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I’ve been eating a gluten-free diet for almost two years now and this month is the first time I’d tried making my own gluten-free all-purpose flour. I’m not sure why I resisted so long! When I first went gluten-free, I resisted having to buy a million different gluten-free flours, so I stuck to recipes I could make with simply brown rice flour or a combination of just a few other flours. However, over the past few years for various recipes I’ve ended up with a pantry full of different GF flours anyway. It was about time I mixed some together and came up with a simple substitute for my old gluten flour recipes!

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
makes about 9 cups

Ingredients:
-4 cups finely or stone-ground white rice flour
-2 cups stone-ground brown rice flour
-2 cups tapioca flour or tapioca starch
-1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)

Directions:
1. In an extra-large bowl or container, combine flours. Whisk together until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Use a large spoon to bring flour up from the bottom of the bowl to the top and whisk again. Repeat a few times to make sure the flours are evenly distributed throughout the entire mixture.
2. Store the flour in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for longer use. (I store mine in a half-gallon mason jar in the fridge.) Allow the flour to come to room temperature before using.
3. Lightly stir the flour before measuring. Spoon the flour into measuring cup and level off with a straight edge (the back of a butter knife works perfectly).

Note: Depending on the recipe, you might have to add a little bit of xanthan gum to your regular recipe to get the best gluten-free result (it acts as a binder similar to gluten).

I’ve already used this GF flour mix several times in the last week or two to make family recipes I hadn’t had in years! It has worked wonderfully for me so far. I actually had to mix up a second batch of it yesterday to make some biscuits. More gluten-free recipes using this flour mix will be coming soon!

This yummy dessert was my favorite pie growing up, and was one that was often served at Thanksgiving. I hadn’t had it in a few years (since going gluten-free), so I decided to finally make a gluten-free version. It is delicious warm, served with whipped cream and banana slices.

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Sawdust Pie
Serves 8

Ingredients:
-9 inch unbaked pie shell/crust (I use my homemade gluten-free version, here)
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I use these GF ones from my local grocery store)
-1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
-1 1/2 cups coconut
-7 egg whites, unbeaten

Directions:
1. Prepare pie crust.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
3. Stir egg whites into dry ingredients.
4. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
5. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven until glossy and set (about 25-30 minutes). Center should be gooey. Do not overbake.
6. Serve warm with whipped cream and sliced bananas.

Enjoy!

In the last couple weeks I’ve finished yet another project that has been on my to-do list for years: re-finishing Drew’s childhood dresser.

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Here you can see what it looked like before. When Drew was younger a faux metal paint finish had been done to the front of the drawers. I painted over it as a temporary solution years ago until I had the chance to sand the entire thing down and completely refinish it. The top had some water damage (from a fish tank that had leaked) and the sides were just generally beat up from years of use.

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I paint stripped the front of the drawers, sanded the entire thing down, gave it a good cleaning, applied a coat of wood conditioner, three coats of dark walnut stain, and three coats of satin polyurethane (same process I used here). The results are pretty gorgeous.

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I think it turned out beautifully. I love the new crystal and brass knobs I found at Hobby Lobby (they were on sale, so I got all 8 for $20) and I think they accent the dresser perfectly.

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So happy with the results and to have this project off my to-do list!

P.S. You can see that we also re-painted our bedroom walls this weekend too…

 

If you’ve been reading my monthly life re-cap posts, then you know that I’ve been talking about hanging a new gallery wall in the living room for months (seriously, I talked about it here, here, here and here.) The old gallery wall we had in there didn’t really have a lot of personality,  I didn’t really like the frames, and it was a little too small for the size of the wall. I’ve wanted to change it out for a few years now, but I didn’t take the old frames down until this summer when we painted the living room. That wall has just been sitting empty for the last few months, until now:

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Sorry for all the glares on the frames. There is a wall of windows opposite these, so getting shots without a glare is impossible! I’m really happy with how this turned out though. I think it is so much more interesting and meaningful now.

