Baking Battles

Our family has been gluten free for nearly a year now.  I felt like I had to learn (and am STILL learning!) to cook and bake all over again!  Gluten-free is so different from gluten-full!  😉


I am still fully switching our pantry over to all the crazy gluten-free items…like brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch…and the list goes on!  I have a few recipes that I love and are easy to make.  I have even more that scare the living daylights out of me when I read them!  They sound so complicated, albeit delicious.  Hopefully one day they won’t seem so daunting and we can delight in their heavenly gluten-free-ness!

Until then, I stick to what I know.

Except that hubby’s doctor wants to run some tests on him and has ordered him to eat gluten!  *gasp* So here I am tickled pink that I get to bake all my favorite tried-and-true recipes for this month!

It was short lived.

Can you unlearn what you knew?  I love baking and am known for my chocolate chip cookies, cake balls, etc.  Yet, this month of gluten-full freedom has made me sad as baked item after baked item has been lacking.

All I know is that I once could bake awesome gluten-full goodies, and now I cannot bake them nor gluten free.  Okay, so it’s not that bad…but it still hurts the heart to feel so lost in the kitchen! 😉

Blessings & JOY ~




Brownies for the Win!

We decided to purchase each brownie mix option at the grocery store a few weeks back.  I made each box and put them on different plates.  We were going to have a taste test!  The kids were super excited, and I always love anything chocolate.  😉


We bought the brand we had been buying for the past year: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Brownie Mix.  I love how it is healthy AND gluten-free.  This package requires you to add the most ingredients.  Butter, egg, vanilla extract, water (with chocolate chips or nuts given as optional).  It has a pretty normal brownie mix consistency, maybe a tad thicker.

The second brand we bought was King Arthur’s Flour Gluten-Free Brownie Mix.  Another GF mama told me she tried them and they were a win in her house!  This box had the usual items to add: butter (or oil, we did oil), water, and eggs.  This batch was considerably thicker than what I am used to when I make brownies.  This brand also required a longer bake time at 45 minutes.

The last and third box we tried is Betty Crocker chocolate Gluten-Free brownies.  This brand asked for the least amount of items, just a half stick of butter and 2 eggs!  It’s consistency was typical of brownies.

After they were all baked, and I tried to keep the others warm we dove in and gave our vote!  All are delicious, of course and it was a tad hard to choose.  Out of the 5 of us, three liked Betty Crocker and the other two (myself being one of them) preferred King Arthur.  I laughed when the brand we had been buying for the past 11 months was not anyone’s first choice!

Changing one’s diet can be stressful and exhausting…I often feel like I am having to learn how to bake and cook all over again.  Some things (especially breads!) do not taste the same when gluten free.  I enjoy having easy mixes and pre-mades that our family can enjoy!  🙂

Blessings & JOY ~


Fuzz-butts are Happy!

When I adopted my family of 4 sugar gliders 9 months ago, they came with a couple small “cage sets”… purple with zebra print and blue with a baseball print.  Neither were my style, and they were older and were starting to snag their nails.  I had been given an Open Environment Pouch (OEPouch) from ‘no jOE designs‘ and loved how it helped turn my crabbies into cuties.  😉  My fuzz-butts were older when I adopted them, so it has taken time for them to realize they can trust me and that I will not hurt them.  The OEPouch has played a HUGE factor in my success of gaining their trust and love!


I don’t know who was more excited when my package arrived in the mail… I thought the cage set turned out SUPER cute!  It didn’t take long for my glider babies to wake up and wonder what mama was up to in their cage.  I soon had them crawling all over me and their new toys!


I love it when they greet me and want to play!


Since they live in trees in the wild, I thought I would add a branch to their cage.  They love it and are always running up and down it!  They also live in luxury with their fleece pouches and blankets.  😉


Here is their huge cage that sits in our family room beside my desk.  You can see all the pieces I got from no jOE designs.  She does excellent work and I highly recommend her for your suggies needs!

Blessings & JOY,