Tag Archives: books

Homeschool Resource Sale from Vision Forum

We have really appreciated Vision Forum products.  This is one of my main go-to places for NON-politically correct, historically accurate history materials and some GREAT stuff for “real” boys!

They have great sales too!

Save Up to 80% on More than 250 Products

In the past few months, Vision Forum has exhibited at more than 15 state homeschool conferences around the country, from Florida to Massachusetts to Colorado. We’ve enjoyed wonderful conversations with homeschool fathers and mothers passionate about their children’s education, and we’ve placed important learning tools in the hands of many discipleship-minded Christian families.

Now they’re bringing some of their best conference pricing and products to your home!

Through June 29, save up to 80% on more than three hundred products at Vision Forum, including homeschool resources, supplemental materials, and “last chance” closeouts.

This offer is valid only while supplies last, does not apply to mail orders, may not be applied to past purchases, and expires at midnight on June 29, 2012 (CDT).

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (~aka ~Mrs. R)

Links in this post are affiliate links.  I do receive compensation for any purchases you make through my affiliate links.  I only recommend materials and companies I use and believe in myself.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Affiliate links are one way I supplement our income… especially now with The Patriarch unemployed.

Thank you!!

Greetings & Update

Hello All!  I am so sorry I have been so quite here lately.  Life has been in a bit of an uproar in our home and blogging was set aside for a short time.  The photo challenge is also off for now.  I just can’t keep up with all that right now.

The Patriarch injured himself at work.  Nothing serious, but it is taking longer to heal that I would like to see!  He has a bursa on his knee.  He is a field service technician fixing forklifts, which is a hard, physically demanding job.  On the 16th he spent an hour & a half kneeling while working on a lift truck.  The next day he had a large lump just below the knee cap, about the size of a large apricot.  The following day he mentioned that he had hurt his knee and was required to fill out L&I forms by his boss.  He didn’t think it needed medical attention, but did leave work early every day the rest of that week.  He rested it over the weekend but it hadn’t changed.

Then early the following week he had to kneel on it again.  That night he called me into the bathroom to see his foot.  I was shocked!  It was a deep maroon color along the entire inside of his foot and partly along the outside.  His foot and ankle were also swollen.  He came home early to rest his leg most of that week also.  Because it hadn’t gotten any better he said  he would have a doctor look at it.

Then on Tuesday, the 28th of February he went to the clinic for his work.  He waited an hour to be seen.  The doctor took one look at his swollen foot, ankle and calf and sent him to have an ultrasound to eliminate the possibility of any blood clots!  YIKES!!  All that was done at the regional medical center.  Because of the possibility of blood clots, he was ushered in to be scanned immediately upon arrival.

That sure had me a bit worried I’ll tell you! 

Thankfully he scanned all clear of any clots.  Phew!  If there had been a clot, he would have been immediately admitted into the hospital and would have been there for at least 3 days.

It seemed like late September’s medical emergencies all over again… was I prepared for all that again… this time with MY husband??

In case you are new to my blog, this past September my mom & step-Daddy came to visit.  He suffered a series of strokes and went home for treatment.  His cancer was causing thickened blood, which resulted in his strokes.  He died in early December from the cancer.  I miss him very much.

Anyway, The Patriarch was sent home to rest his leg for the remainder of the week.  It has been nice having him home, but that always throws my schedule w-a-y off!

And today, today is Arrow’s 13th birthday.  Where has all the time gone?!

We originally planned to go to the zoo.  But Arrow said he would prefer to go next week and stay at home with his Dad.  It gladdened my heart to hear him say that.  🙂

Arrow & I are also taking a break from formal piano lessons for a bit.  We will continue to work ahead in our books, but on our own.

I have been amazed at how much more I have gotten done at home, not leaving… even for that one appointment!  I am REALLY liking this!  I am also cutting back on my computer time.  Not for blogging, but for my yahoo groups, facebook, etc.   No, this is not a lenten thing it is a ‘get my priorities straight’ thing.

I have started a major de-cluttering… and started in the ‘office’.  Our school books were in piles and boxes in the office and scattered in various locations throughout the rest of the house.

And dust…?  Oh am I supposed to do that??!

