Monday, May 31, 2010

I Challenge YOU!

I know that I have not been a steady blogger. But this summer I have a plan. I am going to challenge myself to craft all summer and record it here. The catch? I have to use things I already have in my overflowing and messy craft space. I am going to call it the 90-10 challenge. Anything I make has to be made with materials that I have 90% of in my craft room. I can only buy a tiny amount, such as a zipper or thread, when making something (10% of total estimated cost).

For instance, if I find something to make on the many blogs I peruse daily, 90% of the projects materials need to come from my craft room.

I am tired of buying. I am tired of half started projects littering my shelves and tables. I am going to finish things! I am going to Google search crafts for supplies I already have! And the other benefit? Most of the time when I sew or craft it seems like the first time I make the pattern I don't like the end product as much as subsequent times. So I am going to be using up my fabric stash! I am going to be making things from fabrics I may not think are completely compatible.

The items I make and progress in my uber-cleaning of the craft room will be documented here.

The 90-10 challenge begins June 9th. My last day of Kindergarten is the 8th! Woot!

To keep you all interested and thinking of what you'll be crafting this summer, I will be debuting my other challenge in the week leading up to the 90-10 start. The Target Challenge. Ready!?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frango Mint Dessert

Back in the day....long before Nordstrom or Macy's carrying Frango mints, there was an entity called Frederick and Nelson. After High School I worked at the Tacoma Mall F & N in Accessories, Jewelry and Hosiery.

Freddies, or Frederick's, to us hip West Coast folk, had the best chocolates EVER. Frango Mints. Here is my latest addition to the Gluten Free/No Flour recipe archive. It is the closest homemade Frango-y thing I've tried.

Frango Dessert

2 sticks butter
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ tsp. peppermint extract
4 squares melted baking chocolate
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add chocolate and flavoring. Drop with serving spoon into muffin tin lined with paper cupcake cases. Freeze. Makes about 24.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fruity Goodness

When I think dessert, I think CHOCOLATE. Hands down. But if you're looking for a vegan/gluten free is the Raw Strawberry Pie. Sounds weird, but it is AWESOME.

Raw Strawberry Pie
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
½ c. brown sugar (crust)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¾ c. pitted dates
2 c. raw almonds
2 pounds strawberries washed and quartered

In a bowl, combine strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla and brown sugar. Place almonds in food processor and pulse on high until like bread crumbs. Put dates in processor with 1 t. water and pulse until well chopped. Combine almonds and dates until they hold together, press in pie plate. Pile berries on crust (discarding liquid). Refrigerate until served.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flourless Brownies

If you were to ask me what my FAVORITE food is, I would always answer brownies. Hands down. I don't know how many red boxes of Betty Crocker brownies I have made in my life, but I should have bought stock.

Recently I have totally made over my diet. I have dabbled in vegetarian-ism before, but two weeks ago I went not only veggie/vegan, but gluten and wheat free. I have been battling tummy troubles since we moved last April, and I decided there was no time like the present to eat better and fix my intestines. When I say Veggie/Vegan I eliminated dairy too, but not eggs, so it is not a true vegan diet. And I know there are tons of great non-wheat flour products, but I'm still not sure what my issues are, so flourless seems to work best for me.

Anyway, back to the brownies. I have been doing great with my eating, but one thing I miss, or could never live without? Brownies. So this weekend I've made two batches of these modified chocolate wonderful goodie-ness. Make them, you'll never go back! Crackly yummy top and fudgey insides. Yum!

Flourless Brownies

3 Tbsp butter or non dairy spread, and more for greasing pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup of granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of 13 x 9" or smaller pan depending on desired thickness of brownie. Melt 3 T butter and chocolate in microwave, stirring constantly or in double boiler. Set aside.

In two medium bowls separate eggs, whites in one bowl and yolks in the other. Beat yolks with ½ cups sugar. Beat for a few minutes incorporating the sugar and yolk. Add vanilla, salt and chocolate mixture to yolk mixture.

In bowl with whites, beat eggs until foamy, slowly add the remaining ½ cup of sugar until peaks form. Mix whites and chocolate mixture and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

More wheat-free/flour-free recipes to come!