A place to store and share the things I make.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


 I got to baking my gluten-free banana loaves and finished off the browning nanners.  Here's a play by play.
The competitors: #1 v #2
The playing field
The Judges
I started with an extensive google search and used very scientific means to choose the recipes to try.  By that I mean I used ones with the simplest ingredients and fewest steps.  I also tend to favor recipes from blogs.  Something about "knowing" the person who posted the recipe, even in the slightest sense of the word, makes me trust it a little more.  Here are the recipes and the results.  Enjoy!

#1: Gluten Free Banana Bread from Gluten-free Girl
I left out potato starch and used brown rice flour instead, and since I spent so much grocery money on stocking up on the pricier GF flours, I skipped the extravagant ginger; I also subbed maple syrup for sugar.  Still was pretty tasty.  

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
 2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 large bananas)
1/4 cup full-fat yogurt (or sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup crystallized ginger
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a loaf pan (the usual size). Melt the butter on low heat. Set it aside to cool. Sift the four gluten-free flours into a large bowl. Stir in the xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir them all up together. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir until they are just combined. (If you are using a stand mixer for this, be sure to mix until the liquids are just combined. You don’t want to over-cream the liquids.) Slowly, sift the dry ingredients into the wet batter, until everything is just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Smooth the top.
Baking the bread. Slide the loaf pan onto the middle rack in the oven. Bake about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a knife slides out of the bread clean.  Cool the bread for 10 minutes in the loaf pan, and then tip it out, slowly. Allow it to cool before you slice your first piece. (well, good luck.)

#2:  Gluten-free Banana Bread from A Gluten Free Day
(I made a couple changes to the recipe, so what is below is slightly different from what she has on her page)
Dry ingredients
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
-1 cup or 2,5 dl ground almonds
-2 tsp (gluten-free) baking powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp ground cardamom
- a pinch of nutmeg
-a pinch of salt
Wet ingredients
-3 eggs
- half a cup of maple syrup
-3 very ripe bananas
-1 tsp vanilla exctract
-1/2 cup melted butter
Heat an oven to 340F.
Grease a bread pan and sprinkle some almond meal on it, or just line it with baking paper.
Mix the wet ingredients together and mix the dry ingredients together.
Combine these two without over mixing them.
Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
I think they both win

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Yesterday we had a deliciously sunny day. It hit 73, and felt like it--I even got a little tan eating lunch in the sun at Jam on Hawthorne. Then we woke up today, Easter morning, to the drizzle we're so accustomed to. Barefeet on concrete was just a tease.

 I made myself a busy little Sunday. I got up early and sewed, then walked to the store with the camera to document my morning. I like having pictures of my life, and I'm trying to just bring the camera along more often. Life needs documentation sometimes.

 My early morning walk to the grocery store was to prepare me for the challenge that lay ahead: bananas gone bad. Someone at the Healing Place (the building my clinic is in) apparently has the hookup at New Seasons, and will randomly drop off boxes or bags of produce that's too good to throw away, but too far gone to sell. You know I hate to waste food...or anything else for that matter. So I brought home a few bunches, and looked up some banana bread recipes. By the time I made a double batch of Martha's banana bread with coconut, which barely fit in the mixer (oops), then made the salad for Easter potluck, then made banana waffles, I ran out of time to try the three different gluten-free recipes I found. I'll let you know how they turn out, when I get around to them. As for the original four loaves, I hear they were quite good.
The challenge

My go-to apron: a yardsale skirt transformed into a flour-catching cape
Graham's birthday was this week, on Earth Day/Good Friday. Two Christmases ago, we decided to start a change jar to save up for some ink (he wanted to register for tattoos for our wedding, I thought a food processor was more practical). We started with a little jar and grew into a Costco sized Adam's Peanut Butter jar, and when he cashed that baby in, it pretty much paid for the art. I'm impressed. He's very proud. Happy birthday Graham.
I have finished four different pieces this week! I'm so good at starting things, and sometimes it takes a ton of energy to just do that last little finish. Deadlines. That's what I need. We're seeing family tomorrow night so I had a deadline to get these done. I have a baby shower in a couple weeks too, which will be good to get me moving. I've also been commissioned to make a neoprene laptop case for a friend...which should be interesting, and he's setting me a deadline.