I know have completed a thorough dusting of the three tall bookshelves in the office, organized most of the books on those shelves, went through and got rid of loads of paper & condensed some storage files.  I also dusted, arranged and organized the books on the two small bookshelves in the master bedroom.  I still have some organizing to do with the books so they are easier to use, but I now know where they all are!!

Labels.  I hate it when I have “reorganized” but can’t find anything.  So I have labeled drawers & plastic bins with my nifty label maker.  It is a P-touch and everything is neatly labeled.  Including my spices!

Arrow hung up some new bird feeders a few weeks ago.  We have three feeders hanging just outside of the living room window and one that is one Arrow’s bedroom window.  So far we have had nuthatches, Juncos, chickadees, and finches.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy bird watching!  Our visit to my mom’s reminded me and renewed Arrow’s interest in birds.  I sit on the couch in the living room and watch the birds at the feeders early in the morning.  We just picked up almost 25 books from the library on bird watching, bird house building, gardening to attract birds and bird identification books specific to back yards in the Seattle area.

After hanging out feeders, it was only 3 or 4 days before we had birds visiting them!  We have one feeder that is for thistle seeds which finches really like.  There is one suet feeder that the nuthatches and chickadees like.  The third feeder has a seed mix for a variety of birds.  Once that mix is gone I will no longer use it.  There is too much ‘junk seed’ in there.  We will switch to providing shelled sunflower or safflower seeds.

With all the time The Patriarch has been off work, we are looking at next to no paycheck for the next pay period.This is yet another reason I am SO GLAD we have been preparedness minded!  I have enough ‘supplies’ stocked up that all I really need to purchase for the next few weeks are perishables.  All those preparedness supplies will be my next organizing focus!

Then we come to tomorrow.  Tomorrow are the Washington state Republican caucuses.  There will be NO primary voting this year, it was eliminated due to budgetary cuts.  So we are supposed to go to a caucus… but I don’t like any of the candidates!  Sigh.

Sorry for the jumbled post!  It does sort of fit with my life right now though…

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

One Thousand Gifts – A Retraction

I do NOT recommend this book.  I did purchase a copy, but never got around to reading it… and I am SO glad I didn’t!  My ‘very fast reading’ of the library’s copy didn’t allow for any discernment on my part.  The idea of giving thanks in all circumstances is biblical, but she veers way off of that track!  You can read a biblical analysis of this book here and here.

Please accept my sincerest apologies if you have gotten this on my recommendation.

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

This post is also linked here:

FREE e-book from Money Saving Mom!!

Saw this and HAD to let you all know ASAP!!

You can get the above book is free if you order her budget book:

Or other details here: Money Saving Mom

This is free ONLY until January 9th… so don’t delay!

I am still working on my New Year’s Resolutions post… and both of these books are EXACTLY what I NEED!!  I will be ordering the budget book and reading about MAINTAINING my new resolutions while I wait for it to come to my door!!  Oooooo, I am so excited!  Thanks Crystal Paine!!

Blessings, ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

Vision Forum Gift Certificate Give-A-Way!!

I just got this in my inbox and HAD to share with you all…

Vision Forum has offered Generation Cedar three incredible gift certificates to give away to Generation Cedar readers!  There are three gift certificates in this drawing: $300, $200 & $100!

You already know I love Vision Forum products.    As a homeschooling mom it is difficult to find good Christian books to challenge Arrow’s mind & faith.  That is one reason I am a Vision Forum affiliate.  No revisionist history here!  Sound science materials… oh I could go on and on.  what could be better…?  Getting them for free with a gift certificate AND in time for Christmas gift giving!!

Hurry… contest ends December 3rd!

Did you see this years catalog??  I LOVE Vision Forum Catalogs… well and not “just” for the spectacular covers either!  LOL

Some of my favorite Christian books and materials from Vision Forum:

Jonathan Park Series – excellent creation materials!

Poems for Patriarchs & Verses of Virtue – but you already know how I love poetry!  🙂

Commemorative Calvin Commentary Set – ON SALE!  23 volumes in all, includes Calvin’s Institutes at a price that CAN NOT BE BEAT!

