Gluten Free Friday

How did I live before I discovered hummus???????

Garlic Hummus

2 cans chickpeas (drain, but save some liquid)
1/4 cup tahini
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed
dash of salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Add reserved liquid to desired texture, and blend again.

Hummus has become a staple in my diet! I think I could eat for lunch every day with rice crackers or raw veggies. The kids love it, too. It’s a great gluten free snack!

Bah Humbug

This is just a sampling of what I find in my mailbox each day- catalogues and more catalogues.They’re turning me into a Scrooge. We’ll be striving to avoid this cultural phenomenon of materialism/consumerism with some special Advent activities starting Sunday. I’m excited to focus on the true meaning of the holiday – the coming of Jesus.

For unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given….
And He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

The Tree Tradition

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, we get our Christmas tree and spend the day decorating it and the house. Since we’ve lived in New England we’ve actually gone to real tree farms and cut our own!
This year we found a new tree farm in our town that we had never been to. It was beautiful – just the home of a family with the tree farm set behind on a gently rolling landscape. We enjoyed strolling up and down the rows of trees looking for the perfect one. Usually, when we thought we had found THE ONE, it had already been “tagged”, which means that someone else had come at an earlier time and claimed it as their own, to be cut down at a later date. (We may have to add the tagging tradition next year!)
Eventually, we found one we all agreed upon, and a very sweet 12 year old boy (in the red suit) pulled up on his tractor and sawed it down effortlessly. He was a pro, and quite the friendly salesman! And the price? None were posted, so we were bracing ourselves. In the heated shed for checking out our total was quoted: “That’ll be $18.00.”
Amazing! A steal in the tree business – at least in our experience. We were blessed!
Here is our ever- growing -taller Kayla-girl, posing with the newly decorated tree and blazing fire in her cozy pj’s. She’s way in to “coziness” these days, and loves to “snuggle” with Mom or Dad in bed or on the couch. Add hot tea or cocoa, and she’s your best friend!

Gluten Free Pie is Possible!

Honestly, the first pie crust I EVER made was a gluten free one, but it wasn’t pretty and not very tasty either!

So this year I was determined to make a beautiful and yummy crust for the kids. (Actually, I wasn’t that worried about taste, as it would be filled with nothing but chocolate and sugar.)

I used the first flaky crust recipe out of Rebecca Reilly’s Gluten Free Baking cookbook.

Following directions is the key! Rolling it out between 2 pieces of waxed paper, peeling one piece of the wax paper off, then carefully lifting and flipping the other piece onto the pie plate did the trick.

Then folding up the excess dough and doing a careful job of fluting the edges. Dipping fingers in water helped smooth the dough.

I brushed a bit of milk onto the crust before baking it, and it turned a beautiful brown!

Poured in the chocolate filling (a tradition at our house – out of my grandmother’s old Methodist Church Cookbook!)

The home made whipped cream went on later.

Success – and my pie making confidence is boosted! Hopefully yours, too!

Thanksgiving at our House

All the ingredients for a perfect Thanksgiving…..
Reading Scripture….Thanking the Lord for His blessings and gifts

Good cooks in the kitchen

Old married people

Young single people


Lots of pies

and football watching!

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

Gluten Free Friday

Here’s a Tex – Mex option for your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Turkey Tortilla Soup

3-4 cups chopped turkey leftovers
1 onion
1 can diced tomatoes and and green chilies
1 can tomato sauce
1 carton GF chicken broth
4 cups water
1 can kidney beans (drained/rinsed)
1 can black beans (drained/rinsed)
1 small box frozen corn
8 corn tortillas
chili powder (2 tsp or to taste)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Saute chopped onion in oil until tender in large pot. Add canned tomatoes, sauce, broth, water, beans, corn, and spices. Simmer until heated through. Tear corn tortillas into small pieces and add to soup. Simmer until tortillas dissolve. Serve with crushed tortilla chips and grated cheese on top.

Giving Thanks

My favorite thanksgiving story. Also the reason Kayla’s middle name is Elizabeth…..

I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. “It was First Thessalonians,” I said. We were on our third complete reading of the New Testament since leaving Scheveningen. In the feeble light I turned the pages. “Here it is: ‘Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repay evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all….’ ” It seemed expressly written for Ravensbruck.

“Go on,” said Betsie. (Elizabeth) “That wasn’t all.”

“Oh yes: ‘… to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.”

“That’s it Corrie! That’s His answer. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances!’ That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about these new barracks!”

I stared at her, then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.

“Such as?” I asked.

“Such as being assigned here together.”

I bit my lip. “Oh yes, Lord Jesus!”

“Such as what you’re holding in your hands.”

I looked down at the Bible. “Yes! Thank you, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank you for all the women, here in this room, who will meet you in these pages.”

“Yes,” said Betsie. “Thank you for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!” She looked at me expectantly. “Corrie!” she prodded.

“Oh, all right. Thank you for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds.”

“Thank you,” Betsie went on serenely, “for the fleas and for…”

The fleas! This was too much. “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”

” ‘Give thanks in all circumstances,’ ” she quoted. “It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.”

And so we stood between piers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas.

From The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
(Corrie’s family was sent to a Nazi prison camp for hiding Jews in their home during WWII. Corrie was the only survivor. It was her sister Betsie’s faith that strengthened Corrie during that horror.)

The Gourd Family

The gourd family on my table would like to share a few corny Thanksgiving jokes with you…What are unhappy cranberries called?

What is a turkey’s favorite song?
“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”

What disasters could happen if you dropped the Thanksgiving turkey?
The downfall of Turkey, the breakup of China, and the overthrow of Greece!

First Snow

We enjoyed the first snow of the season today – about 2 inches.
The Christmas music was playing, there was hot cider for breakfast, and everyone was efficient with their schoolwork and chores in order to go outside and play in it!

On a sad note, Buddy (our golden retriever) had a pretty severe seizure this morning. I was in the mud room preparing to deliver papers with Kory when it happened. It was very frightening and lasted several minutes. Everyone was awake and crying by then – it was very difficult to watch. He’s been fine the rest of the day, and we learned it is not an uncommon problem for labs and retrievers. We will observe him over the holiday weekend and possibly take him to the vet if it happens again.