A little shirt for Luciana

I am so obsessed with wasting as little thread/fabric/food, that it sometimes is a little nutty. I'm terrible at doing math for sewing, which does mean that I sometimes cut extra scraps that I could have avoided (though you know I'll use the scraps again...somehow). But, when I stitch in the ditch on a quilt (or on these burpies), I cannot for the life of me figure out the best way to cover all the lines only once, but also not have to pick up the needle. Any tips?

Mo's runner

Happy Easter.  It was a blessed day, with beautiful weather that couldn't decide if it wanted to be rainy or sunny. When the sun shone, the dark sky receded and great white clouds hung low on the horizon. It was a beautiful day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day

We've had our second sunny day off this week, and I am relishing in the warmth! Graham and I spent both Sunday and today riding our bikes downtown, stopping to get yummy gluten-free goods at New Cascadia (who no longer uses potato starch, making almost everything Mandi-friendly), reading on the Eastbank Esplanade while the Hawthorne bridge raised to let a boat through, eating a picnic on the Park blocks, and browsing the stacks at Central Library. We watched the first half of the Timbers game at Deschutes Brewery over a shared pint of GF beer on Sunday.  Today we browsed through the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and it has inspired a deep desire to learn how to weave. Laurie Herrick has some beautiful creations.  I checked out my new book club book, as well as Quilting for Peace, and was inspired to start AND finish a project in the afternoon. A well balanced day, if I may say so. Thank you, sun!

Adam's transplants from his & Wylie's trip 2 years ago are still alive

And the lilies Graham got for his birthday last year are coming back!
(thanks Emily...I know they were really for me)

Still cool enough for slippers

Burp cloth for some baby on the way (really not sure which one)
Happy spring!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Magic Soap

It's been some time since I've updated.  To be honest, I haven't been creating a whole ton lately.  My last "let's together and craft" date ended up being Megan and I watching our friend Jen as she amazingly turned an old painting covered in years of tobacco gunk into a bright and lively picture.  With just a little Dr. Bronner's soap, some q-tips, and a papertowel, she turned it from this:

into this:

That soap really is magic!  I'm working on a runner for Morgan, my sister-in-law-to-be (the one that I owe her after Graham's step-mom "mysteriously" ended up with the runner I made for the Christmas exchange...), which has been great fun.  My Lenten promise was to not buy any new fabric.  I spend so much time (and money) perusing bolts and finding beautiful cottons that then end up in my stash, waiting for some perfect project...which just never seems to come around.  So now, I'm using those perfect cottons (and other varieties in my stash), to make something!  The runner is all upholstery samples.  This is a jackpot find I discovered a year and a half ago.  In the back room of my neighborhood fabric store, there is an endless bin of upholstery samples for like 45 cents/ounce.  And somedays, the whole back room is 50% off.  I made a bunch of pot holders one year, and there probably will be more to come of that sort.  My eye is drawn to any curtains or chairs or cushions, and I see other creations when they are done being sat up on or shielding sun.

Part of my stash

I also "made" this bag.  I have about a dozen of these hanging around, most of them are from career fairs during grad school--they're a step up from pens and chapstick (though I have tons more of those lying around).  I hardly use them though, because I don't care to advertise for some clinic that I did not apply for a job at, or some section of the American Physical Therapy Association that I am not a part of.  So, I finally made one cuter.  With one of the choice pieces of fabric I've been waiting to use--this is the perfect project for it.  I haven't used another bag since.

another project I'm working on...

Jen working her magic
There will be more creations to come, though with many weddings to be had and babies to be born, I may be delayed in posting pics of some of the gifty ones.  Don't want to give anything away, you know.  But I'll show you the runner when it's done!  And any other perfect projects I embark up on before Easter.