Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gluten Free Pie

Look at this pie! Would you ever guess that it is gluten free? Well it is! This was a big year for me in the traditional Thanksgiving baking world. In fact, this was my first time EVER making pumpkin pie. Weird, I know with a husband like mine you'd have thought that I would be making pumpkin pies in my sleep from September to March but Caleb actually isn't the biggest fan of it, he would much prefer pumpkin donuts, cinnamon rolls, cookies, bread, pancakes etc. This year me and my sister were assigned desserts for Thanksgiving so it seemed that I just HAD to make pumpkin pie....



I'm not sure what I had in mind to do for the crust for the gluten free one but I knew it had to be done. My wondering came to an end when I arrived at church the week before Thanksgiving. One of the sweetest ladies I know, Cheri had brought me this! It is a 5 lb bag of the most delicious gluten free flour I have ever tasted! I didn't know what to do with myself, I was so excited to give it a try and see how it tasted. I put it to the test, making a pie crust (which isn't my specialty anyway) for the pumpkin pie. I couldn't believe how perfect and flakey it turned out. I ended up serving it to non gluten free people at Thanksgiving and no one even knew! haha!
It was really special for Caleb to be able to share in the Thanksgiving dessert without feeling sick later that evening. THANK YOU CHERI!
A note about this flour: it is like hidden treasure. If you go Jules website, you'll find TWO places in all of Washington state that sell it. I have no idea why because I have not tasted a better gluten free flour. I cannot sing its praises enough! After Thanksgiving I also made pizza with it (there is a recipe on Jules website) and I have to say, that it was the BEST gluten free pizza we've ever had - even better than Romio's who I previously thought had the best GF pizza.
This whole post is to make two points:
1. THANK YOU CHERI for the flour! That was so sweet of you to think of us.
2. Check out how cool my pie looks! (Thanks Taren and B for the cookie cutters :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

3 Things I'm Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving! (It was a couple days ago, but hey, better late then never!) I had this idea the day before Thanksgiving but just couldn't get to it then...
This Thanksgiving I have been thinking about all that I am thankful for and I have compiled a little list to share. (These are not all the things, but my top 3)

1. JESUS
I am thankful to Jesus for being God and for coming to earth to die a horrific death on the cross to atone for the sins of the world - and specifically my sins. These past couple of months I have grown to know Jesus deeper and deeper. With each passing day I have come to know more of who He is and of how much He loves me.

2. CALEB

Caleb is my husband. I love him very much. I am so thankful to be married and to be the wife of this wonderful man. He is my best friend and I am thankful to Jesus for Caleb. (You see, number one and number two are related.) We are coming up on FOUR years of holy matrimony in March and it seems like it's both flown by but also feels like we've been married forever. It's weird. My husband loves me, provides for me and tirelessly takes care of me. I am so thankful for him.

3. MARS HILL CHURCH

Mars Hill Church is my church and I am so thankful to be a part of this church in Downtown Seattle. Jesus (back to number one again) has used this church to bring me closer to himself, give me a greater understanding of the gospel and to bring me into relationship with many other Christians...not to mention CALEB! Mars Hill Church is the first church I have ever been a member of, it's where I was baptized, it's where I was married and by God's grace it will be where we dedicate our children. I am thankful for pastors and elders who preach the gospel and love God's people. Jesus grace is on Mars Hill and I am thankful to be a part of the work He is doing.

There are lot of other things I'm thankful for too - but it seemed like these were the top three right now. I am reminded over and over that everything comes from Jesus. Being "thankful" for anything is abstract if we don't know WHO we are giving thanks to. It's JESUS. He is the Creator. All we have is from Him.







Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You're Joking... Right?

I was at Safeway (I hate Safeway but it's the closest fairly normal grocery store to our downtown apartment so sometimes out of utter desperation I go there - wishing the entire time that I was at Fred Meyer) a couple of nights ago picking up a few essential items for dinner that I most likely forgot on my normal grocery trip. At our Safeway they've recently had an odd collection of candy and gift-like items near the wine (of all places) section. And in that section I couldn't help but notice this! A Lord of the Rings PEZ collection! I wanted to get it for my LOTR obsessed sister (or mildly obsessed husband) until I realized that it was $20 and decided I'd pass.
The things people come up with these days...!

Trick or Cheesy?

