Gluten Free Brownies!

So, yes it can be done! Fairly easily, with only one item I don’t always have in my pantry. I had happened to pick up a packet of xanthum gum at the local grocery store a couple weeks ago because it looked like a good thing to add to the pantry. It was only about the size of a yeast packet and perfect for giving it a try…
I wanted to make brownies for my niece who was going to be watching Squishy, but they needed to be gluten free. She would be hanging out with Squishy for us one evening this week so we could go see and meet the B52′s!!!!!

I know, omg!!!!!
Anyways, back to brownies… Gluten free brownies! If you remember the Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies I made last week, I decided I’d try to modify that recipe. We’re not gluten free in our house, in fact I usually make things whole grain so this did involve a little reading up. And it worked!

They’re dark and rich and fudgy, just like you want a brownie to be. In fact I think the Mr liked these better than the original!

Gluten Free Deep Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

1/2 cup butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1tsp xanthum gum
1/2 c social dark cocoa powder
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c corn starch
1/2 c chocolate chips

Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Cream the softened butter, sugar, vanilla together and add the eggs. Add the dry to the wet and fold in the chocolate chips. Spread into a buttered or oiled 8×8 glass dish. It is very think batter and you’ll think it’s not spreading out ok, but it’ll be fine!
Bake 20-22 minutes depending on your oven. Edges will be slightly puffed looking and will have stated to pull away from the pan.


Deep Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I have to share this recipe with you! It’s too good to keep to myself. If you like chocolate, especially dark chocolate you’ll thank me later.
Years and years ago, the Mr and I wrote a brownie recipe. Then a few years later, I rewrote the recipe, making a few improvements. This week, I rewrote the recipe again and it’s deep dark chocolate brownie perfection!

My favorite ingredient in this recipe is what gives it the dark chocolate perfection. If you haven’t tried Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, pick some up next time you’re in the store. I first tried it last summer when the Mr requested a dark chocolate cake for his birthday. It was such a great cake I knew I had to attempt my brownie recipe with it…this week I finally did! And with Valentine’s Day coming up, what better time to try it!


Deep Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

1/2 cup softened butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
1tsp baking powder
1/2 c social dark cocoa powder
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 c flour
1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter or spray an 8-inch square pan.

Cream the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased pan and spread with a spatula, bake for 20-25 minutes. To check for doneness, batter should be pulling away from the side of the pan. The top should bounce back slightly and leave a finger print when you touch it. If you wiggle the pan, it will look loose like it isn’t set in the center. These are fudge brownies, you want them gooey. Set aside on a cooling rack until cool…Resist cutting until they are cool.


Toddler Chic Holiday Decor

I follow so many lovely bloggers with such lovely, picture perfect homes. This week they are all having teaser posts about their holiday house tours and I think “Ooo, I want my house to look like that!”. Then I snap into reality as my 3 year old dances across the room with a handful of ornaments while singing “drop the jingo bell wok”. He is loving every minute of getting to help and put things just where he likes them. He hangs an ornament, steps back and says “oh mom, yook how boofifull our pretty little tree is!” This is the 1st year he’s really been into Christmas and all the excitement. I’m just going to enjoy that.

We made salt dough ornaments. So of course that means a t-Rex, trains and airplanes along with my hedgehogs and moose. We added a couple tbs of iridescent glitter to our dough while kneading it. It gives the tiniest shimmer when the light shines on them.

~Glittered Salt Dough Ornaments~
2 Tbs glitter
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water
Mix well and knead into soft dough. If it’s too sticky, knead in a bit of extra flour. Roll out dough a 1/4 inch thick and cut out desired shapes. Use a drinking straw to poke a hole for your string. Arrange on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for a hour or two. You don’t want them to brown, just dry out. Once they are cool, tie string of choice and hang on your tree or gifts!

My house may not be Pinterest worthy, but we’re making memories and having fun! If you’d like to see what else we’ve been up to, follow me on Instagram.
What memories have you been making this season?

First Craft Show!

We did it! This past weekend the Mr and I did our first craft show! So if you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting here, well my fingers have been terribly busy. “You’ve never done a craft show? What about feltidermy?” Nope, I’ve never done a show. With feltidermy and plush I couldn’t keep enough back stock in my inventory to do a show… I know, not a bad problem to have. And once Squishy arrived I didn’t have time to sit and stitch. Also, not a bad problem to have, except not having time to make stuff. But this fall an idea hit me and I had to start making! And making, and making, and making… My brother and his wife, Savage Inspirations, make furniture and wood decor items.

They were going to be doing a show in our hometown and said “Why don’t you come put a few things in our booth?” Then I kept making and making and then the Mr started making and idea he had… Then we realized that we had better just get our own booth.
I needed displays! I found a couple old mirror/painting frames at the flea market. For a total of $9! I knew I had chicken wire at home and had already planned to pick up burlap on my way home.

I have to thank my parents for the rest of our props. They had the perfect skinny Christmas tree in the garage and dad found the most awesome ladder for my wreaths!

It was fun to see what was popular with shoppers. Squishy got to hang out with my parents and a couple cousins for the day and I got to spend time with my husband, brother and sister-in-law. I also got to see a few old friends that I haven’t seen in way too long! Another bonus was all going over to my sister’s house for pizza later. Hanging out with family, loving on my great-niece and laughing ’til I cried. Apparently I need to get my eyes checked. And I got to see the wreath my sister bought hanging on her fireplace!

Mom bought a wreath too! Isn’t it cute on her vintage red door?!

We haven’t made any plans to do more shows yet, though there is one possibility in a month. We know we came into this late for the holiday season. I’m just glad to say that our 1st show was a success and not as scary as my mind had worked it up to be. Right now I’m looking into the possibility of shipping wreaths so that I have the Mr build us an online shop right here! Wouldn’t that be fun?!
Thanks for stopping by. There seems to be some glittery stuff falling from the sky as I look out the window. Yikes, snow already! I hope you have a pretty day wherever you are.

Thomas the Tank Engine Costume

Halloween costume success!

Who wouldn’t want to see a face this happy over a costume?
Squishy said he wanted to be Thomas for Halloween this year. I was sort of expecting that, it’s Thomas everything around here lately. He has always dressed up for Halloween, even if the 1st year was just for some photos. We’ve already gone the engineer route, for his 2nd Halloween, so why not a Thomas the Tank Engine costume?

I gathered boxes, from diaper to oatmeal for the past month or so and gathered up every color of duct tape we might need. Yesterday I finally decided to tackle it. I could’ve waited a week, but with my luck it would’ve ended up taking 3 days, not 1.

I know I should’ve taken more process shots to share… Squishy decided he was ready to start using the potty this week, so yeah… Potty training and building a Thomas costume means photos sometimes get forgotten.
Above you can see the boxes I used and how I configured them.
1 large target diaper box for the body, an amazon box for the cab,
another amazon box for the front,
an oatmeal canister for the steam tank and wheel wells and a toilet paper roll for the funnel. After I got the basic pieces stuck on I went to town with duct tape in the basic Thomas colors. He was most excited when I added the yellow #1. For the finishing touch we printed Thomas’s face from an image the Mr found online. Our shoulder straps still need some adjusting. That may take a few days to get just right.

This face makes it all worth it!
Oh and just think, if you had a few kiddos to dress up you could make James, Percy or any other engine friends too!