Monday, January 11, 2016

Gluten Free Pancakes

CoverWe are big pancake lovers in this house.  I mean, come on…pancakes!  What’s not to love.  For years we made pancakes with teff flour, then I found a few other pancake recipes that used white gluten free flours.  Then over Thanksgiving break I found a gluten free mix at a Safeway up in Tahoe, this one. I liked it, but didn’t love the way the cornmeal tasted and the texture.  I susepct it was added to give the pancakes some fluff or non-stick.  I began to pay more attention to the ingredients in the many, many store bought gluten free pancake mixes (that you can find at just about any grocery store).  I noticed they use virtually the same ingredients:  a rice flour, one or two other gluten free flours, a starch, baking soda, corn meal or another mealy grain, salt, and a gum.  One brand was nearly $8.00!  I was like, oh no, I can make my own gluten free mix just fine thank you.  So I did, and I loves it.  This recipe works great on a regular pancake griddle or with oil in a skillet and they pop up nice and fluffy ya’ll (that’s what I’m talken’bout).  Enjoy…and long live breakfast food! Continue reading

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Labels: breakfast, gluten free.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Date Pecan Pie

coverMy husband Scott LOVES pecan pie!  He loves all dessert really – he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to sweets, but there is something about pecan pie for him…ha ha, let’s be honest, it’s all the sugar…and that yummy pecan flavor of course. Traditional pecan pie is basically sugar, butter, pecans, and eggs.  The two main sugars used are corn syrup and brown cane sugar.  So it’s not a stretch to modify the recipe and swap out the sugars, for example, instead use honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, etc.  I wanted to make a pecan pie recipe that was similar to an original recipe but with my own special twist and dates came to mind.  I made this pie over the weekend for family visiting.  Ah ha!  The perfect opportunity to snag some recipe testers.  And I’m so happy to report that everyone really liked it!  I was afraid it would be too “datey” or too sweet or not “pecany” enough.  But everyone genuinely liked it.  And Scott LOVED it.  He was very excited about it.  Yay. I used this original recipe as an inspiration.   Continue reading

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Labels: dessert, fall treats, gluten free, holidays, thanksgiving desserts.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year + Spiced Cashews

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This Holiday I made several batches of spiced cashews as gifts for family and friends.  To round out the goodie bag, I added a homemade candle and some chocolate bars.  So fun and easy.  I happen to adore receiving homemade gifts – I actually prefer it to store bought items.  I wanted to share my simple spiced cashew recipe with you today.  The combination of spices are endless really, but I like the combo of sweet and spicy.   Continue reading

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Labels: homemade gifts, Paleo, snacks.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Scott’s 40th Birthday Avalanche (with video)

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I want to preface this post by saying that the kids are fine, we are fine, and our truck is fine. But Monday on our way home from Kirkwood, we were hit by an avalanche. It could have been worse, but we are fine. Scott and I stayed very calm after it happened and it was just a matter of waiting for Caltrans to dig and tow us out.

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Labels: Family Vacation.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Easy Homemade Candles

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Hello Friends.  The Holiday season is upon us…are you feeling the stress yet (ha ha).  Personally, the process of purchasing gifts totally stresses me out.  So to simplify life and decrease that pesky stress, I like to do homemade gifts for family and friends.  Hands down, it’s always so appreciated and well received.  I start by making a list of family, friends, and “other” (school teachers, co-workers, piano teacher, childcare, etc) and then decide on what I am going to make.  This year I am doing a gift bag with a homemade candle, jar of homemade spiced nuts, tea, mandarins, and small jar of honey.  I might also add my favorite Raw Pepperminty Nutty-Roons  – we will see how motivated I feel.  The last two years I made my popular homemade granola which you should definitely try.  It’s soooo good!!  This year I making something new…candles!  I have wanted to make candles for years.  Last year I bought a bunch of supplies but never got around to testing them out.  And you know what, it’s ridiculously easy.  I have both beeswax and soy and started with the soy (it’s so pretty and white).  The process is easy as well as fun and not to mention fast.  I’m super excited about adding a sweet little homemade candle to my gift bags this year.  Yay!  xo, -Amber Continue reading