I love macaroni and cheese. From the box, homemade, from El Gaucho, and I like it every day of the week. I don't think there has EVER been a time I didn't want it. (even when I have the flu, I desire to get better so my stomach can handle cheese!)
All of that to say, that the day before Halloween I was at Target and this was on sale for .99 cents so obviously I bought it and made it first thing when I got home and ate it for lunch.
Holy Cow! Never tasted so good. (as usual)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls


Yes - the day finally came. Every year I make pumpkin cinnamon rolls for Caleb and the day was yesterday! If you've made cinnamon rolls before you know that they can take a while to make, and these rolls are no different! I had a terrible time waiting for them to be done!

Here is the recipe for the rolls which is from Taste of Home magazine.

*It is my STRONG recommendation to add lots of spices to the dough. This year I added lots of cinnamon, and a good amount of pumpkin pie spice. (you could add cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg etc.) If you don't, these will still be good but they won't have that "pumpkin spice" flavor you were wanting.

** Here is a little tip that I read somewhere for cutting the rolls. Once you've got your long log of beautiful cinnamon dough, grab a piece of dental floss (yes, that's right, dental floss - mint flavor is fine) slide the dental floss underneath the roll and bring the two sides up and cross over each other, pull down until the floss is taut and you'll have just made a beautiful slice while keeping its form. TRY IT! I've never gone back since.

For the icing, I went with something different this year. I used Martha Stewarts recipe for Brown Butter Icing and it was wonderful! It tastes like caramel. Caleb was only so-so on the icing as he is a traditional cream cheese frosting kind of guy.

These are a really special treat to make for your hubby or kids and something pretty impressive to bring to a brunch. If you want to make these for your family in the morning then follow these make ahead steps:
Make the dough and bring it through the first rise. Then roll out spread with butter & cinnamon sugar. Cut the rolls and place in a prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Put the rolls in the fridge and leave overnight. In the morning, set the rolls out on the counter for about 30-40 minutes while you make coffee and preheat the oven. Then, bake the rolls and make the icing so they are ready when everyone wakes up!



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Quit!

Bye-Bye Bank of America! Hello home! Yes, it is true! July 29, 2011 was my LAST day at The Bank! Woohoo!! Thank you Jesus and Caleb for making it possible for me to come home and do what I've wanted to do most!
Now, since I haven't been working for nearly an entire quarter - why haven't I posted? Well, I've been busy getting this place in tip-top shape! Our Internet was crap so that had to get that fixed and all kinds of other things were a wreck so blogging had to take a backseat. But NO FEAR! I'm back! (for the 3 of you who actually read this)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pancakes


Caleb has never been much a pancake fan. He has been more of a french toast or pastry person. Pancakes are just kinda... blah to him. It is very difficult (not to mention expensive) to make gluten free french toast and literally impossible to make any kind of good tasting gluten free pastry. So, alas, we've had to give pancakes another try! In the gluten free aisle of the grocery store I met a nice lady who recommended making pancakes from the Bob's Redmill mix. I bought it and tried them out - not bad! Caleb said he actually likes gluten free pancakes better than regular ones - WIN!



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lillian Came! She Is Finally Here!

She has been long awaited and she FINALLY came! Little sweet Lillian Grace Fowl arrived in the wee hours of the morning on July 14! I can't remember how much she weighed or how long she was (who am I?! seriously!) But whatever it was, it was certainly perfect and a picture of God's grace in our lives. Trina is a dear and sweet friend of mine and it was a blessing for me to have a look into her and Jesse's lives as they prepared for the blessing of a beautiful child. Caleb and I (but let's be real, mostly me) were antsy to get a look at this little beauty and see her beautiful momma and proud daddy. Below are a few pictures of our recent visits.


It look Caleb a few visits to agree to hold her! He didn't want to drop her!
But once he actually held her, it is clear that she has him wrapped around her itsy bitsy finger!!
Dinner time! All the baby feeding, crying and playing has made mom and dad hungry! (all the oooing and ahhing made me hungry too!) We had Asian style ribs, and cheddar corn spoonbread!
My first time holding her! She is precious and a beauty! look at her eyes!
Me and the happy momma - look how pretty and beautiful she is! Graceful and lovely and so joyful! From the Davis Family to the Fowl Family, we couldn't be more happy for you! Thank you Jesus for the blessing of a beautiful and healthy baby! We pray you capture her heart and save her from an early age.