To Have & To Hold – the Patriarch is reading this aloud to us in the evenings right now and we LOVE it!  We keep begging for “just one more chapter”!!

Complete R. M. Ballantyne collection – Arrow got this for Christmas last year and he loves them!

There are many other resources that I also love… but I can save some of those for a different blog post!  🙂

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

Basic Economic Facts and Fallicies – Thomas Sowell

These short 6 – 8 minutes segments give a terrific overview of real economics.  Thomas Sowell is one of my favorite authors.  Well worth the few minutes to watch!!






Blessings,  ~Mrs. R   — learning the truth right along with you

Encouragment & Vision for the 21st Century Mother!

<a href=”Click here to view more details“>

A great new book to help Christian mothers in the honorable job of raising the next generation for Jesus Christ!

Not many of us have any older woman as a Titus 2 mentor.  This book can fill some of that need.

Blessings, ~Mrs. R

My One Thousand Gifts List – A Beginning

RETRACTION:  I do NOT recommend this book.  I did purchase a copy, but never got around to reading it… and I am SO glad I didn’t!  My ‘very fast reading’ didn’t allow for any discernment on my part.  The idea of giving thanks in all circumstances is biblical, but she veers way off of that track!  You can read a biblical analysis of this book here and here.

I recently got Ann Voskamps book One Thousand Gifts from our local library.  I am not sure what to say.  I love this book.  I will be buying a copy so I can read it again.  I couldn’t put it down and was reading very fast.  I want to read it again and savor it.  Lingering in the lessons on thankfulness.  I want to live fully, right where I am.

I am going to start my own ‘list of one thousand gifts’ and will list them all here.

Thankfulness… to be thankful… in the small things… in the large things… practice so I can still find thanks and joy in the hard things.

1. Spring flowers

2. Birds singing in the early morning

3. the hummingbird flitting between blossoms at the flowering plant on the neighbors arbor

4. the sound of the rain on the skylight

I started out by wanting to please my husband and clear the entryway.  Some of these items had been sitting here for months.  Sigh, why do I always wait so long to get around to putting things away?  I just wanted to put these things from this one spot away.  Of course that meant I had to clear some space for those items in the hall closet.

This closet is directly across from the hall coat closet.  But it is 2/3rds the width of a “normal” hall closet.  It is narrow and deep, with a strange half shelf for the top shelf.  I don’t store my towels here, but in the bathrooms they go in.  I don’t store my extra sheets here, but in the bedrooms they are used in.  I don’t store extra blankets here, but in the “piano bench chest” for the off season.  It does seem as though we may not have much of an “off season” this year.  So the blankets are still out.   Though I could put some of them away.  Arrow just washed them for me today, so they are ready to be stored for the “summer”.

5. blankets laundered by Arrow

6. my newly organized game/puzzle/extras/first aid/candle closetThe photo isn’t very good, I will try for a better one in the morning.  And because it is in the hallway I can’t get a good angle to photograph it all together.  I may have to photograph one shelf at a time.  But I can access everything without having to move a bunch of other things out of the way!!

OK… so I got ‘into’ the closet across from this one to get better photos and I used the flash.  I almost never use flash, it is such harsh unflattering light, but for a closet… perfect!

This narrow closet is where all our games and puzzles are kept.  Those take up floor and two bottom shelves.

The third shelf  is for extra dental supplies and supplements,  and equipment like ear scopes, braces, slings, neti pots, and all the batteries.  I should design a battery storage shelf. They spill out and get everywhere!  I have been purchasing batteries at Costco, so they do come in handy boxes… but once they are opened… it just ain’t pretty (or wasn’t!!).

On the fourth shelf I keep the first aid box, homeopathic remedies, cough syrups and stuff like that.

On the very top half shelf I keep the extra Puffs Plus boxes, an essential during allergy season!  That is also where I keep the few videos we still have, one of Arrow as a toddler, one of The Patriarch’s cataract surgery, some airplane ones and a couple of others.  Just below the half shelf is the 5th shelf where I keep various candles.  There are jar candles, tea lights, votives and other container candles.  The electricity can and does go out frequently here, so a ready supply of candles is a necessity.  The electric company did trim back the trees from the power lines a couple of years ago and that lessened the number of times the power was out.  But there are those scary wind storms in the fall that usually leave us in the dark.  NOTE TO SELF:  I should put a lighter with the candles so I have everything I need all together.  DONE!!  🙂  Well after I took these photos!

