Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gluten Free Lebkuchen

Merry Christmas!

My dear friend at Gusto and Grace organized a Christmas Cookie Exchange. Be sure to check out all the other great cookie recipes on the participating blogs (listed below with links)!

Lebkuchen is a German spice cookie. I have never been to Germany so I don't know how authentic this recipe but I do know that it's delicious!

I made two different Lebkuchen recipes last year for a party, one was gluten free and one wasn't. Surprisingly, the gluten free one turned out better than the regular recipe!

This lebkuchen cookie dough is very easy to work with.


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice flour (2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup)
  • 1/4 plus 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter OR dairy free butter substitute such as coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • Extra sweet rice flour to sprinkle on cutting board (I used regular white rice flour)
  • For Glaze: 1 cup gluten-free powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon rum OR cream OR coconut milk


Preheat oven to 350° F

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone liners OR lightly grease with oil

Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to thoroughly blend.

In another large mixing bowl add honey, brown sugar,egg and softened butter. Use an electric mixer and blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat just until combined. Transfer cookie dough onto a large sheet of waxed paper. Shape into a large circle. Wrap completely with waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To shape cookies, remove dough from refrigerator. Use a knife to divide the dough in half. Liberally flour a cutting board with rice flour. Dust a rolling pin with rice flour and roll the dough about 1/8-inch thick for crisp cookies. If you prefer your cookies a bit thicker and softer, roll to about 1/4-inch thick. Dip your favorite holiday cookie cutters in rice flour and cut out cookies. Use a spatula to transfer cookies to baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven for about 8-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned and are firm to the touch. Thinly rolled cookies will bake faster than thicker cookies! Transfer to a cooling rack.

I didn't glaze mine, but if you want to:
whisk powdered sugar and rum or water together until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, gradually add a few drops of chosen liquid until the consistency is right for drizzling on cooled cookies.

Use a fork or small spoon to drizzle glaze on each cookie. Let cookies sit until the glaze sets.


Here’s the cookie schedule:

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me Twelve Drummers Drumming

Time for a fun new lamp with a drum shade!
Etsy has a wide, unique selection spanning price ranges and tastes.
And, of course, you can go to Target, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, or wherever you like to shop for home decor.

$80 from JoDesignCo

$110 from LampShadeDesigns

Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

diy Paper Stockings

In getting gifts for some extended family that I don't know very well and not having a huge amount of money to spend, I ended up with simple, useful gifts. I wanted to spruce up the wrapping and presentation to make them a little more fun so I came up with the idea of paper stockings. They are simple to make and, I think, turned out just adorable!

I got this craft paper from World Market and used an oversized needle with some deep red yarn to see them together.

You will need:
Heavy weight paper for a stocking template of your desired size & shape
Craft paper
Yarn for sewing and to make pom poms
Large needle

Step 1:
Cut a template from the heavy weight paper of the desired size and stocking shape. Make sure you have plenty of room for the things you will be putting inside without stressing the seams and ripping the paper of your completed stocking.

Step 2:
Trace stocking shape onto craft paper, twice. If using pattered paper, be sure that once you put the two halves together, the pattern will be the right direction and facing out. Cut out.

Step 3:
Sew craft paper stocking together (with pattern facing out) with the yarn and needle.

Step 4:
Make pom pom and gift tag.
Here's a great tutorial for making several pom poms at a time: Making Pom Poms In Bulk

I'm excited about giving these out!

Merry Christmas!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake

This cake is so easy and the payoff is amazing. Of everything that I have baked since I have been married, my husband loved this the most.

I love cinnamon and, since I had to go gluten free, I don't think I have had one cinnamon roll. I haven't put out the effort to attempt to perfect a GF cinnamon roll recipe so, in the mean time, I'll make this! It's not quite the same but it's a darn good coffee cake and it'll give you your cinnamon fix.
It has a cinnamon sugar layer on top and swirled inside and it gets a lovely crackled top with nice dimension.

I found it here and it's originally from here.

