine eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, orange peel and salt and beat to combine. Gradually add 2 cups of gluten-free flour and beat just until combined. Slowly drizzle melted butter into the mixture and beat until combined.   If dough is not thick enough, keep adding flour - I used roughly 3 cups to get the right texture, and even then it looked a little looser than most cookie dough, definitely not thick enough to press like typical sugar cookies.


Drop dough by heaping rounded teaspoons on prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch space between cookies - it will spread slightly when baking.  If you want to add jelly or chocolate chips, use a small spoon to make a well in the center of the cookie and add the jelly or chips.
Bake in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Cool.

Makes about 36 cookies.

NOTE:  If your gluten-free flour mix DOES NOT contain xantham gum or guar gum add 1/4 teaspoon of your favorite gum to this recipe.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cyber Monday - Again?

I have been shopping online all day.  My way of avoiding laundry!  I was so good about skipping Black Friday, and then I think I ordered one thing on Cyber Monday.  Today I got notice that it was Cyber Monday (take 2) and I had to look around. 

I am not going to tell everything I ordered because some of it will be saved for gifts and I don't want to ruin any surprises. But this one deal I had to share, from They have the most adorable ride on car for more than 70% off - and if you are looking for one in pink, they have that one on sale too!   There are lots of other toys on sale for under $5 - and if you add something from their partner site, you get free shipping when you spend $25.

This car is priced at $23.39 right now, normally $99!  Throw in something small from and your order will ship for free.  And if you click through my link  and use the code below, get another 15% off!   Who wouldn't love one of these ride ons?  I know I wish they made one in my size! discounts
Baby Items
use code:WERI1111
Buy Baby Items at
Not valid for existing, or customers. Some restrictions apply.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Magic Donuts

Since we started Mr. O. on his  dietary changes almost a year ago, I have been dreaming of donuts.  But coming up with something gluten free, casein free, soy free, dairy free and without dyes and refined sugar ... ummm .. I was not feeling confident.  Even before we gave up the gluten, soy, corn and dairy, I had a hard time getting donuts right.   But there is something about fall that makes a person want a donut..  Apple cider donuts, pumpkin donuts, spice donuts ... a hot cup of coffee, bliss. 

Yesterday we reached the point where the craving overcame the fear.  Mr. O. started asking for donuts - specifically "Punchin Donuts" and then it changed to "Magic Donuts."  I am guessing "Punchin Donuts" is how he hears "Dunkin Donuts."  I still don't know where "Magic Donuts" came from, but I figured I would give it a try.  My boy wanted magic donuts, I was going to make him some!

So - here are the magic donuts, with links to the ingredients as found on Amazon - you can also buy most of these items at Whole Foods if you don't want to buy in bulk.

I started with this recipe that I found online and made some changes, doubled it and tweaked a few things because of our food issues.  Here's my adjusted list of ingredients for baked pumpkin donuts - these are gluten free, casein free, soy free, corn free and free of dyes and refined sugar:

1 1/2 cups Rice Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Allspice
2 tsp Cinnamon
4 eggs
2 cups of organic Sucanat (sugar)
1 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp.  Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Applesauce
1/2 cup Canola Oil

Preheat the oven to 350 - grease a non-stick mini donut pan.  I could not find a donut pan on short notice, so we used this fluted cake pan and it was fine.  You can also use muffin pans, but then you won't have that fun hole in the middle.  Isn't that what donuts are all about? 

In a medium bowl, combine rice flour, tapioca flour, tapioca starch, xantham gum, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and spices.  In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, applesauce and oil until combined.  I used my mixer.  Then add dry ingredients and stir until blended.

Fill each donut cup about 3/4 full - don't over fill.  I saw on another blog that they recommended piping the mix into the baking cups so I tried it - not sure if it was necessary, but it didn't hurt.  I just put the batter into a big zipper bag, cut a hole and started making the donuts.

Bake about 10-12 minutes, until tester comes out clean.  Let cool a few minutes before removing.  (I didn't, but you can, maybe you are more patient than I am.)

For the glaze, I used coconut milk (I found it at Shop Rite, they also have it at Trader Joe's) and some finely ground Sucanat (I just put it into the coffee grinder until the consistency was similar to powdered sugar) - Mixed them together until it was sweet enough for me and then added a little bit of rice flour to thicken it up.  I dipped each donut in the glaze and then I dipped some of them into Sucanat and Cinnamon mixed in a bowl.