I liked this so much I left the closet door open so I could look at it again and again each time I walked by!  🙂

Simple things to give thanks for.


~Mrs. R

Snow and Snowmen

I have always loved the snow.  I grew up in northern “flyover” country where it snowed every year and I could pretty much count on snow being on the ground at Christmas time.  And it would be there for a long time… you know, until spring!  lol

Now I live in the Pacific Northwest region where snow is not even an every year occurrence.  When it does snow here, where the cities don’t have any snow removal equipment, the traffic is a snarly mess.  I have learned that, though I took my driver’s test in the snow… 34 years ago… you don’t drive in the snow here!  The un-removed snow packs down on the roads with all the cars driving on it, making it a sheet of ice.  Then you have all the hills round about.  Put those two things together and driving is treacherous.  And most of those on the roads think they are good drivers, but in actuality they are NOT!  Yikes.

I do still love the snow.  It is so quiet when it has snowed.  The ground is blanketed with a fluffy (or very wet…) intricate quilt of whiteness.  All the sounds are dampened, making everything still and peaceful.  And my yard actually looks great covered in snow.  You can’t see the weeds or the bare patches.  It’s all uniform and smooth.  Ahh.  ‘Twould be SO nice would it were so.

Did you know that a single snowflake is an intricate specimen of exquisite symmetry and stunning beauty?  And that there are no two snowflake duplicates?  So no snowflake twins anywhere.  How amazing that the Lord of Creation would put such beauty in microscopic details!  I like to think of snowflakes as ‘snowmen embryos’.

I love watching the snow fall.  And I used to love how the falling snow looked from inside a moving vehicle.  Even now I get an excited feeling when I watch the snow fall.  Maybe this stems from childhood memories of blizzards, hugely tall piles of snow along the streets, snow forts, ice skating rinks in the backyard and snowmen.

putting on the details…

Arrow’s Snowman

These photos are of Arrow’s Thanksgiving snowman.  Yesterday another snowman was built, but the warmer air caused that poor fellow’s upper two thirds to slide and then fall over sideways!  And he fell over before I could get a photo of the guy.   All the “details” are from a ‘Snowman Kit’ I purchased from Land’s End a number of years ago.

One thing I try to do is decorate our family dinner table in fun ways.  Not every meal, but for a fun change.  I have purchased paper plates with snowmen on them (and other designs) and then use those under clear glass plates.  It makes the table festive, yet frugal since I can re-use the decorative paper plates!  We also have some napkins (I have used only cloth napkins for nearly thirty years) and napkin rings with snowflake designs.  I will try to get photos of these and put them into this post.

We enjoy reading books and poems that pertain to the season, weather event or holiday at hand.  Here is a short list of some we really enjoy reading & looking at when it has snowed:

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin


The Snowflake by Kenneth Libbrecht

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

‘The Snow That Never Drifts’

by Emily Dickinson

The Snow that never drifts —
The transient, fragrant snow
That comes a single time a Year
Is softly driving now —

So thorough in the Tree
At night beneath the star
That it was February’s Foot
Experience would swear —

Like Winter as a Face
We stern and former knew
Repaired of all but Loneliness
By Nature’s Alibit —

Were every storm so spice
The Value could not be —
We buy with contrast — Pang is good
As near as memory —


‘A Little Snow Was Here and There’ by Emily Dickinson

A little Snow was here and there
Disseminated in her Hair —
Since she and I had met and played
Decade had gathered to Decade —

But Time had added not obtained
Impregnable the Rose
For summer too indelible
Too obdurate for Snows —


‘Snow Flakes’  by Emily Dickinson

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town,
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down.
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig,
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshaled for a jig!


‘Winter Morning Poem’
Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over the lakes.
Smooth and clean and frost white
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.

Snow is snowy when it’s snowing
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.

by Ogden Nash

What books and poems do you like about snow and snowmen?

Enjoy the snow!

