Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cooking up a storm!

Just a quick post as I'm having so much fun cooking new things and not getting much else done. I love finding new recipes and trying them out and I have been in a cooking mood.  Weird...right? It's the hottest part of the Summer and here I am, coming home from work and baking!

First I made a lovely Rustic Apple Blackberry pie. I cooked it up on the grill and didn't even burn it!! I got the gluten free crust recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring Nichol is a charming lady with a very creative and clever way of writing, she also has AWESOME gluten free recipes.

Next I came across a recipe on Smitten Kitchen for Homemade Oreo cookies. Chocolaty, creamy, crunchy dunkable Oreo Cookies! I followed her recipe exactly EXCEPT I used Better Batter Gluten Free All Purpose flour. It worked really well.

All of the photo credit goes to my awesome hubby Mark, he's also my chief taste tester, um...guinea pig, foody victim and general good guy with a cast iron tummy!

I am off to figure out what I'm going to do tonight...sweet or savory? It's so hard to decide!
Remember to get out and do something creative today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New pillowcases for a new bedroom!

Just a quick note from me to you. I haven't taken any photos of the updated bedroom yet but I have finished 2 new embroidered pillowcases and I do have a photo of them. :)

The designs are from Doodle Stitching motifs by Aimee Ray. I had a blast doing these and my husband is pretty impressed with them too. All of the flosses that I used were of the variegated kind so I could just thread up the needle and start stitching.

I'm looking forward to playing around with more of the designs from this book. I have a couple handkerchiefs that need something special so I can give them as gifts. I think those will be my next projects.

I hope you are having a great Summer and taking time to do something creative!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Watery Coolness...

For all who have to deal with much too warm weather I'm sending you a lovely wish for some watery coolness.

Here's a doodle that I came up with this morning I hope that it brings you a moment of coolness and enjoyment.

The bedroom is almost all done! We have painted the walls and baseboards, put in the new cupboards and bookshelves and hung the new drapes, taken out the carpet and laid the new flooring. All we have left is the new bed that is being delivered on Saturday. Just in time for our second 1 week vacation (my hubby has next week off) we are staying close to home this time. I told my hubby that with the bedroom being all bright shiny and new it would be like staying at a lovely hotel. :) We will be doing lots of day trips this time. Relaxing and just enjoying all of our hard work.

Remember to get out and be creative!

Monday, July 18, 2011


It has been months and months since I had a chance to do some intentional doodling. Here's a few that I completed last week. I'm so excited to be getting back into the groove.

I'm drawing more, but we are also in the middle of our Summer home improvement project. After almost 24 years in the same home we are tearing out the carpet, putting in new flooring, painting the walls and trim in our bedroom. We have already done every other room in our home so it is just about time.

Just many different ways to be creative! Cheers!
:) love to doodle hearts!

Doodles inspired by Zentangles

Something Fishy!

Click on the images for larger views.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh My Bagels--Gluten free?

Have you ever thought of making your own gluten free bagels? I always thought that bagels would be hard to make, that gluten free dough couldn’t be boiled and hold together and that it would just be a mess. Boy! Was I ever wrong.

Making bagels with the recipe that I came up with (after looking at several wheat flour bagel recipes) is so easy! It does take time but most if it is overnight when you are sleeping already any way.

These have a lovely crust that is slightly glossy and chewy. There are several different whole grain flours but they add so much to the end flavor and nutrition. These are wonderful after cooling right out of the oven without toasting. The same day they can still be eaten with out toasting after the first day you will want to pre-slice, wrap and freeze to keep that just baked freshness. Just pull out of the freezer, toast and enjoy!

If you make these bagels remember that playing with gluten free dough is always a time of experimenting. Get to know the texture, this dough is soft but with a bit of cornstarch you can handle the dough, rolling into smooth balls and shaping gently.

Remember as with all recipes to read all the directions first before making the recipe. This has several steps, they are all easy but are necessary to end up with a good product at the end!

Multi Grain Gluten Free Bagels
(c)2011 Stephanie Bergeron
*Recipe yields 9 bagels

Bagel Ingredients:

½ c potato starch
3/4 c tapioca starch
½ c Millet flour
½ c Sweet sorghum flour
½ c GF Oats (pulse in blender or food processor to make flour measure out ½ c)
½ c Brown rice flour
2 T golden flax seed meal
1 t unflavored gelatin
2 T brown sugar
1 t kosher salt
2 ½ t xanthan gum
1 T yeast
1 ½ c warm water

Mix all the dry ingredients in mixer bowl, slowly add the water to make a firm but soft dough. Mix for 5 minutes to develop the xanthan gum and gelatin structure. (I'm using a Kitchen Aid Mixer with a fairly strong motor--you can mix by hand if you don't have a mixer--it will build muscles and character)

Turn out the dough on parchment dusted with cornstarch (or starch of your choice) roll the dough around to lightly cover with starch and make it easier to handle.

Cut 9 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Punch your thumb through the center of the ball and lightly stretch to open the ring of dough.

Place on a baking pan that has a silicon mat or parchment lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.

Make the rest of the balls into rings and place on pan. Lightly spray the bagel rings with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.

Let the pan rest on the counter for 30 minutes then put into the refrigerator over night.
Next morning, take pan out and let the bagels come to room temp.

They will have developed a better flavor in the overnight rest and rise. (Remember that these are gluten free and they won’t double in size during the overnight rise—this is just the way it is.)

The next morning, or after at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Turn on the oven and start preheating to 500 degrees F (if you have a baking stone make sure it is in the cold oven first and that it gets heated during the pre heating time).

Take a large cooking pot and fill it with fresh water. Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar to the water and bring to a boil.

Using a large slotted spoon or slotted spatula carefully place 3-4 bagels into the boiling water.

Boil for 2 minutes and flip to boil an additional 2 minutes.

Using a large slotted spoon or slotted spatula - remove to a cooling rack over a towel to catch any dripping water.

If you plan to sprinkle with seeds, cinnamon sugar or coarse salt, do it while they are still wet from boiling.

Then boil up the rest of the bagels following the same directions from above.

Move all the boiled bagels to a baking pan covered with parchment or a silicon mat lightly sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled with fine corn meal.

15 minutes total baking time- 5 minutes in oven preheated to 500 degrees F, then reduce temp to 425 degrees F for 5 minutes, then 5 minutes on the baking stone or flipped over on pan to crisp the bottoms.

The bagels should be a light golden brown and have a slightly shiny look to them when they are done.

Now the hardest part—you have to wait at least 30 minutes to let them cool before cutting. If you don’t wait you will end up with a less than satisfactory experience. Just trust me and wait.

Now cut open and spread with your choice of spreads and enjoy!

If there are any leftovers that are completely cold you can pre slice them, wrap and freeze, ready to be taken out, toasted and munched at a later date.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Yummy Gluten Free Pizza?

Yeah! School's out for the Summer! 

Now I get to be a bit more creative in the kitchen, craft room and the garden--Or just sit on the front porch and read a book and drink iced tea...

Tonight it was the kitchen--

I know that many people think that bean flour is wonderful. More power to them. I don’t. I love a good bean soup but please don't make beans into flour. Ugh! Odd tasting--and worse still, I'm one of the folks that when eating foods made with bean flours gets a weird metallic taste in my mouth--Not Pleasant at all!

We have a few local pizza places and at least one chain pizza location that do offer a gluten free pizza on their menus. Unfortunately, all most all of them use the same pre-made crusts from the same company and they use….bean flour as a main ingredient. Why?  I think that it is the protein in the bean flours that they think is necessary. 

I think there are enough other flours out there that have quality proteins to help with the elasticity issue of gluten free pizza crust.

We had home made pizza for dinner tonight. 
Gluten Free pizza--Chicken Apple Sausage with caramelized onions and sauteed apples.
I started playing with a pizza crust recipe, my darling husband (A GLUTEN EATER AWAY FROM HOME BUT NON-GLUTEN AT HOME) said this is the best one I have come up with so far.Pretty good praise. :)

I liked that it could be rolled out or patted like regular (wheat) pizza dough. I’m also happy that I have more real grains than starch in this recipe too. This crust has a nice chew to it without any of the –Gluten Free- grittiness. He liked that it didn’t fall apart, or get soggy with all the toppings and that the crust was crispy on the edges and still chewy and didn't have any weird flavors or after taste.
Gluten free par-baked pizza crust
Oh, It can be rolled out really thin for a cracker like crust or thicker if you roll that way too.

If you are interested, try it out and see what you think and let me know.

Stephanie’s GF Pizza Crust

In a medium size bowl put:

1/3 C brown rice flour
1/3 C sweet sorghum flour
¼ C millet flour
1/3 C potato starch
1/3 C tapioca starch
2 T ground flax seed
2 t xanthan gum
1 T sugar
1 t salt
2 t yeast (instant, rapid rise, active-what ever you have)

Stir dry ingredients together well.
In a liquids measuring cup put:

¾ C warm water
1 egg beaten
2 T canola or olive oil
1 t apple cider vinegar

Add liquids to dry ingredients slowly. Hold back about 2 T of liquid. Stir well, you should have dough that is soft, but firm enough that if you pick up half of it with cornstarch on your hands it can be made into a ball and not be sticky. If it is too dry add more of the liquid.

Cornstarch (or starch of your choice for rolling out the dough)
Corn Meal (or brown rice flour to dust the parchment)

Now, take a piece of parchment paper or silicon mat dusted with cornstarch (or other starch of your choice) put half the dough on the parchment and roll it around to lightly cover with starch. Pick up the ball and dust the paper with a bit of corn meal or rice flour. Put the ball of dough down and pat it out into a circle. If you want a thick crust pat out the dough to about a 9-10 inch circle, if you want thinner crust pat out larger.

Do the same with the second ball of dough.
Let the dough circles rest while you pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

You are going to par-bake the crusts for about 5-8 minutes they will look a bit puffy but no really big bubbles. The bottom of the crusts will not be brown yet.

Take out of the oven and top with your favorite toppings. (Go light on what ever sauce you are using to keep the crust from getting soggy.) I topped ours with caramelized onions, sautéed apples and slices of chicken apple sausage—Oh My!

Bake until the toppings are heated, the cheese is starting to brown a little and the bottom of the crust is golden about 10-14 minutes—I cooked on a parchment paper on top of a baking stone for the par baking and then slid the pizza onto the baking stone without the paper to do the second baking

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Year and New Projects

Knitted clogs before felting
Originally uploaded by sbergeron00

Happy New Year! Yeah I'm a couple weeks late saying that but I've been doing all kinds of creative stuff and just haven't gotten around to blogging it all.

I have been knitting!! I have been finding this such a soothing thing to do and so much fun to see the projects grow from a twisted skein of yarn into an object of clothing or an accessory. Useful items are such a joy t make and use.

Starting off my entry this time is the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. It's amazing that something so huge and floppy will become a firm fabric with shape and are so comfortable to wear. This is not a hard pattern if you follow it exactly line by line. I even was able to felt them in my front loader washing machine with out any trouble!

Next up are socks that I knit for my sweet husband. I actually made it through the whole pattern twice with out having to rip out a bunch of stitches and start again. Yeah Baby! That was a real accomplishment. Well, gee, I have to find that photo so I can post it! Arrgh. On the other computer right now.

I made a fun doodle of a lovely little girl's name. She asked and we did a pinky promise. So, I had to follow through. I'll find out tomorrow what she thought of it. Then I'll add the photo of it here. :)

Hey, I hope you have had a chance to get out and do something creative already!