I love you Trina!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Everyday Gluten Free



Well, I think most of you know, but Caleb cannot (should not) be eating gluten at this point in life because the doctor says he is allergic to it. Not like he will die if he has it, but it will make him sick and eventually "blow up" his intestines.... (that would be seriously freaky!) But... one of our favorite things to eat is pasta (not to mention it is great on the budget end) but pasta is like a gluten allergies worst nightmare! So, upon research and word of mouth, I heard that the BEST gluten free pasta is actually made from quinoa which is a protein. I don't know that much about it but once I do, I'll post some more info. Anyways, all that to say that quinoa pasta is the best substitue for real pasta, but let me tell you it in NO way is friendly for the budget, coming in at a whole $3 for an 8oz box! (YIKES!) but it's easy, it tastes pretty darn good and since it's a protein less pasta still fills you up. Above is a picture of what I made, gluten free pasta with basil oil and goat cheese. It is a recipe from Real Simple, July 2011. The recipe is as follows:


12oz (I did 8oz) of pasta, cooked according to package directions, drain and return to pot


Meanwhile in a blender combine 2 cups fresh basil leaves with 1/2 cup olive oil, blend until smooth


Pour basil oil through a fine mesh strainer pressing on solids to release the oil, discard solids


Toss the basil oil with the pasta and stir in 4-5oz (almost a whole log) of crumbled goat cheese


Top with fresh basil leaves and serve


*I added sliced chicken to the top, because my husband is not the vegetarian type!


** This isn't that good cold, so make sure the family is at the table when you're putting the finishing touches on it!


Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Peppercorn Spill

Most of you know that Caleb, my husband LOVES pepper. It is an odd love, but a very intense one. With most of our friends knowing this, we received upwards of 4 containers, jars and helpings of peppercorns for our wedding! I am finally, after nearly 3.5 years of marriage, in need of another jar. I would have been able to last a few more months if I hadn't spilled an ENTIRE jar of peppercorns all over my kitchen floor one night. The sweetest, Trina was over (about ready to POP I might add) helping me clean up my house when the project got bigger! I was picking up the jar to wipe down the counter and it slipped out of my hand and the lid wasn't on all the way and... you know the rest of the story! Ever since this night every once in a while I'll find a little peppercorn hiding in the corner or roll out from under the fridge... I don't think I would have thought it was so funny if I hadn't been with Trina!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paul's Birthday Party


Last week our friend Paul turned the big 40! He and his wife Rachel decided to throw a big party to celebrate. They pulled out all the stops inviting all of us friends (past and present) to celebrate aboard a beautiful old ferry that is docked near gas works park on Lake Union. We ate, drank, danced and heard a wonderful speech from the birthday boy himself! Rachel caught a cute picture of us at dinner with Tim and Brittany. Jesus has blessed us with a wonderful community of friends to live life with! Doesn't Britt look so pretty in this one?! I think so!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Spelling Errors and Editing

WHY can't I figure out how to edit the posts i've already made? I am without a doubt the worst person with computers! I asked B (from How to Eat a Cupcake) how to do it and she said there would be a little pencil at the bottom of each post where I could click on it and edit a little spelling or grammar error. I have been SEARCHING for the pencil and cannot find it, I even figured out how to make the pencil show in the settings but whether i select show or don't show, it doesn't show. All that to say, there are like 6 spelling and/or grammar errors in my Cheesecake post and I am very irritated by it! so, know that I know, and know that I tried to fix it but I can't. any help would be MOST appreciated! thank you computer people :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mini Lemon cheesecakes!

My beautiful and most wonderful sweet friend Trina is due any day now with a precious little Lillian Rose! Last week her and her husband Jesse were coming over for dinner. I had the day off so i obviously had to make something that was fun, had multiple steps and then of course, tasted good. I always love working on my cheesecake skills (I LOVE CHEESECAKE) and so i opted for little mini cheesecakes! Fun and cute! I know that my Trina likes lemon (and so do me and Caleb) so I wanted to go with lemon flavored cheesecake. I had some trouble finding a recipe that looked good (if it looks ugly in the picture then i don't try it usually) so I adapted one from an old issue of Martha Stewarts Magazine called Everyday Food. The April 2009 issue. I included some pictures of the steps below and i can explain it too! to fill 4 little mini pie plates i only made a half recipe (there was a little left over) If you want to make this for a regular cheesecake (8-9inch springform pan) then double it.


