Saturday, January 28, 2012

COTM: Allergy Free Devil's Food Cupcakes



Seriously that is one happy kid, he was going through some of my books and came across a Devil's Food Cupcake with white icing. Well needless to say the white icing BOMBED. It's a seven minute icing and we can't do eggs, so I tried to whip up some coconut, but that BOMBED. So I added powered sugar and that BOMBED. Tell ya my kitchen is a mess. I gave up and thought I need a white chocolate, well that ain't happening being allergy free. So what about chocolate? Nah too pricey for me to break into my enjoy life. WAIT I just canned chocolate, I wonder if that would work? A few seconds in the microwave and yeah it worked. It worked GREAT. So the icing is my canned chocolate here. These are for Tuckers tea party at school on Monday...Very exciting he has had a say in nearly every step of the way on making (and eating) these.

Allergy Free Devil's Food Cupcakes
by More from Magnolia
Converted by Marcie Dingerson

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk (coconut milk with vinegar set aside for about 5 minutes)
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil melted


Add in

2 Cups GF all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 Cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix and pour into cupcake pans. I used mini bunt pans. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cover with chocolate or icing of your choosing and enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Very Long Week Update

Where does one start? Well you got to see the snow storm that came in...What followed was a very nasty ice storm. Followed by tree branches freezing over and falling. Power lines having too much ice and coming down.

We woke up Thursday morning to no power. We called, we were told a lot of people don't have power, should be on by this weekend. WHAT? So we went out and got the camping stuff, we set up the tent in the boys room with sleeping bags and every spare blanket we could find. This way they could huddle together. We got out the little grill for cooking. All the candles and lanterns. On Friday we dug out the generator, just to find out there were broken lines. So we were unable to use it.

We were cold, oh so very cold. And being that cold is so very tiring. Hubby got stuck in the driveway on Friday and could not get to work. By Saturday we were able to get out, but stores were pretty wiped. We did get some propane so we could keep cooking, but that was about it.

Kept calling power company, first told by the weekend, then told by Monday, then told by Wednesday and then told no later then Thursday.

Boys went back to school on Monday, they were happy to be someplace warm. Lunches sucked as I was slowly loosing food in the fridge.

By Tuesday I was just really done, when you are cold it really makes things hard. So I gave in on Tuesday after school we went to a friends house for dinner, the kids really wanted to play. And really I just wanted to be warm. After dinner we ran by and saw daddy and puttered around there for a bit, but sadly it was time to head home and get the boys into bed.

As we pulled onto our street we were meet with a really nice surprise...POWER! Honestly by Tuesday day 6 I had thought they were never going to come. People had power up to our street, but they left the other side of the street and left. So about 20 of us did not have power that was over the weekend. So honestly I didn't think they were coming back.

So we quickly run in, we turn on all the heaters, we take down the tent and roll up the sleeping bags and the boys make their bed. Power came on at 7pm and we got home at 7:15pm so that was plenty of time for me to clean out the fridge and freezer before everything re-froze. Two bags of food out the door. So very sad. Lots of meat, lots of pre-made food for lunches. Our fridge was pretty empty.

I started the dishwasher, and laundry. Kept that going all night. There was so much to do, funny when the lights go on you realize how dirty your house is?

So Wednesday we dropped of the boys at school and just came home and cleaned. Put away all the camping stuff. More dishes and laundry. Made a list of stuff we need for next time HEATING SOURCE was number one. Hoping the stores are re-stocked soon so I can pick up something. Hubby will get the generator fixed up. You know they tell you to be ready for three days. What they should say is be prepared for 7 plus days. Because honestly if there is 20 inches of snow they are NOT coming. And honestly they don't care if you are freezing to death in your house. There are times I wanted to give up and bring the grill inside and end everything. By day 6 you are going insane and the cold is just too much to bear.

Here are the boys huddling.

Our light source at night.


How we saved the food in the fridge for a bit.

Cooking over a grill in the rain and the cold, so not recommended. And squatting over it to warm yourself is not fun either. Yeah didn't take photos there.

Chip found some down branches...

We lost our shed.

Took these Wednesday, I have came to the conclusion that power people were NOT real. But apparently they are real? We had three power trucks on our street, and a bunch on 185th. Weird.

OK now that we have power, I have decided I really do enjoy having power, and heat, and lights, and cooking on my oven.

