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Friday, December 13, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day10


So, we have come to the end of our 10-day junket through the joys of combined crafting and cooking-baking until next Christmas!  We have one more craft and one more batch of cookies to bake... are you ready?

We are going to look at some fairly simple but artfully placed center pieces as our last craft.

If you have stashed away your Christmas pine cones of all sizes and greenery from years past-- maybe even inherited some along the way-- you will be well on your way to being able to design and put together a centerpiece that you can take pride in.

Pinecone, Snow, Creativity, Snowy

Relax with a cup of tea and your favourite seasonal background music.  Now, with no judgements on how hard this is, or how skilled you are, etc. etc. etc., watch the video and catch the vision!  If you want to send me a photo of your creation, I would be very happy to post it here!  Just let me know in the comments and we will arrange something.

7 Christmas Ornaments with Pine Cones DIY 

The video:

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And now to cap our Cookie Recipes for the series, I am so happy that I ran across a video from the blog Simply Quinoa blog that showcases THREE HEALTHY COOKIE RECIPES for Christmas-- all of them Gluten-Free.

Quinoa (pronounced KEENwah) is an ancient grain from South America.  These cookies all use quinoa and other gluten-free ingredients in the making.  I personally can hardly wait to try them.  The directions to the recipes are found just after the video:


☆ GF & VEGAN GINGERBREAD COOKIES: https://www.simplyquinoa.com/gluten-f... ☆ CHEWY CHOCOLATE ORANGE COOKIES: https://www.simplyquinoa.com/chewy-ch... ☆ FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT COOKIES: https://www.simplyquinoa.com/gluten-f...


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

All crafts and cookie recipes are found listed HERE


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day 9


One of my all-time favourite Christmas crafts involves tissue paper.  If you are someone who 'saves' your wrapping paper from year to year, you likely have a number of tissue paper caches.  Get them out and make beautiful window "stained glass" using clear contact paper and pieces of tissue.

  Below is a design for you to copy from, or you can find many other "coloring pages" to download and use as templates for what you want to display. Make a frame from black poster board, or just black construction paper.  After you have put the design on the one sheet of contact paper, cover with a second sheet of contact paper.  Be sure to provide a small hanger as is shown here.  Tape it to a window. 

The idea is to relax and create, and then to enjoy the art you have created.  There is something very soothing and spiritually uplifting in having light pour through your art piece!

                                             
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Today's Gluten-free Cookie Recipe is one that my neighbour introduced to me a while ago, but with different (Paleo) ingredients.  I think she used something like crushed potato chips, that doesn't fit for me with the spirit of Christmas baking.

Gluten-free, Vegan PALEO PUMPKIN SNICKERDOODLES

orange hued stack of pumpkin cookies coated in cinnamon and sugar atop a natural wooden board and a vintage milk glass in background

These tasty little cookies are full of vegan goodness and absolutely lacking in the stuff that makes gluten sensitivity so bad.

You can find the quick and easy recipe HERE.
All crafts and cookie recipes are found listed HERE


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-Free Cookie Recipe Day8


A traditional Christmas craft that is the epitome of recycling is making decorative gifts and crafty items using last year's Christmas cards.

YoyoMax shows how to do some beautiful bookmarks. I am definitely going to take some of my glut of old cards and fold some of these.   (Video is below the following image)

These are particularly handy if you are giving books away as gifts-- putting a beautiful bookmark into the book makes the gift just that extra little bit special.  You can even use these lovely bookmarks as fancy gift tags!  YoyoMax also has other Christmas card crafts that she tells about at the end of the video.

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Everybody's fave: Gluten-Free Crispy Rice Treats! 


To be a truly gluten-free treat at this time it is necessary to purchase 'brown rice treats' because, for some reason, the white crispy rice products must all contain malt, which is made from gluten-containing barley!  Perhaps this will change at some point (check the labels) but not in 2019,

And... if you are buying vegan marshmallows (these recipes are purposely vegan, with the exception of honey), you will be paying a steep price.  And, sadly, those yummy vegan marshmallows also contain the controversial ingredient Irish moss, or red seaweed, carrageenan, that has been implicated in causing cancer.    I am so happy to announce that you can make a decent crispy rice treat using 1/4 teaspoon of agar, a flavourless sea vegetable that has a spotless reputation.  They come out just fine!