Gluten Free Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake
  • ¼ c butter, softened
  • ¾ c sugar
  • ¾ c sour cream (The first time I made it I didn't have any sour cream so I made my own with heavy cream and lemon juice. Recipe in this video)
  • 2 eggs ( I made it once with only 1 egg and it turned out… just in case you're low on eggs :})
  • 2 T oil (I used coconut)
  • 1½ t vanilla extract
  • 1½ t cinnamon
  • 1½ c all-purpose Gluten Free flour (I used Jules. If you don't have all purpose GF flour, you can use rice flour or a combo of your favorite GF flours but be sure to add 3/4 t xanthan or guar gum)
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ c unsalted butter, almost melted
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed
  • 2 t cinnamon
The original recipe uses a cream cheese glaze but I wanted a more basic glaze. I used Paula Dean's Glaze recipe.
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3-6 T hot water (It really does make a difference in the consistency that the water is hot)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Oil an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. (If you don't have one, use a regular cake pan with parchment paper. No need to oil it.)
In a mixer add the butter and sugar and mix together until creamy. In a small bowl mix sour cream, eggs, oil, and vanilla and slowly add to butter and sugar mixture and beat for 3 minutes. In a small bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into to pan
Almost totally melt butter and add brown sugar and cinnamon to butter and stir until combined. Spread the topping over top of the cake mixture similar to frosting a cake using a knife to drag back and forth and up and down to make sure that the topping is moved into the cake and marbled. Place pan on a baking sheet and place into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan. Once cooled remove to serving plate (If a regular cake pan with parchment was used, remove it from the pan by picking it up in the parchment paper, being careful not to break the cake. Place it on desired serving plate and rip the parchment away from the sides and pull it out from under the cake.)
Mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 T at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency.

Drizzle Glaze over top of cooled cake. Enjoy!

Baking in a regular cake pan with parchment

On the Seventh Day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me Seven Swans-a-Swimming

I found a swim suit with swans on it that is perfect!!! Unfortunately it's a discontinued item. Disappointment aside, there are some really great swan print fashion items. Way too many to only have one in this post! Do a google search and you'll find more than you thought you would!

$21.99 Park to Park Scarf from Modcloth
Or these items:
Dress from Modcloth                            Dress from ASOS                     Lingerie Set from Modcloth

Or go the decor route with a print like this:

$20 via Leahduncan on Etsy

Sunday, December 15, 2013

On the Fourth Day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me Four Calling Birds

Here's a couple of ideas.

Go for set of "calling" cards with birds on them like this darling set.

$19.50 for set of 10 via QuillandFox on Etsy

Or a set of four bird plates like these:

$72 via yvonneellen on Etsy
Once the above set is sold, here are some other options: LilBatsInThe Attic and TheMad Platers via Etsy. Anthropologie has some good bird plates too!

Three french hens,
Two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

On the Third Day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me Three French Hens

Make a special French egg breakfast such as Quiche. Try this Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash Brown Crust from Martha Stewart. (And a special plus! It's Gluten Free!)

Or find a recipe of your own! If you use a pre-made pie crust or make your own in advance, you can get everything ready the night before and bake it while you get ready for work. Or do what my husband and I love to do: have breakfast for dinner! Mimosas anyone?

Goat Cheese Quiche with Hash Brown Crust by Martha Stewart

Two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree!

Friday, December 13, 2013

On the Second Day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me Two Turtle Doves.

A lovely pair of dove earrings like these are perfect. These particular ones come in gold or silver with multiple color options for the moonstone.

$19 by Bettina Johnson via Etsy or the BJohnson website

And a partridge in a pear tree

Thursday, December 12, 2013

On the First Day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me A Partridge In A Pear Tree.

This wooden tree jewelry stand with a bird is perfect! 

$46 from ShlomitOfir on Etsy

I found some really fun stuff for this one so here is a bonus gift idea:
From LouiseBrainwood on Etsy

Check in tomorrow for Two Turtle Doves!

Click here if you missed my post about my 12 Days of Christmas gift ideas and are curious.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Decking The Halls: diy Wreath Instructions

As I mentioned, this is my first married Christmas and the first time I've had my own space to decorate. I have finals this week so I've been going nutso getting papers written and projects finished so my hall decking is coming along slowly and intermittently. Our beautiful tree stood bare for at least a week before I had time to decorate it.

I did make time to make a wreath out of the scraps I snagged from the Christmas tree lot! So maybe I should have been doing homework but a girl's gotta have priorities!

I was inspired by this wreath that I found on Pinterest and figured out how to make it happen with what I have.

In addition to the cuttings from the tree farm I gathered some sticks and stole trimmed some holly from the bushed in front of my office building.

Wreath frame (if desired)
Florist wire
Greenery of choice (it uses more than you may think so get plenty!)
Heavy duty scissors or wire cutters

Step 1: Lay down a sheet or newspaper for a work area and clip greenery to smaller pieces that are ready to be wired on to your frame.

Step 2: Start with wreath frame or wire some sticks of roughly the same length together. Do your best to make sure the frame is very secure.

Step 3: Begin wiring greenery pieces onto your frame. It is best to keep all your greenery facing the same direction, rotating your frame as you make your way around it.
This step should be where the fullness of your wreath is determined. I didn't make mine as full as I wanted here so I had to keep adding greenery later which was much harder to make look good.
The more your greens overlap, the thicker and fuller your wreath will be.

