Monday, August 06, 2012

What's Eating You?

I don't think I've blogged about our GF and veggie lifestyle, but I'll get there eventually.  Long story short, Eldest has a gluten sensitivity, and my mom was recently diagnosed with Sj√∂gren's Disease.  Eldest can't have wheat at all, and with our genetic makeup, it's just easier/wiser for the rest of us to go off, too, rather than risk the things that might be brought on by repeated exposure.  (See how I totally avoided going off on a GMO rant there?  **pats self on back**)  MuNKi is the only one still doing wheat.  And sometime in Jan the girls decided to go veggie.  Since I was raised veggie, it was super easy for me to go back.  There are just so many foods to love!  GF-ically speaking, I mostly like to find things to bake that don't need substitutions, but I'm OK with tweaking things here and there.  The other day we *did* use a substitution (GF graham crackers) to make these amazing peanut butter bars.  Superb!  I love how the graham crackers give a little crunch to the final product!  I'll let you go to that wonderful blog to see the pics, since our bars disappeared before I could take any.

Today I was inspired by the amazingly cool morning to bake again.  I have a great cookie recipe from my mom, but I was in the mood for experimentation, too.  It's very, very hard for me to just make a recipe as it stands.  Usually I have to add my own touch somewhere.  Today, I turned her cookie recipe into a bar recipe and we got this:

Again, this is a treat that I would make purely for the yum factor.  It just happens to be GF.  Yay!  That's the way GF should be - good on its own merits, not just "good for GF."

Here's the recipe:

2/3 c shredded coconut
3 c rolled oats (quick oats are fine)
1 c oat flour + 4 T coconut flour (yes, you could probably use all oat flour, but this is yummy)
1 c dark choc chips
1 t baking soda
1 scant t salt

1 c canola oil  (I use a scant cup)
3/4 c peanut butter
2 t vanilla (sometimes I add more)
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 lg eggs

Spray a 9x 13 pan with oil and preheat your oven to 350 F.  Measure out the dry stuff first, so you can use your measuring devices again for the wet stuff without having to wash them.  Measure out the wet stuff into your mixer's bowl and whizz it all up.  Add the dry stuff and whizz it some more.  Decant the glop into your pan, press it into place, and whap it in the oven (providing it's already reached 350.)  Set a timer for 25 mins and go do the laundry.  Get distracted and start looking through all those great library books, or else remember that you wanted to practice juggling soccer balls with your youngest for 15 mins.  Try to listen for the timer, whatever you end up doing.  When the timer goes off, rejoice in the glorious brown-toppedness of your bars, and then decide to throw on some more chocolate chips while the bars are still hot, just to see what happens.  (It's OK to be liberal.  It's chocolate.*)  Squeal with delight when the chips melt, smear them all over the bars, and dive in.  You'll probably need a fork since they're still hot, but once you've gone for a bike ride, done a little knitting, and taken some of the kids to the library, they'll be well cool enough to cut into respectable bars so that you can take pictures with which to wow your friends.  (Only a very, VERY good friend deserves the real thing.  The rest will have to make do with pictures.)

Eat them for the rest of the day.  Proper meals are for wusses.

Every time you carve off another little bar, smile smugly, because one of the sweetest pleasures in life is an excellent snack. :)

* Josh Groban. Except he said "sugar."

Friday, August 03, 2012

Of Sage and Honeybees

Eldest and I went library hopping to our fave non-local library today.  I scored a couple of Albinoni CDs and some fun knitting books, as well as what promises to be a cheesy Russian children's film.  Delight!  I also leafed through a copy of what I thought was a 50 Shades of Grey spoof, but turned out to be one of the actual books.  How?  How???  English grammar and good writing are going the way of the dinosaur, apparently.  Oh well, it gives the rest of us something to feel smug about, right?

I have discovered the joys of the Game of Thrones books (as evidenced by yesterday's closing,) and am currently on book the fifth.  Yay.  Oh, hey!  I guess good writing isn't dead after all.

Lately my flowers are full of butterflies and hummingbird moths.  Listening to my sage buzzing is really

Get it?  The bee's knees! (Well, OK, knee.)  I'm so glad you can't hit me from there.

Anyway, yesterday's pics were from about a month ago, but these are from last week and today.

 One of the six bajillion honeybees enjoying my Russian sage.

So sorry to

you with pictures again.  I just can't stop myself sometimes.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

One Month Ago

This is the part where I jump back in and pretend I never stopped blogging.

We've lived here 9 years now.  Nine!!  I've never EVER lived in the same house this long.  I'm starting to notice, for the first time, how time takes its toll on things both inside and out.  On the other hand, I'm getting to see how the trees and plants mature.  I get to add things each year, and know they'll still be there, even bigger, next year.  Many of my plants are having babies, too. :)  Slowly, slowly, I'm wrangling the "weed beds" so that they are more flower than weed.

These were taken a month ago.  Summer in full riot!

 But in case I were to forget, I also got these little reminders:

Winter is coming.