January 30, 2016

Best lunch ever! Chili and gluten free corn bread - a recipe

I just found this recipe which I had created and never posted two years ago!
I haven't made this cornbread for quite some time but I will do so now!

We still have so much corn stored from when Jason grew it, and this, aside of masa for tortillas, is a great use for it! 

Yummiest ever gluten-free cornbread!

1 can whole kernel corn
1 cup milk (any kind of milk is fine)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 heaping TBSP of sour cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
1 cup gluten-free cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease an 8x8 inch pan.
Drain the water out of the can of corn. Add the corn plus a bit of the milk into a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender (you can also do this in a regular blender). Keep adding milk until the corn is well blended, and then add oil, sugar, sour cream, eggs and mix well, until very smooth.
Next, add the flour, salt, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. Mix very well!
Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (A few crumbs are fine, just as long as the toothpick is not gooey)


Sam's Chili recipe

1 lb of ground chicken, beef or turkey (or moose!)
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
3 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP gluten-free flour (or corn starch)
2 TBSP chili powder
2 TBSP cane sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 shakes of cinnamon
1 shake of ginger
2 shots of gluten-free soy sauce
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 large jars (or 2-3 large cans if from the store) of canned tomatoes
4 cups of soaked beans (3 large cans of kidney beans if from the store)

Brown the ground meat with the diced onion, garlic cloves and olive oil in a large pot.
Add flour, chili powder, sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, soy sauce and red wine vinegar. Mix until completely combined.
Next, add all the tomatoes and kidney beans and very slowly bring the chili to a gentle boil. Stir often to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom. Simmer for 20 minutes, until everything is good and hot. Serve it up with hot buttered cornbread! Yum!

January 28, 2016

late afternoon sunlight

After our formal lessons and lunch were done, Jude and Ollie settled in before the woodstove, Ollie drawing yet another comic book and Jude sewing himself a little felt bag for when he goes walking in the woods.

January 22, 2016

Sheep, yarn, winter fun and homeschooling

Here is a picture of the Christmas full moon, peeking through the trees in our front yard.

The chickens in their new inside-the-barn coop. They are loving the new nesting boxes!

This picture was taken before Christmas. The boys made Christmas trees using chocolate, pretzels and various toppings (gluten free graham crackers + marshmallows, crushed candy canes, cranberries + slivered almonds). They had a blast, and they were yummy! We made lots and gifted them to our local friends :)

This wonderful fellow was standing upright before a lot of rain came, but I liked him even more so when he was leaning back and happily peering up at the winter sky! The boys created him while I was working away on my chores. They are quite adept at snowman-construction!

On Christmas day, there was a foamy heart in the center of my cranberry sauce!

Jason's homeschooling charts - mostly letter blends :)

All tucked up in the barn, cozy and warm! Turnip (my black sheep) is rarely in photographs because she runs straight to me for snuggles and nibbles on my sleeve while I try to take pictures!

The quail in their winter-home. They have lots of room in there, and the boys 'decorated' the space in quail fashion, with a play castle, bark tunnels, a bucket full of warm hay, etc..The quail get quite excited when I do the morning and evening rounds, peeping and running to the door. They are very sweet. 

Bean, tomato and noodle soup. Beans, tomatoes, onions and chicken stock all from our homestead!

Blocks of tens and ones that Jason whipped up to help the kiddos.

There was an ice storm and the world was so very beautiful.

I love our barn door.

We'll be getting to this pile of firewood next year, I suppose!

THIS is my very first, very lumpy and crazy-looking skein of handspun wool.
I made it!
Using Turnip's lovely black wool, I taught myself how to spin, and then wrapped it on my niddy-noddy. I cannot tell you how happy I am to finally be spinning the wool from my sheep!
I ordered myself a bran-new spinning wheel to learn on (and a drum carder! I really treated myself!!), as the antique wheel I was gifted was just too difficult for me. 
My second skein is already much more uniform-looking so I am actually improving, thank goodness. Spinning on a wheel has got to be the most cathartic activity I have ever done. I love it.

Jason and Jude going for a walk.

Turnip, Noble, Teapot and Pippin, waiting for their dinner :)

Jude working on his 'marshmallow math'.

