Thursday, February 12, 2015

GF Pumpkin Muffins

This is one of the best recipes I have ever made that is gluten free.  These muffins are light and have the texture of real (wheat) muffins.  I make a double batch of these at least once a month.  Eat a bunch, then freeze the rest.  They are just the same after defrosting.  These pumpkin muffins are amazing just baked as a muffin or as bars with cream cheese frosting on them.  Everyone of my friends who has tried them, loves them.

The Original Recipe

4      Eggs
1 2/3 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup Oil
15 oz Canned Pumpkin
2 Cups Maninis Gluten Free Flour or Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
 (I always add a small amount of nutmeg and cloves, plus a cup of chocolate chips)

Cream Cheese Frosting  from Dessert Now, Dinner Later

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together: Eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin
3. In a separate bowl, mix together: Flour, Baking powder, Cinnamon, Salt and Baking Soda.
4. Combine both mixtures together.  Then add the chocolate chips.
5. Spray 24 mini muffin tins OR 12 regular muffin tins OR a 9x11 cake pan.
6. Bake the mini muffins for 20 minutes or the big muffins/cake pan for 30 minutes.
7. Cool on a rack and then place in a sealed container or ice.

A Healthier Version of Pumpkin Muffins

4      Eggs
1 Cups of  Coconut Sugar
1 Tablespoon Stevia or Sugar Substitute
3/4 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Apple Sauce
15 oz Canned Pumpkin
2 Cups Maninis Gluten Free Flour or Pamelas
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
 (I always add a small amount of nutmeg and cloves.  1 Cup Unsweetened Carob Chips)

Mix up and bake the same as the original version.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Living Room Redo

I had wanted to repaint the accent walls in my living room.  After looking at lots of paint colors, I initially choose Labrador Blue by Benjamine Moore.  I painted two coats and then realized that it was really not the color I wanted.  It was much too 'baby blue' for a living room.  This first photo is showing the first paint color.

Just had to show my painting partners.  So cute!

I took a tile that I had recently installed in my kitchen and had them paint match a shade lighter.

The color on the left is the new color: Atlantic Shoreline (ppu13-4) by Behr.  I bought it at Home Depot.   The one of the right is: Labrador Blue by Benjamine Moore.  I had this mixed at Lowes.   The colors here don't really show what it looked like.

I really liked the Atlanic Shoreline color once it was finished.  It has brightened up my room and I love how it ties into the tile in my kitchen.

This picture is the closest I can get to the real color on the walls.  

Finishing our Kitchen Project

Today we finally got to work on putting in the tile on our back splash.  After taking two months off, it was time to get back to work.  Here is the damage to the wall caused by the previous back splash.

Do you like my first attempt at patching up the wall?  Chris didn't think the patch fit exactly.  It did work for two months!!!

This was the worst of the damage that had to get fixed before the back splash could get done.

I did bought the dry wall, cut it out and installed it by myself. 
 It was pretty fun doing something new and making it work!!

I am also working on adding a trim piece under the counter. 
 The gap between the counters and the cabinets doesn't look so great.  

I got this fun trim today.  I'll paint it white to make it match the cabinets.

In the midst of everything else we were doing, I had Chris put up the kids pencil sharpener under the counter.  I love having it right where we could use it all the time.

I added a shelf to keep our Bibles on.  
I was able to use the left over maple from the shelves to make this shelf.

I made this little recipe book nook.

I picked up the tile we got at Bedrosians.  It is such a pretty blue colored glass.  

Chris showed me how to mud the wall and place the tile.  It was fun figuring this out and putting the tile up.  I placed each piece and marked the ones for Chris to cut.  He used our tile saw to cut each one.  Working together we got it all done.

Here is our kitchen in September before we started.  It seems so closed in and small. 

Here is our transformed kitchen!!  It is so open, light and beautiful.
I just love how the paint in the living room ties in with the tile in the kitchen.  This is my happy place.  It has been amazing to see the change in my kitchen bit by bit.  I have learned to do many, many things that I have never tried before.  It is liberating and exciting to realize that I can just decide to try something and then figure out how to do it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kitchen Remodel: Tearing out the Old

So I have been wanting to redo my kitchen for a long time.  Last year I started planning it and even bought my pot rack that  I love.  Then figured out that financially it wouldn't work and the pot rack got put in the garage.  But my friend, Pinterest, wouldn't let me forget my dreams and hopes for my kitchen.  The two things that I wanted to change the most were the white, tile countertops (where I could never get the grout clean. . . ever)  and the yucky looking cupboards.  But as I thought about it more, I came up with a plan.  I knew that I wanted open space where I could cook with my family.   So I am going for it!!!

The Changes that I am inspired to do:
Remove the florescent light that I hate in the middle of the kitchen.
Remove the upper cabinets above the stove.
Replace the cabinets with a pot rack and lights.
Move the cabinets to under the breakfast bar.
Lower the breakfast bar to make a large flat counter.
Replace the countertop with butcher block counters.
Paint all the maple cabinets white.
Add open shelves to the wall where we removed the cupboard.
Take out one set of cupboards (by the fridge) and replace with a panty.
We still have to figure out a backsplash. . . 
since I didn't realize that was part of this whole process.

Here are the before pictures with my sweet puppy.

In one afternoon, I removed all the cabinet doors and sanded them.  My dear friend, Renee, came over to help me with this.  She is awesome!  I couldn't have gotten all of the 28 doors/drawers sanded without her.  My dad, my husband and my brother in law came to demolish every thing I pointed at.  They took down the large section of cabinets separating the kitchen from the dinning room.  Then I asked them to take down the last big cabinet on the wall.  As soon as that was done, I was jumping up and down and giggling.  The room opened up and just looked so amazing.  I loved it!!

Then I started working on the cabinet doors/drawers.  For three days I worked tirelessly on them.  After sanding them with 180 grit and carefully cleaning up the sawdust, I got to work painting.  I painted each side of the door with primer, then two layers of white latex paint and finally with polycrylic sealer.  My arms would be shaking at the end of the day, but they looked so nice when they were finished.  

After days of painting all the doors were put back up and my kitchen started looking much better.  My little girl thought we were just going to leave all the doors off forever.  Nope!  I love the clean and crisp look of the white.

The next step was painting.  I had no idea when I started this project how many things I was going to add to my "To Do List".  I wasn't really planning on painting the ceiling and the walls, but it kinda needed it.  I painted for two days and got it all done.  I had just enough (literally) for the ceiling.  Used every last drop.  The kitchen and dining room did look so much better when I was finished.

My sweet husband hung my pot rack for me.  I have never had one, but I am loving it.  Just adds another dimension to the room.  

Still have more to do, but all this was a simple and inexpensive remake of my kitchen.  The paint for all the cabinets and the walls/ceiling (plus the brushes) were $150.  More to come on the remodel.
Here is the blog that helped me paint my kitchen cabinets.  10-easy-steps-to-paint-kitchen-cabinets