First thing's first, you gotta make the crust, I like to go with the classic graham cracker crust but i never buy the name brand graham crackers - too expensive! pulse about 2 or 3 tablespoons melted butter with a little bit of sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Now, about how much - that is kind of up to you because sometimes i like ALOT of crust, and sometimes i make one without crust for my husband who shouldn't have gluten... so maybe the crumbs from about 8 graham crackers... (its ok if you don't have a food processor, i didn't have one until dad and karen got me one when i graduated from college, just mix it up in a bowl.)
Then, take the crumbs and press them into the bottom of the dishes and bake the crusts for about 10 mins ish until the crusts are browned. over at 375. Once you take out the crusts - turn the oven down to 325.
Now, make the filling! yum! I use 2 bars of cream cheese. I use whatever cream cheese is on sale because if you don't seriously the cheesecake will cost like 30 dollars and that is a little over the top for me - i DO have a budget. (although at times it may not seem like that....) beat the ROOM temp (or as close as you can get it) on medium or so until fluffy. The room temp thing is important because if you use cold ingredients the cream cake will crack, not that it will taste bad or anything but i have a personal mission everytime i make a cheesecake to make it without cracks, once you achieve it it's hard to go back... anyway, once its fuffy add white sugar a bit at a time, about 3/4 of a cup. Then, beat in the zest from one lemon (a regular size one, not a mini one or one from trader joes, im talking about a legit bright yellow lemon) and roughly 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. obviously fresh lemon juice is wonderful and since your zesting a lemon you should have some, but if you have a cut on your hand and sqeezing the lemon is painful no one will notice if you use lemon juice from the little plastic lemon. Now, beat in 2 eggs (room temp again). If you forget to put the eggs out early i like to put them in a bowl of warm water to get them up to room temp - i DID NOT come up with that all on my own, I read it in a magazine. once the eggs are blended then beat in a little salt and then 1/2 cup of sour cream. Don't use nonfat sour cream - you are already making cheesecake so just commit to it and know that its a treat. don't try to make it healthy, it will just be a gross and expensive and you'll have wished you made it different. i really like sour cream (sad to say) so sometimes I add a little more... but not too much. DON'T beat the batter too much. Another cause of cracks is OVER-beating the batter. so just beat it enough to get it all mixed up and smooth, but don't leave the kitchen aid on a sweep the floor or check your email - im all about multitasking but NOT when a cracked cheesecake is at stake!
Now, fill up your dishes with the batter. i put my little dishes on a jully roll pan (9x13 would work too) and then fill the bottom with boiling water. as the cheesecakes bake, the water will get hot and create steam in the over which will also help prevent cracking! (I didn't think of that either, i read it on an article called "cheesecake tips" on Allrecipes.com.
Bake the cheesecakes for about 40-50 mins, until the centers are set. This can be tricky to know when they are done, but go with your gut. or call me. i can run over and give 'em a look. turn off the oven and open the door a little bit and leave the cakes in there for about 30 mins or so. but letting them gradually cool down, you guessed it... Helps prevent cracking! Then, take them out and put them on the counter and let 'em cool. once they are pretty cool cover with saran wrap and put them in the fridge.
This is the finished product! I forgot to take a picture and I got so excited and took a bite! whoops... but you get the idea. I topped each one with a candied lemon which looked cute but they were gross... I don't think I made them right...(probably because I was trying to multitask) Try to make these - they are SO good! i didn't eat all of mine so I had the rest the next morning for breakfast with my coffee. I gave one ot Jesse for breakfast too. Trina is no fun when it comes ot having dessert for breakfast so we didn't give her one. (Love you T) if you are going to make these - enjoy! PS - cheesecake is NOT as hard as it may seem and the creamy goodness is WORTH it!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Suncadia!

Suncadia, for those of you who have not been, is the most wonderful place in all the northwest. It is an almost magical type place that is a mere 90 minutes away from Seattle but feels much further. I very much like the fact that our room is normally always bigger then our apartment and that my phone usually has no service meaning that no one from work or home can contact me and everyone is using the "house phone" in the room, which is a totally 90's style cordless phone which kind of reminds me of Clarissa from Clarissa Explains it All. (remember that show on Nickolodeon???) Anyways, this year Caleb and I extended our annual Mars Hill Downtown Campus retreat by 4 days making for a 6 night total vacation - a record for us! It was the most delightful trip that I had been looking forward to and below are some highlights!


This is us in front of a totally creepy, abandoned house in the town of Liberty which I'm pretty sure was population 10 - maybe 12.

This is the creepy house I'm talking about, but I couldn't get the order of the pictures switched... you know I'm not that good with computers. Pretty cool and creepy lookin' huh?!
Do I even have to tell you guys how cool I am?! Do you think this is a beer? You do, right? It's actually hard cider, I don't like beer but sometimes I wish I did because I feel like it's cool to like beer and drink it when you are having a burger or something like that. Anyway, Caleb and I went to a totally sweet bar in Roslyn called The Brick which is the oldest continuously operating saloon in the state of Washington. We sat up at the bar and had "beers" and onion rings. We chatted it up with the bartender and some locals on a Tuesday afternoon around 3pm. It was fun and I felt pretty down-home.