And Ollie too!

Ollie is only four, but he wants to do everything his big brother does, and so he does!
Such a clever cookie!

Jude's new favourite thing - cross-country skiing!
He practices on the road, as it is fairly flat and there is snow along the sides. I walk with him and pull Ollie in a sled. Lots of fun!

Jolly Ollie!

Jude has fun whether he is skiing or falling down!

And this is really something - Returning to the house yesterday, we spotted a rainbow seemingly streaming in - or beaming out of - our house. What a sight! On a cold and wintery and totally rainless day, a rainbow! And really not a rainbow at all, because there was no bow, but a line going straight up and down. Beautiful! 


December 20, 2015

Happy holidays!

Newest pictures of the chickens :)

I spent a bit of the morning taking pictures of our layers after chores were done. Eight of them have started laying now, and their eggs are absolutely amazing! Each morning we collect a beautiful assortment of blue, white and pink eggs. Soon the others will be laying eggs in various shades of brown as well. I really, really like this batch of chickens. They are friendly and well-trained, and the roosters are not overly aggressive. Jason has finished building their 'winter coop' which is located inside the barn. So far, the weather has been unusually mild so they are still happily free-ranging in the grass and bedding down for the night in their summer coop,which is free-standing in the pasture.

December 7, 2015

For me

For my birthday in November, Jason built me this gorgeous wall mounted coat hanging rack! 
Using only salvaged materials he gathered himself (barn board, railroad spikes, old rusty nails, even the handle from an antique iron) he whipped it up for me and had it on the wall the same day. I LOVE it! Instantly, our mudroom looked more cozy and welcoming :) I will gladly take a handmade gift over store-bought any day!

December 3, 2015

The beginning of our holidays :)

On December first, Jason and I went for a walk about the property looking for the perfect Christmas tree. We found one back behind the barn, and Jason cut it and brought it in while I prepared the space. Jude and Ollie were very excited, running around the living room and yelling, barely able to control themselves. Jason and I got the tree sturdily in place, and the boys helped me to hang the decorations, and all of this happened before noon!
That is a Christmas record for us, for sure!

When Isabella returned home from school she was blown away that the tree was up!
It made her feel very festive so she made herself a hot chocolate with baby marshmallows and promptly felt sick.

Regarding advent calendars, I had always had one when I was little. It was so exciting, opening up the little cardboard window and finding a different shaped chocolate each day! Isabella loves these cardboard ones so I continue to pick one up for her each year, but for Jude and Ollie I do something quite different. Jude, you see, has celiac disease and also other allergies including soy, so to find chocolate without soy lecithin or a chance of wheat contamination is pretty much impossible (aside from two chocolate bars we occasionally pick up at the health food store as a very special - and expensive - treat!). This year the boys were in need of more warm socks, so I contrived to pick up 24 of them and use them for an advent calendar that they can wear after! 
Inside the socks are two little packages of gluten-free candies.
They were delighted to wake up and see the sock clothesline!

November 22, 2015


Last week we celebrated both Ollie's fourth birthday, and my own. Our actual birthdays land two days apart, but as mine fell upon a Friday, we had a double celebration and my Mom and sister drove up to take part in the special day. It was simple, really. The strict gluten-free atmosphere of our home dictates that Jason and I prepare meals ourselves, so that is what we did: Slow-roasted homegrown chicken and potatoes, gluten-free buns with butter, a mixed green salad with freshly made dressing, and for the grand finale, a two-layer chocolate and vanilla cake with gluten free cookie crumbs sprinkled on top of the icing, and ju-jubes decorating the cake's edge. Ollie was a happy birthday boy!

Sweet Ollie! How we love him so!

November 9, 2015

just a normal day

Jason was working in the garden, preparing it for winter and Jude and Ollie were rolling down the hill together. Just a normal day :)

November 3, 2015

Original paintings on antique barn wood ~ A collection of my newest works!

I finally added the newest works in my 'barnboard paintings' collection to my etsy shop!
Utilizing the antique floorboards from our heritage barn as canvases, with ink I paint such natural wonders as flowers and plants, mushrooms, feathers, birds and creatures of the forest.

For more info, please visit my online shop!

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