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

This post also linked here:

Cinnamon Rolls – GF DF

My oh my, but is has been awhile since I have been able to post to this blog.  Not that I haven’t written many posts in my head, including taking all those photos in my mind as well!  LOL  A few actual photos were taken for future posts.  😉  But I just didn’t find the time to get all I needed to get done AND post here and do the post(s) justice… so I waited…  and waited…  Writing these posts takes time as well.  Fixing (hopefully) all my misspellings,  finding appropriate photos for the subject at hand, reading and re-reading and re-reading again to attempt to stay on subject, …  oh, but I digress…

This is to be my very first, of which I hope will be MANY, gluten free review posts!  My goal?  To give you my honest opinion of any things gluten free and dairy free.  And not only my opinion of these “items” but that of the Patriarch and Arrow as well.  They are my most discerning food critics and none too shy about pointing out the shortcomings of a particular food item.  My reviews could be on a store bought item, a cookbook, a recipe post on another blog or just the blog, a restaurant, everything gluten-free  is up for grabs in this section!

So, what is to be my very first gluten free review??  Well it is also going to be a dairy-free review as well!!  Oh, I can see you sitting on the edge of your seat in front of the computer in eager anticipation.  What am I reviewing…

A cookbook… and of all things it is….

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, MD & Zoe Francois.

Well the title alone should make you wonder… it says NOTHING about being gluten free or dairy free!  Isn’t THAT very thing “usually” upfront and obvious?  This is not a cookbook specifically for gluten free folks.  It is a cookbook for wheat bread that also has a chapter on gluten free bread.

In my pre-gluten free days, when I was one of the testers for Peter Reinhart’s newest cookbook, Artisan Breads Every Day (of which I have an autographed copy AND am mentioned by name in the acknowledgments… oh heady day!!), I was intrigued by the methods of biga, poolish, and cold overnight fermentation dough.  That was added to my already obsessive compulsion with sourdoughs.  I had even purchased dry sourdough starters from the sourdough master, Ed Wood and purchased his book, Classic Sourdough.  Oooo, I think I’m about to start drooling….  I love used to love sourdough bread.  Must get the right mindset going here…  [note to self:] If I can’t have it don’t drool over it!  There, I feel so much better now.

So, once I had to eliminate all gluten from my food choices there goes my bread!  ACK!  And how do I locate a gluten free bread recipe that even my husband would enjoy eating??  So far he has either hated or just disliked (AND could tell it was gluten free) all of the gluten free bread I have bought or made (ok, so there is one exception so far, but that will be a different post!).  And I am right there with him on the all the store bought ‘breads’.  If they taste like sawdust, have an unpleasant aftertaste or an ‘odd, rather unpleasant flavor’ then why eat it?  I, the affirmed bread lover, would rather do without [gasp!] than eat some of this nasty stuff.  So I am still searching in stores and trying new recipes…

In my quest for ‘THE’ gluten free bread recipe, I recently started checking out all the gluten free cookbooks from my library to see what gems they might hold for me to explore.  And somewhere either online or in another cookbook this cookbook was mentioned.

First, as a gluten free cookbook this would rank pretty low.  Granted, this is not a cookbook for the gluten free but for those who have friends and loved ones who are gluten free.  Not the lowest ranking, as the recipe I have tried (so far) is pretty good.  There is mention of gluten free flours on two pages of the 20 pages in the “Ingredients” chapter.  Then in the remainder of the book there is not a single mention of gluten free anywhere until the sole chapter on the gluten free breads.  In “Tips & Techniques” there is nothing about the differences between the wheat and the gluten free – which are considerably different.  If you are going to have a chapter on gluten free bread, then at least have a shorter version of “Tips & Techniques” in that chapter!  None of the “Tips & Techniques” chapter pertain to the gluten free bread in the least.  So for those reasons I give this low marks.