So, here is the recipe for your Gluten-Free Vegan Crispty Rice Treats:

INGREDIENTS:

*1/2 cup nut butter (I used cashew butter)
*1/2 cup brown rice syrup
*3 T. coconut sugar or maple syrup, etc. (unrefined sweetener) - optional
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon agar powder (not flakes!)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
4 cups brown rice crisp cereal

(this recipe is a modified version of the one at One Green Planet by Dreena Burton)

METHOD: 

*Put a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a 8"x8" pan
*Combine all ingredients, except the rice crisp cereal, over medium heat in a large pan.
*Stir nut butter and other ingredients well to have them all come together smoothly.
*Turn the temperature lower if the mixture begins to bubble before the agar is dissolved
*When it is all combined (doesn't take very long), remove the pot and stir in the rice crisps.  Stir them in well until completely covered with nut butter-syrup-agar mix.
*Evenly press rice crisp mixture into pan
*Press a few Christmas sprinkles (you can get gluten-free ones) into squares if desired
*Refrigerate for about a half hour or so, until totally cooled, and cut into squares.

All crafts and cookie recipes are found listed HERE


Monday, December 9, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day7


Hope you are warm and cozy and enjoying the Christmas season!

Today's craft is something I am quite sure we have all done before: paper snowflakes!

Now, before you feel indignant about the simplicity (I can almost hear some of what some of you are thinking !!!!!!) I would like to point out that I have selected 3 videos that give exquisite tutorials in how to make a notch-up on the snowflakes we cut out in second grade!

Take a look.  There is no voice in these particular videos which might be a good thing, since sometimes differences in pronunciation can distract and throw off auditory learners.  In these videos it is highly possible that the women do NOT speak English.  They very ably show how the snowflake is done using only their hands and visual cues.

So, get your paper and scissors and give it a try! (Don't forget to come back for the cookie recipe!)

https://youtu.be/6TIRmsln8F4

https://youtu.be/59dOIF3PMjY

https://youtu.be/CdndXaH2VSs

There you go! Kind of a nice meditation, eh?

If you would like to share any of your creations through the process of these craft and cookie sessions, just let me know below in the comments (you can call yourself "Anonymous" if you want) and we can arrange to have you show your work on here with a photo!  I'd love that!

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WALNUT-GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Today's cook is a milder, sweeter sort of ginger-bread (bread without flour, of course!)  This cookie is not only gluten-free, and dairy-free, but I have replaced the original egg in the recipe with a flax egg, so it is another gluten-free, vegan cookie!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups of walnuts
1       cup coconut flour
1 3/4 cup baking soda
3      tsp.    ground ginger
2      tsp.    ground cinnamon
1/4   cup    coconut oil (melted)
1       flax egg (make ahead: 1 T. ground flax whisked up in 3 T. warm water)
1      cup    coconut sugar
2      T.      molasses

METHOD:

PRESET the oven to 350F/177C

Prepare the cookie sheets with parchment paper to fit.

I made mine up entirely in the food processor, as I show below (mainly to save dirty dishes) but you can do it in the traditional way by
1- processing the walnuts (as shown below)
2- mix together the walnut "meal/flour" with the coconut flour, baking soda, and spices.
3- mix the 'wet' oil/"egg" ingredients in with the coconut sugar,
4- combine the walnut mix with the oil/"egg"/sugar mix.  Finally, mix in the molasses.
5- put the mix in the fridge for 10+ minutes
6-Drop the cookies by the tablespoon-full on the sheet
7-Put in the oven and bake for 12-16 minutes (depending on how hot your

1. Add 1 1/2 cups of walnuts to the food processor

2.  Pulse the walnuts several times until they are finely chopped, but not until they have turned into walnut butter!  I think of it more as walnut "meal" rather than "flour".  Walnuts are HIGH in omega 3
fatty acids.
 3. Add in the coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon and pulse until blended (maybe 6 pulses).
 4. Add in the melted coconut oil,  sugar, and the "flax egg"   Pulse again until blended.
 5. Last, add in the molasses, and pulse maybe 3 or 4 times to mix.
6. The batter will look like this-- a more or less homogenous blend with walnut "dots"
 7. Put the dough in the fridge to meld for about 10-15 minutes.  Remove.  Drop tablespoons-full balls on a sheet about 1-2 " apart, and flatten.  My cookies were quite chunky.  You may want to press yours out somewhat more to have a more standard sort of ginger snap thickness.
8.  Bake the cookies for 12-16 minutes, depending on the hotness of your oven.  They will scorch pretty quickly, so watch them at this stage. Remove with a turner to a rack for cooling.  They will crisp up as they cool.  They were crispy on the outside and softer on the inside-- perfect, I think

