I have a gluten allergy that makes my stomach hurt when I eat anything with gluten in it, especially whole wheat or processed foods. It isn’t Celiac (thankfully) but it is a pain nonetheless. I figured it out in about 2004/2005 and have worked since then to partially eliminate gluten from my foods, but not entirely. Since it isn’t a severe allergy, I can have some, about a slice of bread’s worth, per day. Most days I don’t eat bready at all, which is pretty neat considering this country loves everything with bread, meat, fried, or both.
Anyway, this year I have gotten around to baking and cooking gluten free. I gave away about 2lbs of ap flour to Penny, then went out and bought everything I might need to go gf. I found America’s Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten Free cookbook at CostCo and it completely changed everything!
http://www.amazon.com/The-How-Gluten-Free-Cookbook/dp/1936493616
It goes from which gf products work best, why, and even how to mix my own ap gf flour. I did that today and made some banana cookies based on a recipe from Bake at 350 (omg go there and drool). I modified it to use gf flour instead of regular ap flour, and used a trick with the bananas from another ATK book that gets a ton of banana flavor without the excess moisture gumming up the works. As far as my baking at high altutide (we’re, what, 6000ft? ish), I just crossed my fingers….and then….
BOOM! NANNER COOKIES!!!

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They are so fluffy and they pack a sweet nanner punch of flavor. Look how well they rose! Normally I’d have flat, sad cookies. Num. I think I’ve eaten six of them so far and the fourth sheet is in the oven. To the baker go the spoils, friends, and victory is sweet.

Here is the original recipe from Bake at 350, and the only things I changed were:
*Substitute the same amount of your favorite gf ap flour.
* For the mashed bananas: freeze some brown bananas, about 3 or 4, and let thaw in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Keep all that liquid and simmer it to reduce it to about half the original amount. Add it to the bananas and mash, then measure out a cup for the recipe.

P.S. Nanners are what bananas turn into when they ascend to a higher plane of delicious.
P.P.S. I haven’t been paid or endorsed to talk about these methods or recipes. I did obtain (gratefully) permission to link to Bake at 350’s free recipe. It makes me deleriously happy to bake food I can eat without getting a stomachache! Thanks Bridget!

After 43 days of no moisture (none, at all) we had snow last night and it is beautiful. Everything was perfect; the trees, the mountain, rabbit tracks in the park, and especially that little blue puffy jacket. Those bigger footprints on the right of the little guy are his big brother’s. <3

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We don’t travel much, but it’s nice to be prepared when we do. I have had this pattern set for years, and I made the nap mats for both boys. I made a watermelon one for my oldest and the space/astronaut one for my youngest. I just finished the space mat yesterday! The whole project, start to finish, (assuming you have time and no one to interrupt), takes about 2 hours or less. I didn’t have a lot of sewing time for the space one, and lots of people to interrupt me, so I think I cut out the pattern about 2 months ago, but sewed it all yesterday.

They are so adorable!

Here they are side by side, open:

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And closed. Watermelon has red snaps, space has blue buttons. Snaps are a pain and the buttons look so cute! I love the red snaps on that mat.

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They are machine washable, too, which is required in my house. The kids love them. I made them because they are easy to squash into a suitcase and wherever we go, they have their own bed. I can fold a special blanket in them, too. They are comfy anywhere: beds, floor, couches, etc.

I used McCall’s Crafts M5604.

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I think I bought it at Hancock’s Fabrics, but I imagine it is available anywhere patterns are sold. Baby/kid stuff is so fun to make.

I have these too. I hope I can tackle those someday. I have my own ideas for a superhero busy book, too…so many ideas…

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