Secondly, I did not see a single mention of the absolute necessity for making sure there is NO cross contamination when making something gluten free.  Since this is primarily a cookbook for the wheat imbibing crowd, this should have been an absolute MUST!  They even consulted with Danny & Shauna Ahern (The Gluten Free Girl & The Chef) for one recipe and they are even consulting at restaurants to help instruct & ensure no cross contamination on the restaurant cooking line for gluten free restaurants!!  Not everyone who must go sans gluten will get violently ill from eating a small amount of gluten.  But even a small amount of ingested gluten for ALL celiacs will cause damage to the intestines, whether they exhibit symptoms from that ingested bit or not.  The wheat imbibing crowd should be made aware of the cross contamination issue.  I am a real stickler about this one as I must maintain a kitchen for both the gluten free (me) and the wheat eating (the Patriarch & Arrow).  You can find more information about Celic disease here.   This also warrants giving this book a very low mark.

Thirdly, there are remarkably few photos for a cookbook and not a single one for the gluten free section!!  Nope, nary a one.  I would have found it very helpful to know if the dough consistency was right or close by looking at a photo of their dough.  And for the non gluten-free cook who is making something for a loved one… well then I would have considered this ESSENTIAL!  The dough for the gluten free breads are so much thinner and non-bread-dough-like as to make an inexperienced gluten free cook have a momentary panic attack wondering if they have done something wrong!  The consistency of the dough isn’t even mentioned in the gluten free chapter!!  I was very surprised & disappointed to say the least.

On a positive note, the gluten free recipes are clearly written with step by step directions (despite the omissions mentioned above).  Though one specific step could have used photos AND more explanation (see my notes below).  The gluten free brioche dough can also be used as a substitution in a limited number of the ‘regular wheat dough’ pastry recipes.

Also, since you can mix up a batch of dough and then just bake a loaf of bread when you need it, you will always have fresh gluten-free bread when you need it with a minimum of fuss.  The wet fermentation process (bigas, poolish, etc) enhances the flavor of the finished product.  And (if this is the case with these breads… we ate it all up so I can’t comment on this aspect) if these breads dry out after a day or so and are inedible, it would be super easy to bake in the portions you need for the number of gluten free folks in your family.

After reading the gluten free section and the forward & ‘Tips & Techniques’ a number of times I choose the recipe I wanted to try first….

Cinnamon Rolls!  Ooo, it is winter you know.  And how lovely would a nice warm cinnamon roll and a cup of tea (coffee, or hot chocolate are also options here for some) be on a frosty morning??  Quite lovely I say.  Not only am I gluten free, but dairy free as well, so the recipe I used I also had to adapt in that regard.  My plan was to bake these and take them to my church pot luck the next day.   Since I was taking them to church I also made the full recipe and baked the whole thing.

I started the dough in the afternoon and was baking the cinnamon rolls that evening.  The house was smelling wonderfully cinnamon-y and comforting.  Arrow was already in bed for the night once I took the two large pans of hot cinnamon rolls out of the oven.  The Patriarch asked if he would be allowed to have one.  Oh!  Well, I hadn’t said anything about baking anything gluten free… so I thought why not!  Good test right out of the oven.  The smell must have awakened Arrow as he showed up and I asked if he would also like to try one.  His eyes lit up and he said “YES!”.  So I fixed one for each of us.  The guys asked for seconds.  Who am I to refuse?!?  And not a single word about wrong consistency, off taste or anything negative.  Double Bonus!!  I also reheated some for our breakfast the next morning.  They were better fresh from the oven, but still good and not one negative comment on the reheated rolls either!  Wow I’m on a… roll.  LOL  One pan g-o-n-e, lickety split.  They were equally a hit at church with the gluten free crowd with many requests for my recipe!  And I didn’t get a single photo of these wonderful rolls either, sorry.  We just ate them up and nearly licked the pan!!  When I make them again (ok, twist my arm, please!) I will endeavor to take a photo or two to add to this post.  I may also try my hand at photos of the process…

So without further ado here is my adapted recipe (and notes) which is based on the ones from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day:

Brioche – GF DF

Makes enough for three 1 & 1/2 pound loaves.  Recipe is easily doubled or halved.

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca starch

3 & 3/4 cups potato starch (original used corn starch, but be sure it is NON GMO!)