This ginger walnut cookie recipe is a veganized modification of one by Tara Rochford found HERE


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All crafts and cookie recipes are found listed HERE


Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day6


Hi there! Welcome to the recycled Christmas Craft making and the GF Christmas treat recipe Day 6!

Today's 4 crafts are on a video and I thought it would be both a handy way to see the instructions without having to click to another site.  I also thought that the four crafts would give you a couple of good ideas for the weekend, so that you can use the crafts on the video to have fun all weekend (or go back to the days you might have missed and do them on the weekend).

As someone with an interest in our environment, I truly was attempting to look for crafts to RE-use stuff we have cluttering our houses, and not just a project that requires running out to the local dollar store to bring in more junk.

I am also not keen on the use of glitter and the toxic chemicals in certain crafting supplies.  Microplastic glitter often ends up in our water ways and is ingested by the animals.  Because of the findings of a study by University of British Columbia, the Art Centre in Richmond, BC, has banned all glitter and microplastic materials in their art programs.  I am sorry that there were both plastics and glitter showing up in these particular crafts.  If you can do them without either, please do!  Be very careful, also, when spray-painting the Christmas tree with gold paint-- go outside, if possible, or at the very least, wear a mask and do the painting in a room with windows open or in a well-ventilated art space.


4 MINI-CHRISTMAS TREES MADE
 WITH RECYCLED MATERIALS

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Luscious Gluten-Free Raw Nanaimo Bars 
A messy stack of Raw Nanaimo Bars-- luscious!

Nanaimo Bars are claimed as the unique sweet of the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia-- on the same Vancouver Island that I call home.  There is a story, of course, and you can read it HERE with the recipe for this heavenly square. 

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All crafts and cookie recipes are found listed HERE


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day 5


Here we go with Day 5 of the Christmas Craft and GF Christmas Cookie season!

On Vancouver Island, this December 5th, 2019, it is cloudy, threatening more rain, chilly but well above zero.  I can see my neighbours' outdoor huge ornamental candles planted into their green lawn.  This is not Christmas Card Country-- or not yet this year!  But the spirit of Christmas is nigh.

Our craft today is a little goofy, but that's okay.

Have you checked out some of the really interesting Christmas trees decorated in malls for charity auctions and stood gawking at one that would never have occurred to you: say, covered with bright red and green dinky toy vehicles like the one your Uncle has on the shelves in his 'man cave'.  But doesn't it show just how creative people can be when push comes to shove?  Christmas trees range from the most majestic and elegantly decorated to the blah red bows that you might see in an apartment lobby.

In between majestic and blah, you might find a tree with funny but fascinating ornaments-- colourful and fun, like little children playing dress-up!

Today's recycled ornaments are like that.  You can imagine and make what you want, from the popular Grinch to cute penguins to the usual cast of characters or decorated with your unique imaginings, using a recycled incandescent light bulb.  


Lightbulb Christmas Ornaments by Rebecca Mealey at Hubpages

Rebecca Mealey is a contributing writer over at Hubpages and she has just written an article showing what materials you need (apart from the incandescent light bulb) and how to make 10 different lightbulb Christmas Ornaments.  Go HERE to learn how to do that!

And for FUN OVERLOAD  let's make a batch of Gluten-Free Grinch Sugar Cookies!

These lovely (??) green cookies are also grain-, egg-, nut-, and dairy-free!

Grinch Sugar Cookies. (Gluten/ Grain/ Egg/ Nut/ Dairy Free)
Gluten-free Grinch Sugar Cookies by Brittany Angell

To follow the recipe to make these delightful Gluten-free Grinch cookies, click HERE

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Day 1 Craft is HERE           





All crafts and cookie recipes are found listed HERE




Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day 4


Joyeuse Noel!  Soon you will be able to say this-- in a variety of languages-- and really know that you are into the Christmas season.

