Gluten Free Yellow Layer Cake with Brownie middle and Buttercream Frosting

My mom’s birthday was coming up and as always I make her, her birthday cake. This year I went the easy route and used boxed cake mix and a boxed brownie mix.

The brownie layers perfectly complimented the yellow cake. The cake truly turned out pretty and very tasty!

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I am sharing this semi-homemade version of the recipe here. That is one box of gluten free yellow cake and one box of gluten free brownie mix. You can even use canned frosting if you didn’t even want to make that. Regardless, you can most definitely make this from scratch! AND – You can always use my favorite From-Scratch Gluten Free Brownie Recipe.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pie

On National Pi day I decided to make a Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pie for the family. Well the pie came out delicious and the kids demanded the leftover pie be their dessert in their school lunches!! So yeah, I think I did well! Deliciously well!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pie

INGREDIENTS

2 unbaked gluten free 9-inch pie shells*
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Directions:

  1. PREHEAT oven to 325° F.
  2. BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon 1/2 of mixture into first pie shell and then remainder of mixture into the second pie shell.
  3. BAKE both pies for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

* If using frozen pie shell, thaw completely.

 


Adapted from NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Pie

 

Life certainly has been busy, as always!

I know my life has always been busy. And certainly Scouting is a big part of that craziness! AND January through March is insane because of Girl Scout Cookie Season! And then we are doing everything else in between the cookie madness!

As of February, birthday season is officially over until November! My two son’s birthdays are 5 days apart followed by mine a week later! Yeah, this is the time of year that I am sick of cake…

Aden turned 8 and Arik turned 6…. and well lets just say I am now in my mid-40s! Ack, how did that one happen!?

But before all the birthdays happened Alex had a Girl Scout event at the Discovery Museum. To clarify, Alex and I attended a Girl Scouts overnight event at the Discovery Museum.

It was a very fun event and so glad as a Co-leader I was able to be there for the Girls and have some fun time with my number one girl! Oh did I mention that I built a fort for Addy (Alex’s BFF), Alex and I to sleep in, LOL!

While Alex and her friends had a blast — I was so tired. I woke up with a stiff neck and headache from sleeping on the floor and I ended up being so tired when I got home that I ate lunch and took a 3-hour nap!!!

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Life took over.

So life can throw you a bowl of cherries and it can throw you lemons and sometimes you can get both!

Since the kids started school in August my life has been super crazy! And then a week after school started the family and I decided to go to Wild Island Water Park. We had never been before so it was a lot of fun to experience something new and exciting.

 

Back in September I even went as far as becoming a substitute teacher as well as a substitute teachers aide for my kid’s school district. It is part-time, but it keeps my pocket book a tad bit happier since I became a stay-at-home mom three years ago.

Unfortunately in the middle of all my craziness in September, my mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. She was only 61 and extremely active so it was a shock to say the least. But life is a gift and you never know when you’ll be called back no matter how old you are.

The day after my mother-in-law passed away my husband, kids and I attended the Hot Air Balloon Races the next morning. We got up at 3am and drove to Reno to be at the Races opening at 4:30am. We were totally crazy, but had this planned for a long while and wanted to give the kids a bit of normalcy especially since their grandmother passed away the day before. While watching the Hot Air Balloons I saw a white owl fly over us… it made me think that my mother-in-law was with us in that brief moment.

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School Activities, PTO, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Volunteering and now work has been consuming my life to where I have been neglecting my blog, terribly and I so apologize.

October was fun for the kids since they LOVE Halloween. They decided it was a Star Wars dress up year, again! And awesomely so… I didn’t have to make a costume this year to my surprise!!

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Also, my husband decided to help carve pumpkins this year. This is Josh’s first EVER pumpkin that he has carved for Halloween. It only took him 41 years! My husband grew up  Jehovah’s Witness and never participated in Holidays like Halloween or Christmas until he met me almost 19 years ago. Surprisingly in 10 years of having children this was the first time my husband has ever  carved a pumpkin and I have to say it was pretty dang impressive!

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November was busy with Girl Scout and Cub Scout stuff of course, but my daughter had to start going through allergy testing and that was awful to watch her go through that.

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She ended up being VERY allergic to Horses. My poor mother-in-law is probably rolling over in her grave over that one since her life revolved around her 3 horses. Anyhow, Alex came up sensitive to cats as well (oh yay, we have 2) and is allergic to trees, grass, sagebrush and a bunch of different fishes. My poor girl now has to take allergy medicine to get her through the day.

A week later my daughter,Alex, turned double digits, the big 10! I threw her a birthday party on the Friday before her birthday since it was Veteran’s Day and there wasn’t school that day. I can’t believe my baby us 10!!

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My parents decided that because turning 10 is a HUGE milestone, that they were taking the family and I to Disneyland on Alex’s birthday!! It was crazy fun! My husband had to rent a scooter to get around the parks because he needs back surgery again and his back was killing him the whole time there. But the scooter was a God send and he was able to enjoy himself while in the Happiest Place on Earth, regardless.

We took my daughter to Goofy’s Kitchen for her birthday dinner and I was able to order her a Gluten Free Birthday Cake to keep the celebration going.

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We had a ton of fun at Disneyland, but this will probably be our last trip there for a couple of years, unfortunately.