But now that we are over this hell. We are back to planning the garden. We got t-posts weeks ago, today was fencing and a few bricks. Next week will be wood posts and more bricks. I will be doing my garden beds out of these bricks....Geniuses right? Not only do I get the bed, but I can use these little squares to grow herbs, or flowers or such. I saw this idea and I just know I had to do it. We are hoping to have the new fence up by next weekend. So we will be ready when we get the trees. And just start placing the beds as I can get bricks. I need to hit free cycle and such also. I am so excited about this idea. I saw a photo of a finished garden with these bricks and it looked so awesome that I just totally fell in love. I know I had to do the same thing.

On that note, we were at Wal-Mart today, accidentally walked into their garden center and found they sell Seeds of Change, seeds. I could not believe it. I was going to order from them this year. So I was able to cut my list in half. I'll head south and see if they carry anything else on my list before I send in an order. So exciting to see those today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And Then The Storm Hit!

Heard a storm was coming, well OK then, we were able to get out Monday and get a few things. Came home to watch the news and an OMG moment we have a Serious Storm coming in, it will be dumping 12 plus inches. Seriously? Can that happen. Well Yeah it can happen. In seven hours we got one hell of a dumping.

Luckily hubby made it home as the storm was starting to hit last night and luckily he has today and tomorrow off there is no way of getting out of here anytime soon.

Sitka, sent her out to potty. We also brought in the outside dog. So we have three dogs in the house. About 9am we were like OH NO the outside bunnies! We decided to go and dig them out and bring them in. This I will say involved ME tracking out there into the back field, climbing over a fence, climbing over a bunny cage and jumping down into knee deep snow. I got one bunny out and handed her over to hubby. Dug out number two and handed him over to hubby. Waited for hubby to come back to hand me the step stool, so I could climb onto the bunny cage and back over the fence. Joy!

We also decided to feed the goats twice today, as chewing keeps them warm. So we did round one of feeding since we were out and freezing anyway.

Trixie running in the snow.

Ethan and Cole

Tucker (who I blame for this, someone asked for snow for his birthday!)

My Van. I'm being serious.

Walking down the road.


And then a kid ya not moment. Here is an outside bunny we brought in, she is in a box in the living room. Our cat Kirby climbed in and they are both sleeping. So our cat who hates all animals is sleeping with a bunny she has never meet.

See ya in the Spring....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chocolate Sauce Canning Recipe

Oh Boy right? We always have a jar opened in the fridge. Boys like it on their crepes and waffles and such.

Chocolate Syrup Canning Recipe
By Marcie Dingerson
Makes 2 1/2 pints

1 Cup Cocoa
1 Cup Organic Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Vanilla

Stir over low heat until mixed, this takes a few minutes. I then turn it up a bit until it's bubbly and pull it and pour it into jars and let it sit a bit. You waterbath for 10 minutes. I have never doubled the recipe, I just do this in batches. So I made this three times today and got 6 jars.

Weekly Update

And Boy it has been a long week. Many issues with fil, snow, stress, money issues, decisions need to be made.

First Ellie got a new pair of pj's...She looks great doesn't she?

Last weekend we got out back a bit and worked. Too much to do and not enough time. Trying to pay all cash for our garden expansion so we can only get so many things weekly. This week we got t-posts. Fencing next week. But this is where our garden will be going.

This is the other half of the back field.

Hi, Chip!

Guess what I'm making? Up vanilla. YEAH! Found some potato based vodka. I had some organic vanilla beans on hand.

And then the snow hit. It just keeps coming.

And coming...

OK so I was joking on the last photo, that is a fort they built.

I had four boys and a neighbor girl out front for a few hours this morning.

Well everyone was outside, I was making chocolate syrup. We have been out. I will blog the recipe in a wee bit.

Only takes a few minutes from start to finish.

Money, lots going on, we are in the midst of a re-fi, the interest rate was too good to pass up this time. I passed it up months ago, but now it's silly low. This move will kill the van loan. Off the bat saving 200 a month. The mortgage move will save at least 100 a month, I will get final numbers this week. I had to hit certain numbers before we sign away.

Saving the mortgage payment in Feb will pay for our camping trip in July. We have a family reunion and was unsure how to pay for it. The site is now paid for and we will have gas for the way down and back up.