I said "Merry Christmas" to a woman upstairs at Step Above coffee shop today, and she said the same back, so maybe it's begun?

If you have missed the previous 3 days of crafts / gifts made from various household items, you can check them out here:  Day 1    Day 2    Day 3     You will notice that we have built in some Gluten-Free Christmas Cookie Recipes as well!  

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

At some point in the 80s or 90s there was a run on really cute Christmas sweaters.  People knit them as gifts and some people spent a lot of money to buy them in fancy stores.  

Then the tide turned, and the sweaters were proclaimed "ugly" and ever after people wore these sweaters as some sort of indicator of how trendy they were.  Or something?

Now I am happy to say that today's craft makes use of any ugly sweaters-- or perfectly nice-looking sweaters that don't fit or are sadly out of style so as not to be worn as anything but a make-do warm-up top for before you really get into your morning.

TODAY'S CRAFT:  no-Knit Tree Ornaments
But don't worry-- you don't have to know how to knit...
Knit Tree Ornament at Interior Frugalista

Yes, this craft -- what I am calling a "knit tree ornament"-- is actually recycling an old sweater or two or three to look like very interesting home-made ornaments.  Sweet and cozy and all that!  

Go to Interior Frugalista's tutorial page HERE to learn what materials you need and how to go about doing the ornaments.  If you feel so inclined, I would love to see what you come up with!  If you put a photo on Instagram or Pinterest, let me know and I will make sure it gets on here as well!

Have fun!!
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Today's Gluten-Free Vegan Cookie Recipe is the delicious and delectable Hemp seed and Cranberry Energy Balls!  These little delicacies taste like a cross between marzipan and a yummy chocolate.  They are quick and easy to make (and disappear pretty quickly too of course).  Raw vegan (uncooked) and Gluten-Free, of course.
Energy balls are the bomb!
Get the recipe for the Hemp seed and Cranberry Energy Balls HERE.

It's not too late to sign up for the rest of the Christmas Crafts / Gifts posts (on the sidebar)


Day 2 Craft is HERE

Day 3 Craft is HERE

See ALL Crafts and Cookie Recipes listed HERE

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day 3


December 3, 2019-  Day#3 of the Recycled Christmas Crafts and Gifts!

I hope you are having a pretty mellow day today.  The more mellow you are (that includes smiling, even if you don't particularly feel like it), the more healthy it is for your brain.  Not kidding-- read all about it in "How God Changes Your Brain" by Andrew Newberg, MD and Mark Robert Waldman.


Today we are going to do a Christmas craft / gift that relies on your having baking soda on hand as its main ingredient.  You definitely will need some other supplies for this craft / gift, but the result will be pretty minimally costly, I promise.  And you will feel great!

I am referring to, of course, CHRISTMAS BATH SALTS as today's crafty item.  This is one that you may let your child help you with, unless, of course, would like to give them the Grinch Bath Salts in their stocking... in which case, you might want to do this one by yourself again.  (sorry)

Get the recipe for the Grinch Bath Soak HERE
                                    
I like the easypeasy putting together of this item instead of some of the fussiness that goes into making bath bombs.

But I would like to make a couple of suggestions:  Rather than peppermint essential oil, if you had some balsalm fir or pine (or both) essential oils, they would be a much more Christmas-y fit than peppermint.  I can still smell my Grandpa's evergreen-scented soap from 60+ years ago-- I used to like to go into the bathroom just to smell it.  It truly smelled like Christmas.

Peppermint Essential oils are often something you might have on hand, though, in which case, go ahead with that.  Be a little careful to make sure they are fully mixed in.  Peppermint can burn little bottoms.

My second suggestion is that you don't really need special lids if you are using mason jars with the usual top and lid.  This gear will keep the fragrance in like any other fancy lid.

Go ahead and enjoy!!

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Feel like making some cookies?

These GF- Pumpkin Hermits are all about the Holiday Scents: spicy and pumpkin-y! Yum!