Our first day at Suncadia was SUPER warm (so as most of you know, I was in a state of pure bliss based solely on the weather) and so Caleb had the idea to walk down to the river that we could see from our room. i thought it was a nice idea too. Well, the walk turned into more of a hike and I was wearing jeans and a sweater halter top and leather flip flops... not really a good outfit for the hike and i slipped multiple times. This is a picture of the wild flower that Caleb picked for my hair.
Putting my feet in the water after we finally got down there. it was FREEZING!
This is us (obviously) sitting on a log down at the river. isn't it cool how the sun is shining in the picture!? I don't know how Caleb made it do that but he did.
Below is a video Caleb made on our way back up from the river. He was really into making videos while we were there so we have a small collection of videos from this trip. but he was very proud and pleased with this one so i decided to show off his skills. I can't remember if he taped it upside down on purpose to be artsy or if i just actually loaded it wrong... if i loaded it wrong i have no idea how i would change it...
After this post everyone should be googling Suncadia and booking a trip.
video

Sunday, May 29, 2011

household manager




This morning i've been reflecting on being a home manager. i know it sounds dorky and like something that someone might take a little too seriously... but its not. basically i have been thinking how wonderful it is to have this job. to keep the home flowing, the laundry clean, the fridge cleaned out and stocked and the bathroom clean is actually a beautiful thing. i will be the first to admit that there are many times its not nearly as glamourous as it sounds (if it even sounds glamourous to you) - but its a necessary component of life. recently i have been doing more playing on sunday's (my day off) then household managing and today i had to turn down getting a pedicure with trina (which would have been very fun) to do chores and home stuff and i have been having a lovely morning. jesus has been so gracious to me in this area. i am seriously not the most organized person but he has supplied me with a wonderfully patient husband and i have been growing in this area of life. it is such a cool place to be when i can enjoy the tasks that are before me with joy and gladness knowing that i am serving my husband and more importantly serving my king by washing the sheets and moping the floor. for your viewing pleasue i included a couple pictures of the current state of my home...


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bok Choy Update

Well, I had high hopes for the bok choy experience... and it was good but i didn't really do anything... after spending a good hour or so reading other peoples blogs and recipes... i decided on a method at least - stir frying which seemed most popular. I gathered all my ingredients when i got a call from caleb. he said that i needed to come over to the church and help him gather the chairs (which we bring to our community group) so, long story short, i tossed all the stuff in a bag and was gonna make my dish at brittanys house. I got there and started chatting, then i asked if gareth (who is a super chef type and total foodie) to babysit me while i made the bok choy, he ended up "helping" me but actually, i was much more content to hold a precious little baby while gareth did all the work!!!! :)
I still have some in my fridge, so i might try again...i didn't even take a picture of gareths creation! but I ate it and it was good!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

....whoops





Holy cow! i was just sitting down to read a wonderful blog after a long day of work and thought that i'd have a couple of these little guys before i started making dinner... yikes, i think i ate half the bag! its something about biting the top of the pod and then sucking the little peas or beans or whatever they are out. anyway, ive have a lot of protein now.
ps if your looking for a good snackie kinda food, then get some of these at trader joes because they are only $1.69 and you won't feel super bad if you eat half the bag...which is the opposite of chips. im just saying... good for tv watching maybe?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bok Choy


Right now i'm about to make some bok choy... i've never made it before but i signed up to bring an Asian themed salad or veggie to community group tonight and so after wandering around in the grocery store TWICE! i decided to pick up some baby bok choy and be adventourous - which if you don't know me, isn't very like me, but i got off work early and so what the heck... i will report how it turns out.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Canlis






Have you ever been to Canlis? We had not been there but of course wanted to go. So, we decided that we'd go for our 3rd wedding anniversary. We got ALL dressed up. I borrowed a dress from Trina that was sparkley and Caleb didn't wear jeans!! (you're not allowed to) it was very fun and super fancy and we had a very, tasty dinner. by the time the night finally had to come to a close, we decdied that we'd have to make going to Canlis some type of tradition like go every 2 years or something. I'll tell ya, it was YUMMMMY food but yikes - you pay for it. we had a very delightful time and it was a memorable evening!
AND! they heard it was our anniversary and they decorated the dessert that we ordered which by the way, the dessert was named chocolate covered chocolate.... it was good. and so fun!

My First Post

Hello! I created this blog about 10 months ago with the ambition to be like B. Cooley and blog about all kinds of cool things. This, obviously, didn't go as planned so after some encouragement from friends, (probably the 2 of you who will actually read this) I would like to try again.
So... alas! my first post will be about how i want to begin posting.
ah... i think this is gonna be good.