Thursday, March 21, 2019

The History of Christmas Book

For those of you who have not heard elsewhere, my mom and I have collaborated on a book, coming out early this summer: The History of Christas: 2000 Years of Faith, Fable, and Festivity. I've written the words, and my mom's painted the illustrations!

In 12 chapters, this book will take you on a journey from Christ's birth in Bethlehem through 2,000 years of church history to our modern day celebrations. It covers all the stuff: the biblical account, the  pagan festivals, the decision for December 25 (or not), the development of Santa Claus, etc. And, it includes discussion questions, suggested Scripture readings, activities and recipes!

The book is filled with my mom's wonderful illustrations!

We hope our book will give you valuable information, entertain you with stories and pictures, enlarge your heart in the knowledge of Christ's love for us, and inspire you to show love to others.

We'll be sure to let you know when this book is available on Amazon! To receive news and updates first, be sure to sign up for my newsletter (form in sidebar).

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Book Review: Alternative Baker

I found a new gluten-free cookbook I am all excited about. Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin is filled with delectable desserts of just the sort that my family loves to enjoy. The best part is, the recipes are created using flours other than just the plain old rice or coconut or almond flours one typically uses in the gluten-free world. Oh, those flours make their appearance, but they come as an add-on here and there rather than being the main focus.

The book includes more than 100 recipes for cakes, pies, tarts, scones, muffins, oven pancakes, skillet cakes, and hand pies with titles like Maple Teff Apple Pie, Chai-Spiced Nectarine Skillet Cake, Blackberry Cream Scones, and Maple Bourbon Peach Cobbler.

Here is a blueberry version of the blackberry scones:

What makes these creations so toothsome is the absence of the gritty, white rice flour. These scones use millet flour, oat flour, and sweet rice flour. It makes me so happy to have something more nutritious than white rice flour in my baked goods.

I was also very excited to try a new, gluten-free pie crust:

This crust incorporates the three flours in the scones plus ground chia seeds, arrowroot, and tapioca flour. I just love its nutty flavor.

The book is not refined-sugar free, nor dairy free. However, it is fairly simple to replace refined sugars with honey or maple syrup or maple sugar. Some dairy substitutions could be made as well.

If you do a lot of gluten-free baking, check this book out! It's nice to have some new ideas to add to one's repertoire!

Please note this post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Welsh Cakes Recipe

Yesterday, being March 1, was also St. David's Day and that reminded me that it's the best day of the year to make Welsh Cakes! You see, St. David is the patron saint of Wales, and St. David's Day is a day on which the Welsh celebrate their country (daffodils are usually involved too, since daffodils are the representative flower of Wales). Welsh Cakes are one of the delicious treats that the country of Wales is known for.

makes about 3 dozen tiny cakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. mixed spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
8 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup currants
1 egg
milk to bind

Mix the flour, sugar, spice, and baking powder in a food processor. Cut in the butter and pulse until small crumbs form. Tip the mixture into a bowl and add the currants and beaten egg. Pour in enough milk to make a stiff dough that can be rolled out on a flour-dusted counter. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cakes. Cook cakes on a griddle (I use my electric pancake griddle) for about 4-5 minutes per side.

I make these gluten free by substituting gluten free flour.