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“I love you” print hand-lettered by me, my favorite vintage photo of my grandparents, one of my first surface pattern designs (!!!), a test sheet out of my watercolor sketchbook (that one will probably change eventually, I just put that in for now), an elephant print  that reminds me of my Mamaw (she collected little elephant figurines and that print reminds me of a shirt she used to wear), “Yours Sincerely,” painting I did a few years ago, my favorite picture of my sisters/nieces/nephew that I took when we were in Puerto Rico (with a stray cat), “It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful” print from The Nester, a gold skeleton key that opened my childhood bedroom door (and was the official key for our secret club), a photo I took of my childhood front yard when I was home for my Papaw’s funeral last Spring, and my final drawing for the first art class I ever took at Tulane.

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I also love the more neutral color palette of this gallery wall. I love the gold/wood/white frames and the black and white photos and prints. Now let’s just all imagine that couch is really a deep grey, clean lined, velvet sectional…

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Meanwhile, Violet is all like, “Ma, we all know who the real attraction in this room is…”

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Click to check out June, July, August, and September.

October was such a wonderful month! A little busy, a little crazy, but beautiful weather and some pretty awesome opportunities!

Right now in life, I am:

MAKING progress on our art gallery wall for the living room! I finally have all the frames I need, I just need to decide on their layout and put the artwork in a few of them.
COOKING homemade Vegetable Beef soup. Along with more Artisan Gluten-free BreadWhite Chicken Chili, and  Cheese Stuffed Lasagna Manicotti. We also made our first Sunday roast of the season this month.
DRINKING water out of my new bkr water bottle. Love it!
READING Anne of Green Gables (my favorite), again.
WANTING to spend more time outside in the lovely weather before it starts getting cold.

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PLAYING not that much on the radio. More often than not lately, I’ve been turning my radio off while I’m driving and use that quiet as prayer/relaxation/mediation/thinking time. Surprising how centering and peaceful the silence can be.
SEWING nothing right now.
CROCHETING (in the photos above) a baby blanket for Drew’s great-niece, born this month. I’ve also been working on a throw blanket for our living room.
WISHING for a restful weekend. Last weekend was so wonderful, but so busy.
ENJOYING the gorgeous weather in New Orleans. This month we’ve enjoyed going on more walks around New Orleans and spent some time relaxing on a quilt by the Mississippi river soaking up the sunshine and the nice breeze. We also visited the Blues and BBQ Festival downtown while Drew’s parents were in town visiting.
WAITING until we have an IKEA in New Orleans! So we visited the one in Houston, TX last weekend.

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LIKING this quote I hand-lettered. From Anne of Green Gables, of course. (and the one above)
WONDERING what life was like then and then.
LOVING our sweet little kitten, Violet!
HOPING that I meet a lot of my creative goals in the next year.
MARVELING at how nice it is to have a little kitten to come home to and to be excited to see you/spend time with you. Our lives must have been incredibly boring before we got her!
NEEDING to paint more, and blog more, and design more.

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SMELLING the wonderful aroma of Sweet Olive trees.
WEARING a frappuccino costume for my work’s Nursery school trick-or-treating! (nude colored sweater (a dress would have been better) Starbucks logo, white feather boa for whipped cream and gold Mardi Gras beads for the caramel)
FOLLOWING (new to me) designers Leah Duncan and  Elizabeth Olwen after meeting them and seeing their fabric designs at Quilt Market last weekend.
NOTICING how places hold so many memories.
KNOWING that exciting things are to come in my creative career! So inspired after meeting so many of my favorite fabric designers at Quilt Market.

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THINKING a lot about my future, my creative passions, my career, and what I really want out of life. Bonnie Christine’s Design Surface Patterns from Scratch course and Quilt Market have been so invigorating to me!
BOOKMARKING this devotional to read at our Staff Meeting next week. So often I get so stressed/worried/anxious spending time trying to solve all my problems and I forget to stop and pray about them. Let Go and Let God.
CELEBRATING seven years together with my sweetheart this month.
OPENING this new iPhone case. LOVE it!
LAUGHING at this silly little kitten.
FEELING thankful for little Violet and her ability to make us put our phones and computers down and spend time sitting on the floor jiggling around a stuffed mouse. Here’s to slowing down and enjoying the moment.

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