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And then of course you have Thanksgiving at the end of our extremely already busy November. Over the last year I had saved over 2 loaves of gluten free bread heals and stuck them in the freezer! When it came time, I cubed them up and toasted them in the oven with some olive oil so I could make my  late Grandma Josie’s turkey stuffing gluten free that Turkey Day. And yes the stuffing came out very tasty!

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A couple of days after Thanksgiving we were graced with our first snow of the season.

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But of course in a couple of days the snow melted and we haven’t seen any snow since, sadly.

Then December finally sneaked up on us and we are still riding the crazy train, LOL. My parents came up so we can celebrate my Father’s birthday come Monday. But needless to say tonight I walked our town’s Parade of Lights with my Daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. I trekked 1.9 miles and was glad I had on a good pair of tennis shoes. My older son also participated in the parade with his Cub Scouts tonight as well. This was my 3rd year participating in the Parade of Lights – I love it and hope I can participate for many years to come. I had to make my daughter a tutu and dress her up as a Reindeer for the parade. I hope I got it right!

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Aden’s Cub Scouts built a Pine Wood Derby Car as their float and he road with them for the Parade.

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My December will be consumed by Caroling, 3 Birthdays, Subbing, Winter School Concerts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Christmas, Winter School Break, my 19th anniversary of when I first started dating my husband and New Years Eve.

Yeah… 186 days til summer break and counting, LOL!!

Fresh Basil Pesto

My husband grew an abundance of basil (in our greenhouse) this year. I had to harvest the last of the basil before it turned to seed. Not wanting to waste the beautiful basil leaves, I made Pesto of course!!

Now I am being on the cheap because Olive Oil and Pine Nuts are ridiculously expensive, and even at Costco. So I bought almonds and a Kirkland brand Mediterranean Blend Oil (a blend of Canola, Olive and Grape Seed Oil).

It tasted wonderful with the modifications and would so use them again!

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5 places where to eat Gluten Free in New Orleans

1. Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar

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My husband and I headed over to Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar that is located on Iberville St one afternoon.

I asked the waitress if they had a “Gluten Free” menu. Although she said no, she pointed out many of the grilled items were GF.

Nevertheless, I ordered their Blackened Louisiana Alligator as an appetizer and their Blackened Gulf Shrimp for dinner.

Oh my goodness!! The Alligator was spectacular and the Shrimp was cooked to perfection! The Blackened spice was flavorful and not too over powering to the point that I over ate and waddled myself on out the door!!

It definitely isn’t the fanciest place around but the food was really tasty and the service was great. AND your meal was out quickly, so you didn’t have to wait forever and a day to eat your meal.

Anyhow, if I have time on my schedule, I may try and head back over to try something else out on their menu.

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Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar
739 Iberville St.
New Orleans, LA 70130

Call: (504) 522-4440

Sunday – Thursday: 11a -10p
Friday & Saturday: 11a – 11p

 


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Our summer…

So I have been lacking in posting the last month or so, because I have been having fun traveling, spending time with my family, nursing a cat back to health and just living life!

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At the beginning of June our older cat Baxter caught a baby bunny and when he noticed that I saw him, he released the little baby. We tried to nurse her back to health but I was saddened that I couldn’t have done more for her. The kids instantly named her Cotton — but Cotton couldn’t keep hydrated, unfortunately. It was emotionally hard seeing such a small creature so helpless and in pain. We tried for 4 days administering formula, water, and pedilyte to keep her going, but either she was too young and tiny or just too hurt from the cat that she ended up taking her last breath. The kids and I dug a hole in our flower garden and buried her amongst the blooming flowers. My daughter even painted a rock as a head stone to go on top of the grave. In those 4-½ days that little bunny stole our hearts!

RIP Cotton, I hope your pain is gone & you are hopping around and feeling better tiny little bunny. I’ll see you again at the rainbow bridge!!


 

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Then…. I and I say this in a good way, God has a weird sense of humor. So our lil bunny died and a week later this big domestic bunny ends up in our yard!!

We assumed it was someones in the neighborhood and not wanting it to be harmed, the kids, a neighbor and I catch the rabbit in our backyard and place him in an empty rabbit cage that we have.

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The next day Alexandria, Arik and I went door to door looking for the owner of the rabbit. No one claimed they were missing a rabbit. I then was talking to Dave my next door neighbor and he stated that the people who moved in around 6-weeks ago next to him found 2 domesticated rabbits in their garage and basically released the rabbits out in the yard. If this was one of those rabbits, this angers me that this rabbit was abandoned twice!! AND none of this was told to me when I asked said neighbor if they were missing a rabbit. Nevertheless, we ended up keeping this rabbit. And he has been an awesome addition to our family. Tame, beautiful and the kids have fallen in love with him.

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Gluten Free Seasoned Salt

Seasoned Sprial Fries

When I make burgers, french fries or even spiral fries I love to season them with my homemade seasoned salt. It just makes them that much more tastier than using just plain salt! I actually had an old season salt spice jar that I reused for my concoction and didn’t even need to make a label for, score!

Gluten Free Seasoned Salt

Ingredients:

1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour blended seasoned salt into an empty spice bottle with shaker top to store.