They looked and smelled fabulous!

And got a big thumbs up from my taste tester.  The "regular" kids liked them too, which is always a miracle.  They are, indeed, magic donuts!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Living With Mini Hoarders

Lately it has become even more challenging to find things in this house.  At first I thought it was me.  I thought, Maybe I just have too many things going on (duh) and my organizational skills are finally cracking.

I mean, I could not find our house phone for a full day - even though I could hear it ringing.  Admittedly, since I started selling for some friends on eBay, my dining room has gotten to be filled with rubbermaid containers full of clothes, shipping supplies and computer equipment.  So there is a bit of a mess going on.  But to be unable to find the PHONE?  Even when it was ringing??  That's bad.

Right when I was starting to feel the need to call Hoarders   I found this little pile of junk.  In a wagon.  Being pulled by my daughter.

Yes, you are seeing correctly.  Pieces of chocolate, some bread, a hairbrush, a calculator and who knows what else.  Being dragged through the house.   Ewwww. 

I think I have a mini hoarder on my hands.

Oh, and I finally found the phone.  It was in a box, inside ANOTHER box, and that box was full of toys, games, blocks and dolls.  I hate to think what this girl's room is going to look like when she is a teenager.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Best Dressed For Less Consignment Sale!

I've been a busy mom, getting ready for the Best Dressed For Less Consignment Sale.  Coming up October 1st - 3rd in the Burlington Mall - if you have never been to  a consignment sale,  you have NO idea what you are missing!   And if you have never sold at a consignment sale - seriously - try it sometime!  It is a great way to make some money, and an even greater way to save some money while dressing your kids in the best brands. 

Being a shopaholic type of mom, my kids are usually overloaded with clothes and toys.  So when the clothes are outgrown, the toys are cluttering us to death and we are just ready to clean out the house, along comes the sale.   Perfect timing - they have a sale in the spring and the fall, just when you are ready to clear things out.  I usually start in the play room, looking for toys and games, check for outgrown baby gear, and then move to the closets and PURGE.  Here's how my van looked on the way to the sale last  year, with 10 rubbermaid containers, a stroller, pack & play and all kinds of other fun stuff:

And apparently I am not the only mama cleaning out the house, because THIS is what the sale looks like on opening day:

So now I have a list of things to look for.  I'm always looking for fun outside play toys.  C'mon, those play kitchens retail for hundreds of dollars when they are new - I see them at the sale for $20-50 !!  And the ride on cars??  Those are always a great deal.  Everything is super clean, inspected upon drop off so that nothing junky is sold. 

I'm also in the market for some DVDs.  Yep, they have them here, and what better way to buy some new movies for the car - $2-5 each instead of $20 at the store?  You've got a deal!   I'll be looking for snow boots - I got some last year for $4 !!  And maybe some winter coats - my son's Lands End winter coat was only $12 last year and it looked like new.   Good thing I am selling stuff, huh?  I may be able to break even if all my stuff sells.  As long as I don't start looking through the clothes .... My girl needs some jeans .. and maybe some brown cords ... hmmm.

Speaking of selling stuff.  And back to my mid life crisis from last week.  I am going to attempt to sell  Miss M's stroller and high chair at the sale.  I say "attempt" because I am really not sure if I am ready to part with them.  OK, maybe the Prima Pappa high chair.  But look how cute she was in it:

And it is PINK.  My bestest besties all chipped in and got me this high chair for my baby shower.  I loved it.  I still love it.  But since there will be no more babies using it and since my girl tells me every day that she is NOT a baby and she does NOT want to sit in the baby seat, I have to let it go.  I did not have this problem with the gear from the boys.  I used it and used it again and then used it one more time as it cycled through three boys.  By the time boy three was done with the gear, it was outdated, worn out and gross.  It was not hard to part with any of that.  With these girly things, I am just not quite ready.  Oh, I am ready to have the room in the house, ready to stop bumping into stuff that we don't use - but not ready to say goodbye to something that I feel that I JUST painstakingly researched and dreamt about (never mind that it has been 3 years).  And that brings me to the next item. 