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Labels: holidays, homemade gifts, how to.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tincture

coverHello friends.  I am not a doctor, or holistic expert, or certified in any alternative healing practice.  But I am a person who lives with a chronic inflammatory disease…Crohn’s disease.  I have been on a loooong healing journey and this journey has lead me down many roads of diets, herbs, oils, teas, and whatever else you could possibly think of, I’ve tried over these last 12 years.  Most recently I’ve made a breakthrough connection between my Crohn’s flares and stress that has provided me with an enormous amount of power and control over my health…and I hope to share this with you very soon.  But for now, I want to share a little bit about turmeric and how I’ve been using it in my healing regimen.  A few months ago my sweet beautiful friend Julia showed me a turmeric tincture she made and was raving about.  I told her I have turmeric capsules that I use once in a while for inflammation, but didn’t feel a big difference.  I tried her tincture and loved it.  So I made myself a batch.  I have to say, I feel the difference and the tincture feels more powerful than the capsules (for some reason).  I don’t know, maybe it’s just placebo, but I can tell it decreases intestinal inflammation..and decreases pain.  Here is an excellent article about turmeric with research to back up health claims.  But please also read about turmeric’s side effects here.   Continue reading

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Labels: Anti-Inflammatory, better digestion tips, Holistic healing, homemade remedies, IBD Remedies.

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

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Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.  In this post I have included the recipes I make each year for Thanksgiving.  I have also included two recipes (from fellow friend bloggers) that I include in my Thanksgiving feast.  I hope that this time of year finds you well.  I hope that you are able to find moments of calm and peace.  I hope that you are surrounded with friends and family who make you feel special and loved.  Find the joy and laughter in each day.  Choose happiness and always…find gratitude.  xo,–Amber  Continue reading

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Labels: holidays, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving desserts, thanksgiving side dishes.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Roasted Turkey with Garlic, Thyme, and Lemon w/ Paleo Gravy

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I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for several years.  Because I enjoy cooking and can plan and multitask like no one’s business, Thanksgiving is totally doable for me.  And I love that I can make it all gluten, dairy, and cane-sugar free, and everyone always, every year, raves about the food.  They can’t tell my stuffing is gluten free, or that the sweet potatoes aren’t swimming in cane-sugar, or the gravy is Paleo (gasp)!  So when I started hosting the thought of roasting an entire turkey was completely unappealing.  I mean, yes, it looks lovely, but it takes so long and it just made more sense (to me) to buy turkey parts and roast them to their appropriate doneness (as we all know, white meat cooks differently than dark meat).  I’ve also noticed that turkey legs are really popular and I like having more than two available.  I’ve really enjoyed preparing turkey this way and my guests seem to enjoy it as well.  Perfectly moist breast meat and perfectly moist dark meat?!  Yes please.  I wanted to share my method with you in case you were feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole bird. By the way, brining turkey is a necessary step to that delicious, moist meat…so don’t skip it!  Gobble-gobble.   Continue reading

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Labels: fall cuisine, grain free, main dish, Paleo, Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

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I was so excited to finally make some pumpkin bread last week!  It’s been so darn hot here that baking felt quiet unappealing.  This year I made my own gluten-free flour mix, and it worked great for this recipe – yay!  If any of you fine folks out there have been following me since I started blogging four years ago, you will know that baking has been a journey for me.  I have been experimenting for a couple of years now and I’m happy to say that baking no longer feels like a burden or chore, rather, it’s something I enjoy.  It goes to show you that practice makes perfect, err, practice makes comfortably okay.  Ha ha.  Baking is never perfect, right.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I’ve made it several times with both my gluten-free mix and the suggested flours in the notes section of the recipe.  It’s been well received by family and friends.  So enjoy…and happy fall. Oh and it rained today!  So cozy and wonderful.  So happy.  xo   Continue reading

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Labels: Breads, fall cuisine, fall treats, gluten free, holidays, Pumpkin, Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 26, 2015

All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix

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I’m super excited to share The Tasty Alternative’s very first gluten-free flour mix!  After 12 years gluten-free, I’m finally making my own mix.  This comes primarily due to soooo many mixes out there in the stores nowadays.  Some recipes call for using these mixes in their recipes, and some have dairy (like this one).  So I have studied many all-purpose mixes and found my own ratios that work great!  I understand mixes aren’t for everyone, but it’s fun to put one together and have on hand. You might be wondering why I am using white rice flour.  Allow me to explain.  We eat a lot of brown rice products flour (crackers, pasta, cookies, bread, etc).  Just about everything we have that is gluten-free is made with brown rice flour.  I’ve read that arsenic is more concentrated in brown rice and thus even more so in the flour.  So given the choice, and in an effort to balance out the rice flours, I use white rice flour when I can.  Anyway, I am excited to share some new recipes with you using this mix!   Continue reading

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Labels: gluten free, gluten free flour mix.