Step 4: Wire on sticks.
Lay the sticks on your wreath and play around with placement so you know where each one is going before you start wiring them in place.
This was a little tricky to find a secure spot to wire them without smashing the greenery. It should be secure but, unless your wreath needs to stand up to heavy winds, the sticks can be a little wiggly.

Step 5: Hold up wreath and examine from different angles and fill in any thin spots with more greenery.

Step 6: Add berries and other accent greenery or additional adornment.

At this point you can use wire or string to add a hanging tab on the back. I have a wreath hanger that I just hooked onto the wreath frame.

Happy Hall Decking!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12 Days of Christmas

You can purchase cards with these darling illustrations at ThatllBeFine on Etsy

It's Christmas time!!!! 

This is my first married Christmas and I am having a delightful time decorating! More on that later…

Starting December 12th, I am going to post 12 gift ideas to go along with the 12 Days of Christmas song!

Even though, technically, the song refers to the 12 days after Christmas, I am going to post them before Christmas with the 12th day being the day before Christmas Eve.

My first post will be Thursday, December 12th. 

Be sure to check it out each day for some fun, girly gift ideas for a girlfriend/wife, friend, sister, mother, or yourself!

Advent Guest Blog!

I did a guest post for my dear friend Ryn at Styled By Ryn!
She'll have advent posts all month so keep checking her out and show her some love!
You can follow her in instagram as well @rynb and look at her Etsy shop Maude C.!

You can check out her blog here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fall Party!

Some Jack O' Lanterns I made. Templates here.

I want to get this out there before Thanksgiving is over and the world prepares for Christmas!
My extracurricular activities (such as updating this blog) have been seriously hampered by the fact that I am now in school. I am studying Graphic Design at the Art Institute AND continuing my full time job. I am definitely excited for Christmas break!!!

I had a fall costume party and wanted to share some of the decorations I made.
My goal was to make it fun and fall but not Halloween-ey. I found this styled shoot and that was it!

Unfortunately, I was so focused on getting my costume together after school and before the party that I didn't get very great pictures of the set up.

Here are the shots from the styled shoot by Love Me Sailor, Mr. Caballero, and Geronimo Balloons in L.A. originally posted by 100 Layer Cake.

I mean. Beautiful right?!

I ordered one chocolate brown and one orange 30" balloon from and these gold foil baking cups, borrowed all of my mom's silver serving dishes, and decided to make everything else for the decor.

I plan to write up a tutorial for the balloon tassels soon and will link it here.

I had orange crush to drink with gold pipe cleaner curls, some beautiful french macaroons that I found at Trader Joe's, a tassel garland made from gold ribbon and tissue paper tassels, a silver bowl of clementines, and Gluten Free chocolate cupcakes (this recipe but with GF all purpose flour) with salted caramel buttercream icing (this recipe with coarse salt sprinkled on top).

A couple other people brought caramel apples and some fall doughnuts and we had a sweet time of it!

I also whipped up a vanilla cake with the help of a friend's recipe and cake frosting tools because there were a couple birthdays coming up.

For the cake topper, I cut triangles of brown paper, wrote Happy Birthday on them with gold paint marker, threaded them through with white embroidery floss, and tied them to kabob skewers.
The cake is decorated with gold stars and edible glitter.

I dressed up as Frida Kahlo complete with a light unibrow and mustache:

Happy Autumn Everyone!! (Even though it's pretty much over…)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mark Your Calendar!

My (now husband) hates the term 'Save The Date'. So we didn't have those to prepare people for our wedding, we had 'Mark Your Calendar's. :)

I was going to do away with them all together because everyone that needed to know our date early for travel plans, etc. already knew so I considered it an unnecessary expense. However, my darling had such a good idea and was so excited that I liked the idea as well that I felt we had to send them.

My husband could be termed, what I refer to as, an Über Nerd. He has extensive knowledge of space travel, past and present, listens to lectures and podcasts on astro physics for entertainment, enjoys tinkering with legos on a regular basis, reads comic books (Marvel not DC... heaven forbid you should confuse the two), etc. I love all of these things about him and encourage him not to hide his 'nerdy' interests. (He also is an avid mountain biker, has his private pilot's license, and has other more active (and expensive) hobbies. I love a very multi faceted man).

With that explanation through, he suggested using a comic book cover with likenesses of us as our Save The Date Mark Your Calendar. I had him pick a cover he liked and my art school sister went at it in Photoshop.

I had it printed on post cards with our wedding date info on the back (I used Alphagraphics and picked them up locally) and we received a huge amount of positive feedback! And my husband was so excited that I used his idea. Win win!!

Here is the original cover that we chose:

The Defenders #4

And here is ours:

Pretty good for amateur work, no? (notice the ring detail)

Here's a pic of us for reference: