Posted in recipes, Uncategorized

Sweet potato pancakes

This whole gluten-free and dairy-free thing has been very overwhelming….and expensive.  God has provided just what we need.  I’m not feeling a lot of excess, though realistically I know we live completely surrounded by excess, but I’m trying to focus on having “enough”.  

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about “enough” lately.  I always thought that growing up without many things, left me feeling like I needed to hoard things.  Food included.  Well, my husband didn’t grow up without and he also likes to hoard things.  Despite my desire to stockpile things like food, school books, and clothing for my children I really dislike clutter.  

We’re a military family.  With that comes PCSing, or moving around the country and world.  PCS stands for Permanent Change of Station.  I challenge the army’s definition of permanent.  We’ve moved rather frequently.  LOL  We’ve been at the current duty station the longest and we’ve gotten rather comfortable.  By that I mean, we’ve collected too much stuff.  

Right now we’re realizing that another move is coming our way even though we don’t have any details or even a timeline.  And so it’s time to get rid of the excess.  Stressful times call for comfort food.  For my kiddos that means pancakes.  

I’m only JUST learning to use these different gluten-free flours and trying to find the best options for our nutritional needs.

We are looking to limit and slowly introduce coconut flour to Mim’s sensitive digestive system in the hopes that she’ll adjust to it.  

We’re slowly introducing eggs to Mickey Mouse to see if she’s allergic.

We’re not wanting excessively high calorie meals like you would get if you stuck to just almond flour. 

And finally, we’re looking to respect and maybe even reduce our grocery expense.  


So tonight’s dinner was brinner.  Breakfast for dinner.  

This works out to be 134 calories per serving with 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar.  

Depending on your family size and needs, you may want to reduce this recipe.  I always make pancakes with the intention of putting them in the freezer so that the children can help themselves to breakfast during the week.  

This recipe makes about 40 servings of 2 4 inch pancakes each.



6 cups mashed sweet potato

4 cups Hodgson Mill Multi-purpose Baking Mix Gluten Free (I’ll update later when I use my own baking mix blend)

2 cups almond meal (blanched almonds that I ran through the food processor)

1/4 cup coconut flour

3 tbsp gluten free baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

5 eggs

2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cup water (I’ll likely use almond milk in the future)


Mix well and spoon onto your hot griddle.  This mixture is very thick and so it didn’t bubble like traditional pancakes would, so watch the edges carefully.  

Posted in frugal tips, recipes

ZERO Waste Orange Cranberry Oat Muffins

So little Miss M told me we simply “HAD to have that 5lb bag of mandarin oranges just like she saw on TV.  I know the hubs likes oranges and so figured there wouldn’t be any harm in it.  Yeah…they sat in the fridge and started going soft.  The hubs had eaten one or two.  Little Miss M had had one.  The twins and the boys aren’t fans of oranges.


20120809-230450.jpgTonight I set about zesting them ALL. 20120809-230503.jpg







Then I used my lemon squeezer to juice them.

I put the “husks” aside for later.







I ended with 2 cups of juice and 1 cup of zest.

In the mixer went 1 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp milled flax, 6tbsp water, 2 1/2 cups buttermilk, 3 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups oats, 1tsp baking soda, 1tbsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1

1/2 cups dried cranberries, 1 cup bran cereal, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (could use more, but that’s what was left in the cannister).  You can put more cranberries, fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries, blueberries, nuts of any kind, or whatever.  Last, I added the orange juice and zest.  I let it sit for 30 minutes and mixed it again so that the bran cereal could combine better and soak up excess moisture.
I baked them in mini-muffin tins for the little princesses in the house and at 350 degrees until risen and firm.

The husks?  Those I put in a zipper bag and tossed in the freezer to use as garbage disposal cleaners later.  Ta-DA!!!     Zero waste!


Posted in homemaking, recipes

Pumpkin Oat Raisin Bread

1 cup of shortening

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp maple extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups quick oats

1 cup wheat germ

2 tsps baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsps pumpkin pie spice blend  *you can make your own or buy it.  I make my own using cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger because I’m not a fan of cloves.

1/4 cup milk

3 cups pumpkin * If you use canned pumpkin, you might need another 1/4 cup milk.  I used fresh steamed and strained pumpkin, which contains more moisture.

Topping is 1/4 cup oats and 1/4 cup flax


Preheat oven to 350

Cream the shortening and sugars together.  Then add eggs and extracts.  Then flour, oats, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and spice.  Mix until well blended.  Next add the pumkin and milk.  If batter is too thick another 1/4 cup milk can be used.

Grease and flour two 9X5 loaf pans.  My own preference is to use a mixture of sugar and pie spice instead of flour for this process.  It gives a nice crispy sweet crust.

This is a popular breakfast food for my kids.



Posted in homemaking, recipes, Uncategorized

Banafee Cake

Ok so the English pastry is Banofee Pie.  I choose to call it “Bana”fee because that’s how I say it, being from Texas.  Since I made this one up, I can call it whatever I want, right?  LOL

  Ok so you can start this with a typical yellow cake mix.  If you’d like to go from scratch like I did then here you go:

Preheat oven to 350

Step 1) 4 very ripe bananas…mushy even…into the mixer.  Then 1/2 cup butter crisco, 1 1/2 cup sugar and mix well.  Then add 3 eggs and slowly add 1 cup milk (to prevent sloshing). 

Step 2) once that’s creamy as very close to smooth add 1 tsp salt, 3 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla, and then 2 cups of all purpose flour. 

Step 3) sprayed 9 X13 with baker’s joy, and then pour in the cake batter.  As usual, I didn’t time the baking process.  Personally I think my time would be useless to anyone else because everyone’s oven is just a smidge different.  I baked approximately 40 minutes, until a knife came out clean. 

Step 4) I used a 1/2 inch metal tube to punch holes in the cake…about 12 holes.  So if you’re looking around going “hmmmm metal tube???”, mine was the center post from my Wilton dream mold (the doll cake one).  Go ahead and eat the little bits that come out.  Call it “quality control”.  Set the cake aside to cool.

Step 5) Unwrap 1 whole bag of caramels into a sauce pan with 2/3 cup milk.  Whisk while melting into a bubbly sauce.  OR buy some caramel sauce of your choice…ice cream topping, dulce leche, whatever.  Pour over cake and into holes.  Allow cake to cool completely (about 2 hours)

Step 6) Whipped topping…whip some whipping cream, use cool whip…DO NOT use whip topping from a spray can because it will separate.  Frost cake with this once cake is cooled.  Then top cake with fresh sliced bananas.

Ta-DA!!!!  Banana goodness!

Posted in homemaking, recipes, Uncategorized

Loaded Zucchini Bread (nut free)

Originally uploaded by nehifamily

So I took Paula Deen’s recipe and made a few small changes. My children are allergic to nuts and so changes must always be made.

Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 and I grated 2 small zucchini and 2 small yellow squash. I scooped the seeds out of the yellow squash because it does tend to have large seeds. This gave me 3-4 cups of squash.

Step 2 I sprayed my loaf pans with Bakers Joy and then coated them with a cinnamon sugar mixture. I didn’t have to, but it gives it a nice sweet crust.

Step 3 in my mixer went 4 eggs, 1 cup olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice, and 3 cups of sugar. I mixed it on the “stir” setting, then added the squash. Then 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground ginger (I used a roasted ginger), 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp baking soda and mix well on the “stir” setting. Last, I added the 3 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup whole roasted soy nuts, 1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds and mix well.

I didn’t time the baking process. I just watched and checked it until a knife came out clean. Approximately 1 hour.

Posted in all about the family, homemaking, recipes, Uncategorized

grrrr argh grumble blah

Originally uploaded by nehifamily

So today I noticed the toy room looked like a tornado hit it. I demanded…repeatedly…over the next 2 hour period…that it get cleaned by my three completely innocent and angelic daughters. It appeared to be cleaned so I let it go. When bed time rolls around I tackled changing the sheets on their beds and decided this is the time to put on the new zippered mattress protectors. Believe it or not, until now I had covered the mattresses with flannel backed vinyl table cloths under the fitted sheet. It had worked to protect the mattress from accidents but they were green…and had started to change the sheets to green. Anyhow so I found some REAL mattress protectors at the store and got them. So I’m trying to wrestle these mattresses into these covers. These mattresses are great quality with the boards built into the bottoms of them. So they’re also stiff and heavy. Thankfully my son rushed to help. BUT it allowed me to see the chaos that lives UNDER their beds!

Then I saw what lives behind their dressers…and between the bed and the wall…and behind all the doors…

Which got me to look around and see what was stashed behind the hamper…and each of their toy bins…and under the book shelves…and behind the TV and computer desk…and the poor guinea pig didn’t want Barbies in his cage, I’m sure.

It was one of those moments when I wished I’d had a rake for INSIDE USE. It took 2 hours past their bedtime, but the mess is cleaned. I thought for sure that with all the extra cleaning and past their bed time, plus they’re still sick, that they’d hit their freshly made beds and just crash. Yeah, silly me.

M actually came to me to tell me she’d hurt her nose…on the window. Past the point of exasperation here, I told her “too bad, so sad…because if she’d been doing what she was supposed to (laying in bed trying to go to sleep) then her nose wouldn’t have been anywhere near a window”

So now I look out at what I needed to get accomplished tonight, I know it’s simply not going to happen. My kitchen is a wreck. I still have the remnants of Chinese noodles to put away…the produce. The rest will just have to wait until tomorrow. I should have time because I can’t go to church. The girls are still snotting and coughing and so they can’t go. I feel bad because we haven’t been in 6 weeks or so. Someone is always sick. Right now my mister is off being a soldier and doing what they do (and that’s all I got to say about that ~forrest gump style)…so it’s just me and the kids. So I can’t even split the difference and sick people stay home and everyone else goes. Anyhow, so we’ll be working on getting the house cleaned tomorrow…laundry folded…kitchen cleaned.

I’m doing my best here. I haven’t even had a chance to really miss Rob except in not sleeping. I haven’t slept good in a few nights. Night 1 I didn’t sleep at all. Not a wink. It’s getting better. This is normal, but I’m tired. I’m too tired to miss him really, yet. There is going to come a moment that I’m going to break and the tears will come and I’ll wonder how on earth I’m going to be able to keep going.

I wish he’d been here for dinner tonight. He would have loved it. We had dinner at Genghis Grill before he took off and he loved it. It really got me to craving those fat Asian noodles with veggies. I think the process there really helped me be able to put it together at home. I prepped all my veggies first. I got to use my Julienne peeler tool thingy and did 2 large carrots with that…then with a knife sliced up 1/4 of a green cabbage really fine, cut up a fist full of green onions in 2 inch long pieces, and about 2 cups of pea pods, and 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms…All that went into the skillet with 4 large cloves of garlic, diced, 1 tsp of 5 spice powder, 1/2 tsp roasted ginger powder, 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (I know it’s a weird choice, but it worked). Then when the cabbage wilted down I added a whole pack of imitation crab (it’s really flavored fish and not a bad choice), a large can of bamboo shoots sliced, and two really large fist fulls of bean sprouts. The noodles were in the microwave with just enough water to season them. When I added them, there was no liquid left and I topped it all with 1/4 cup bottled general tso sauce, 1/8 cup oyster sauce, 1/8 cup garlic chili sauce. When it was finished I topped it with 1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds.

Posted in homemaking, recipes

Sweet “Corn cake”

Originally uploaded by nehifamily

My daughters love corn bread so much they call it “corn cake”. If they eat nothing else, they will always eat the corn bread.

Preheat oven to 400 and prepare your pans. I use stone ware muffin pans and pour 1 tsp oil into each cup. Then allow the pans to preheat with the oven. This recipe makes a 9X13 pan or 18 muffins. It would also do a 12 inch cast iron skillet. The pan or skillet would require 1/4 cup oil.

Mix 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt. I mix in my mixer and it’s to incorporate the rising agents with the flour. They do not incorporate well with the texture of corn meal. Then add in 1 1/2 cups corn meal, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup sugar (2/3 cup if you want only a hint of sweetness), 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup honey, and 2 eggs.

Mix on high for 3-5 minutes because it helps to “fluff” the muffins.

When you pour the batter in, the muffins will begin to sear right away giving you a nice custy edge.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes for the muffins (until firm) and around 25-30 minutes for a pan/skillet (also until firm in the middle).

I have a strong personal preference to not bake corn bread in anything except stoneware or cast iron. You simply do not get the same results. If you’ve never tried it, then go with a cast iron skillet. You will be surprised.