In thinking on how to try and get away from the bank. I found out Suze Orman came out with a pre-load debit card. Basically you load it and you use it and it only cost 3.00 a month, no over draft charges. They are up front with the fees. Although I will say Suze missed the mark on one thing. You need to enroll and pay for the card up front a total of 3.00, but they make you pay by credit card. HELLO, there are actually some people in this world that live on cash only. I emailed them, but no answer back. So shocking right? So I put some money on our pre-paid credit card and ordered a card. I'm still thinking, but might be worth a try? I have never had a debit card so it's a whole new thing for us. You can open an attached savings account and move money over, and that money can not be touched if you don't have enough money on your card to pay for something. You actually have to call them to move the savings over. I actually like that. I honestly just want to get away from my bank. I like that thought of not racing to a bank or the store to pick up the check every week. Like today if there is snow and you can't leave, there is no worries. It's on the card.

OH and every time you make a purchase you get a text message, so if you don't make a purchase and get a text message you can call asap and put a stop to things asap and find out what happened.

We have not made the jump we are just thinking. But if I get hit with another bank fee someones head will be rolling.

What I'm liking is there is no over draft fee, the purchase just will not go through. I like the thought that hubby and I both have the money at the same time. I can not tell you how many times I have the cash at home, but hubby will spot like TP on super clearance and he has no money.

So I will see if this might be our answer? 

I've also been watching Suze's money serious on OWN, what I want is a show for people like me. Those who have been through debt hell and back, lived to tell about, still have the house, never missed a payment, BUT who barely make that payment who is living pay check to pay check, well trying to save for retirement, and just trying to save, but it's so very hard to save. I'm thinking believe it or not some people don't have debt, well except the van and house. Who don't have credit cards. Who pay with cash only.

I'm working on a seed order. I will list later what we plan on growing. Lot's to grow. Lot's to do.

Until later!

OH and someone will be saving for a Blendtec. After comparing the Vitamix and Blendtec, I have decided I want the Blendtec with the 4 inch blade. It will replace many machines in my kitchen and for that I"m excited. And to finally have a blender will be awesome.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Weekly Update

So OK I'm a bit backwards here, But it's been a crazy weekend as I've been cooking and baking up a storm to get ready for school to start. ARRRRRRRRR I'm so not ready for 7:30am. I really enjoy sleeping.

First I made chicken noodle soup for the canner, BUT no noodles and no chicken. These are for hubby and he will have to warm and add as he goes. Need to get those into the canner soon. I made turkey broth for the canner, so I need to dig out the canner and get busy.

I made raw brownies recipe here I adore this blog. Especially since we are going more natural and more raw as we start to go through life now. I used almonds instead of walnuts, and I added a touch of agave as I couldn't get it as sticky as I wanted. But once I put this pan on the table I had three kids attack the pan. The photo was taken in mid-attack. The boys LOVE these and they say they taste like Lara Bars. Score! The boys decided to save the rest for school snack tomorrow.

Next, can't forget the goats. They got a snack of their own today. Chip and Becca looking it over, what you don't see is the babies right behind it. Trooper and Jelly were just eating away. Nothing like a fresh Christmas Tree.

So sadly school starts up tomorrow. Tell ya if we didn't adore this school so much I would be homeschooling. Kids and I talked about that today, they were asking where would we go, if we didn't have our school, I said I would be home schooling. This scares my oldest as we are so alike, that I just can't teach him.

Tuckers birthday is coming up and he is soooooooooooooo excited. 14 more days, he was a holiday baby. Tonight we chatted about when he was born, and we were the only ones in the hospital. So after he was born all the nurses were doting all over him and giving him bathes, and changing diapers, and clothes. Mommy got some serious sleep and LOTS of food. Although the next day new mommies and then babies came and the nurses got busy again.

I'm not the type of person to do year end stuff, or looking ahead. I think as you move through life you need to make daily goals and daily choices. So it's why you never see a year end review from me. I am moving the house towards more natural, raw, vegan type of eating. As the garden expands we will be eating more and more out of the garden. I want us healthy and to stay healthy. I really enjoy having energy and being able to keep up with the kids and all I have to do. I mean if you are eating crap you are going to feel like crap. You eat foods that give you energy you are going to have energy. If you want to get serious look at what you are eating. The ingredients on the package may not be all the ingredients. Think about that can, and the liner and that leaking into your foods. Think about the packaging and that leaking into your foods. If you are eating food colors, google the ingredients. You will be shocked. There is a reason Europe is banning this crap. Don't weigh yourself down with food. Eat the right foods and enjoy the energy that will follow.

I could nag about foods all night, but I won't. You have to make the life choice, I've all ready made mine. I am enjoying the energy and I'm a bit excited about expanding the garden, a bit, it is a lot of work coming up for me. And yes I will be blogging as I go.