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See ALL Crafts and Cookie Recipes listed HERE

Monday, December 2, 2019

Christmas Recycle Craft and Gluten-free Cookie Recipe Day2


Nice to have you here to do a little craft with recycled materials that you likely have around you somewhere.  If you missed the craft from yesterday, you can check it out HERE

DECEMBER 2, 2019.  My husband and I met his cousins at Church.  They are from another city and have a "beach house" in our community.  Like my husband, they grew up in Evangelical Lutheran households-- GERMAN Evangelical Lutheran households.  Today is the first day of Advent-- "the Coming of the King of Kings."

The Pastor -- seemed like a priest to me-- in vestments, carrying the whole service by himself except for some help at Communion Time and the ladies crewing in the basement with coffee afterwards-- announced that the small fir tree in the Church yard that they had marked to be used this year as a Christmas tree, had been cut down and taken off.  Grinchy thieves.  Last night, apparently.

So, today's craft has to do with wood in honour of the stolen tree.   Trees are really so giving.  We do not actually need an entire tree to embrace the concept of a tree.  This craft (or gift) just requires some trimmings from a tree outdoors, or some unneeded sprigs from various old artificial wreaths,  and a pair of old mittens (or ones that you have recently knit with a desire to sacrifice).  And bits of sparkly stuff you have in the box of old Christmas decorations. The little tree-bunch is then hung up with by a piece of ribbon or cord, what have you.  Voila!

Sorry, there are no formal instructions to go with this picture.  I have confidence in your ability.
Mittens with Greens

If, after you do this, you feel like you would like to tackle some baking, may I direct you to the recipe for German pfeffernusse (pepper nuts) with the directions found right in this blog HERE.  

You will find some German music to go along with the baking of the cookies, and if you want, a chance to check out the Big Karlesruhe Christmas Market for 2019.  All on that page with the cookies.


Hope to see you back here again tomorrow for another craft and some fun!

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Day 1 Craft is HERE

Day 3 Craft is HERE
See ALL Crafts and Cookie Recipes listed HERE

Sunday, December 1, 2019

10 Days of Christmas Recycle Crafts and Gluten-free Cookie Recipes Day1


Does this seem like a strange post for a gluten-free site?  Isn't this site all about gluten-free recipes and information about gluten-free products, etc?

True.

However, I was thinking.  When folks are gluten-free during a holiday season, like Christmas, there seems to be an awful lot of time given over to baking and the like.  For the gluten-sensitive person, that might entail a lot of temptation and / or a lot of expensive ingredients used to sub in for something that might not necessarily smell or look or taste like the "usual" item.  Disappointment.

So, why don't we just branch out here and do something else creative.  If you have kids you might want to involve them in the activity (no pressure-- you can also do it while they are at school or asleep),

A few (maybe up to 10) ideas for crafts or gifts made from stuff you already have about-- old Christmas cards, scraps of wool, mismatched ornaments... we'll see as we go.  One craft a day with a reflection, and maybe a GF cookie recipe.

Starting today!

December 1, 2019  
Our first craft will be an Angel.  

Actually, I had considered doing 10 angel crafts with different recycling materials, in different styles, but I know that for some of you, that has already been done.

I can't promise we won't do ANOTHER angel at some point.



The angel above is very beautiful and only costs about $3 to make if you are missing some of the materials.  You can buy one on Etsy for $48, so it appears that the craft is valued.  If you are like me, you have a pile of books you keep intending to drop off at the thrift store or put in one of those little neighbourhood libraries.  But you haven't done that yet.  So you have some of your supply for making this angel.  Click here to get the list of materials and the instructions from DIYnCrafts.

This is probably not a craft you want to do with a child under 10, unless they are extremely dexterous and you and extremely patient.  You may want to do this one when they are safely tucked in for the night, or off visiting.  Or you might want to introduce the toilet roll angel into the mix:
Toilet Roll Angel from The Happy Hooligans

Or you may want to do the whole Nativity Set in toilet rolls.  You can find it HERE too.

Whatever you do-- be sure to have fun and make memories!!
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If you also feeling the yen to bake something, well, here are some lovely faux shortbread thumbprints cookies from my friend Michelle at Healthier Steps:
Vegan, Gluten-free Thumbprint Cookies from Healthier Steps

Craft/ Gift for Day 2 is HERE.

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See ALL Crafts and Cookie Recipes listed HERE

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