Category Archives: Fun

Fun and Easy Ways to Shine Your Light: Did Somebody Say Cookies?

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

Yes, it’s National Cookie Day, just in time for the holidays.  Time to get started or at least start planning your holiday cookie baking.  Maybe even time to think about hosting a cookie exchange.

I love cookie exchanges because you can get as simple or fancy with this as you want.  The basics are that everyone brings a set number of cookies, the recipe and a container to bring their cookies home in.  The cookies are set out on the table and there is sampling, conversation and cookies to take home.

The cookie exchanges I have attended we each brought one dozen cookies and we took one dozen cookies.  I don’t know where the six dozen cookies that seems to be common now came from.  You could adjust the number to fit the number of participants if you wish.  You could also decide on 2 or 3 dozen cookies if you wish, which is an average size for a batch of cookies.  We also took enough copies of our recipe for everyone.  That’s the basics.  Now if you want to provide containers for guests to take their cookies home in or have a craft time and decorate boxes or provide decorative envelopes for people to put the recipes they collect in that is totally up to you.

What I like about this idea is that it can be customized for special dietary needs and would be great for a support group meeting.  You can invite all people who are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, allergic to nuts — whatever your need may be.

Try not to get too obsessed with the details.  The point of this is to hang out with friends, enjoy a few cookies and recipes, relax and most of all have fun!  Group activities are always good at the holidays.  You never know who may need a little bit of light in their lives.  You could be the one who brings it and not even know.

Now a few tips on planning a cookie exchange from My Recipes, The Cooking ChannelGood Housekeeping and Martha Stewart.

This article is linked to the Sugar and Spice Link Party.

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More information on gluten free holiday celebration ideas is available in the my holiday book, Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Copyright 20156 by R.A. Robbins

Okay so the cookies in the picture aren’t bar cookies.  They aren’t even from the same recipe.  But my camera is not working  so I thought this photo would be better than none at all.  You will have to imagine soft, cake like bars with that pumpkin-chocolate goodness.  Sounds good doesn’t it?

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients:

2 eggs of equivalent substitute

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup stevia sweetener such as Truvia (R) or Stevia in the Raw (R)

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 Tablespoon molasses

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking flour)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate is really good with pumpkin)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan by spraying with pan spray.
  3. Lightly beat eggs.  Add stevia, agave and molasses and pumpkin.
  4. Stir to blend well.
  5. Add cinnamon, baking powder, soda and flour, stirring as you add.
  6. Finally stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into baking pan smoothing out the batter with a spoon. Bake 30-40 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into bars or squares and enjoy!

For more of my gluten free recipes check our my e-books on my profile page at the Amazon Kindle Store.


This post is included at:

The Sugar and Spice Link Party

It’s Pumpkin Day

 

Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins
Pasta in Pumpkin Sauce

This time of year I know when most people think of pumpkins they think of Jack o Lanterns. Me? I think of soup, pasta sauce, cake, cookies, pie. I do love my pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes.

If you have never tired fresh pumpkin consider buying a pie pumpkin (they are smaller) and give it a try.
Never cleaned and cooked a pumpkin? Check out Time to Kill the Fatted Pumpkin for step by step instructions.

Have you ever used pumpkin in a savory dish?  Here are a few of my favorites:

Rotini in Pumpkin Sauce

Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf with Bacon

Pumpkin is a wonderful healthy ingredient that can give a nutrition and flavor to many different types of dishes.  Of course pumpkin pie is good, but maybe this year you could branch out a bit?

This post is part of the Sugar and Spice Link Party.

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Looking for more of my recipes?  Need a holiday gift?  Check out my e-books.

Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday

The Gluten Free Good Life

Frozen Fun:  25 Dairy and Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipes

 

 

 

 

It’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

Oh yes it is.  But at my house every day is cookie day and one of our favorites is chocolate chip.  I live with a Cookie Monster.  Whenever Bob walks by freshly baked c0okies cooling on the counter at least a few get devoured.  I usually have homemade cookies on hand, at least in the freezer.

Of course they are gluten free and I do try to health them up a bit, but we’re not talking about nasty tasting “health cookies” here.  These are real cookies and they taste good.

So in honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day let’s revisit my Chocolate Chip Trail Mix Cookie recipe.  Enjoy!

 

 

Celebrating International Fairy Day

red faerie house 3 resized

International Fairy Day is celebrated today, during the week of Midsummer when the veil between our world and the fairy world is lifted.  So create a fairy house, look for fairies and fairy doors in trees, dust off your fairy wings, wear a flower crown and eat a little fairy bread (white bread with butter and sprinkles).

My Flip Flop Welcome Sign — The Back Story

By now most of us have seen at least photos of the various versions of the welcome sign made from flip flops, right?  The first time I saw one was when our local library announced it would be the craft for the monthly Pinterest group. I immediately thought that is so cool, it would be perfect for our house since we live at the lake. There is no charge for library programs and all materials are provided, so I decided to go. And I came home with an adorable and perfect welcome sign — not exactly.  In fact it fell apart the minute I walked in my front door.  Then it sat on my studio floor in pieces while I tried to figure out a better way to hold it together than the original hot glue.  And it sat, and it sat and it sat.

Then finally on a wild and crazy busy cleaning day of all days I decided to get out Bob’s spray glue and give it a try.  Well it got the flip flops glued together. It got the shells and the sunglasses from my last eye doctor visit glued on.  What it would not do was attach the flip flops to the wooden paint stirrer the library had used to act as a backing and to hang the sign.  Bob finally ended up using small nails to tack it together.

It is all together.  It is still hanging and still has all the embellishments after a night outside hanging from our deck. One of my flip flops is a little wonky, but that just gives it character.

Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

So what’s the point in all this? The point is that when you see all those beautiful and perfect craft projects online you don’t know the back story. You don’t know how many times it took to get what you see in the picture. You often don’t hear about the little slip ups and mishaps along the way. Don’t try to hide your back story. The stories of the trials and errors, hits and misses and even total disasters along the way are what make us real. And if you’re no good with a glue gun, like me, don’t give up. There’s always another way.


Today’s blog post is a part of:

Moolight and Mason Jars Link Party