2 tablespoons granulated yeast

1 tablespoon sea salt (I used Himalayan Pink, its what I have)

1 tablespoon xanthan gum

1 tablespoon guar gum

2 & 1/2 cups So Delicious coconut milk beverage, original unsweetened

1 cup honey

4 large eggs

1 cup grape-seed oil (or neutral flavored oil)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Egg Wash (1 egg beaten with 1 TBSP water) for brushing on the loaf

Raw sugar for sprinkling on top crust

1.  Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, yeast, salt, xanathan and guar gums in a large 5-quart mixing bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

2. Combine the liquid ingredients and gradually mix them into the dry ingredients until there is no sign of dry flour.

3. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest for approximately 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after its initial rise or refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days.

5. On baking day, grease a brioche pan or an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan.  Use wet hands to break off a 1 & 1/2 pound (small cantaloupe-size) piece of the refrigerated dough.  Quickly shape it into a ball.  You might need to wet your hands a little more to prevent the dough from sticking and to create a smooth surface, but not so much water as to make the dough soggy.

6. Elongate the ball into a narrow oval and put into the brioche or loaf pan.  Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  If you are not using a stone in the oven, a 5 minute preheat is adequate.

8. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to brush the loaf’s top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.

9. Bake near the center of the oven for approximately 40 – 45 minutes.  The loaf is done when caramel brown and firm.  Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.

10. Remove the brioche from the pan and allow to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.

Cinnamon Buns – GF DF

Makes 12 buns using 1 & 1/2 pound of GF DF brioche dough.

The Filling

2/3 cup sucanat

1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional) – [I didn’t use these]

The Glaze

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk beverage, original unsweetened.  Add 1 tablespoon at a time.

1 tablespoon Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread

1/2 teaspoon orange zest (use only organic for this!)

1. On baking day:  Grease an 8 inch cake pan.  Using wet hands take 1 & 1/2 pounds of dough from container.

2. Sprinkle sugar on a silicone mat or two pieces of plastic wrap with edges overlapping.  Cover dough with another piece of plastic wrap.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the plastic and the silicone mat (or plastic wrap) until you have a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle.  Peel off the plastic wrap.

3. Make the filling: Combine the ingredients.  Sprinkle filling over the surface of the dough.  Roll the dough, starting at the long end, into a log, lifting the silicone mat (or plastic wrap) to help ease dough from its surface.

4.  Remove the dough from the mat or plastic and with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut the log into 12 equal pieces and arrange them in the pan with the swirled edge visible to you.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 1 hour.

5. 20 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center of the oven.

6. Bake for 20 – 25  minutes, or until tops are lightly brown and the dough feels set when touched.

7. Allow the buns to cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.

8. Make the glaze:  Mix together the glaze ingredients and spread the glaze over the tops of the warm buns.  These are best eaten while warm.

I am looking forward to trying these again and keeping the dough in the refrigerator to see how the dough consistency changes.  The ‘fresh’ dough is quite spongy, very soft and sticks to everything!  DO NOT skip the sugar on the silicon mat.  Don’t ask me how I know this.  😉  I don’t think I got my rectangle thin enough, as there was only one swirl in each roll.  A thinner rectangle would get me more swirls… YUM!

In step 4 for the cinnamon rolls, how does one remove a loose, sticky, fairly unstructured ‘dough log’ and to WHAT and then slice it???  I carefully cut my ‘log’ while still on the silicone mat.  BEWARE, if you choose to do this and cut your mat don’t blame me.  I also HAD TO USE a silicone scraper to ‘help’ the cut roll off the silicone mat and into the prepared pan.  I guess you could place the dough roll into the baking pan, cut and then upend the cut pieces.  But the dough sticks and how would you do this with the smaller pan?  Impossible!

One other thing I want to try is to get the cinnamon rolls all ready in the pan and place the pan in the refrigerator overnight.  Then in the morning allow them to rise and then bake.  I’ll edit this post with my trial results.

I also wondered about stirring the dough before removing a portion.  It says nothing about this and I wonder how that would affect the outcome…

The glaze was too runny with 2 tablespoons of liquid.  I would reduce this to 1 or 1 & 1/2. Or possibly reduce the vanilla.  Another great change would be to use orange juice instead of vanilla in the glaze.  That would make these JUST LIKE those orange rolls in the tube I used to love.

Let me know of your results if you try these!!


~Mrs. R