The stroller.  More specifically, the I'Coo Infinity stroller with adjustable handle, 5 point safety harness, reversible multi adjustable seat AND the most gorgeous shade of apple green.  I had to have the green.  This came out right around the same time as the sister stroller, the  I'Coo Rockstar, designed my Bon Jovi himself - but I did NOT want the Rock Star, I wanted the apple green.  I wanted this stroller because it was reversible - I could turn the seat and my baby girl could look at me while we walked.  Or I could turn it around and she could embrace the world.  Little did I know that she'd spend more time being pushed by her brothers than me, and that she'd hit the age of 2 and become a little old lady who wanted to do everything "myselfffff."   So now she walks everywhere.  And I do not need this stroller.  I hardly used this stroller.  But it is such a pretty thing.

I can't quite remove myself from the stroller just yet.  I can't stop imagining that I will put my girl in the stroller and she will once more be a sweet little munchkin, content to look at me and take in the air.  The idea of this is so vivid in my mind, and such a beautiful memory, and I just don't know if I will be able to drop this stroller off at the sale.  Look at her.  

I have it entered in to sell.  I have until next week to break my hoarding cycle and get a grip on reality.  My girl does not want to ride in a stroller.  She does not want to sit in the high chair.  She is 3 and the baby years are done.  But wow, that is one sweet stroller, isn't it?  Don't be surprised if you see me walking it through the neighborhood one last time, with or without a kid inside. 

If you live in NJ or anywhere nearby, you have to check out the sale - you are sure to find something great, and I guarantee the price will be right.  And if any of you are looking for a Peg Perego Prima Pappa high chair or an I'coo stroller, you MAY be able to find one at the sale, for 75% off the retail price.  Just maybe. 

Friday, October 1st, 2010, 10am-6pm

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, 9am-5pm

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010, 11am-3pm

(most items half price on Sunday)

Burlington Center Mall (Lower Level Sears Wing)

2501 Burlington Mt Holly Road (Rte 541)

Burlington Township NJ

You can learn more or join the BDFL mailing list to be notified of future sales at

Monday, September 20, 2010


The alternate title to this blog post is "My Mid Life Crisis" so if you want to back away slowly, I will understand.

When did this happen?  I have been laying awake at night and wondering.

I have packed our days full of family activities, I have homeschooled part of the time, I have been an at home mom for most of my kids' lives, so I KNOW I was there when it happened, but I still don't know why I look at my three boys and see this:

I am expecting to see this.

Or maybe this

The realization that my BABY BOY is nine years old hit me like a ton of bricks the other day.  NINE years old? 

I was JUST nine years old yesterday.  Or last week.  I remember it clearly.  We moved.  I broke my arm.  It was a busy year and I was almost an adult (in my mind anyway) and there is no WAY my baby is nine.  THIS is what nine looks like.

Errrr, well, for some people nine looks better than that, but give me a break, it was the 70's.  But back to my point.  My baby can't be NINE and my oldest son CANNOT be going to high school.  CANNOT.  Nevermind that he just DID.

Thank goodness I still have my baby at home, and one more homeschooling (and I will not discuss the fact that my middle son is 12 and his feet are bigger than mine and he'll be taller than me, probably next Saturday around 4 pm).  I'll just say that you might want to keep these two in  your thoughts and prayers, as they are now spending way too much time with a mom in crisis.  Mid life crisis.  Lots of comments about how big they are getting, how they will always be my babies and I'll probably be kissing them a little too much.

Maybe I should just buy a sports car.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Day in the Life

We are occasionally asked if Miss M is going to school this year.   People wonder if she is going to preschool somewhere, or is she ready for kindergarten (Silly, she is only three!) and the invariable question, "Are you homeschooling her?"  I am here to tell you today, this girl of mine is MUCH too busy for school.  

First of all, she has to take care of the garden. 

Are we the only ones who had TONS of green tomatoes this year?  I think we had ONE red one all season.

After the garden, we have to get our exercise.  A walk through the woods is just the ticket.

There are some animals on that log behind her - nature girl had to take the time to identify them

With 100% certainty, she says they are CATS.  Obviously.

No mom, they are NOT turtles.  CATS.  I'm tellin' ya!

Time to check the swings at the park and make sure they are in working order.

This one seems safe.

Best part of the job - swinging really super high!

One more push??

C'mon mom, you know you want to ...

We have to check on the ducks on the way home.

And make sure we put the babies to bed for their naps.

Quick dip in the pool.  Checking the temperature.

WAY too cold.  Unacceptable!

And finally - the girl has to taste test the gluten free cake and chocolate frosting.  Its a rough job but someone has to do it. 

All of this before 4 pm.

 Is it any wonder she has no time for preschool?