Pioneer Pudding

I grew up enjoying a tasty treat made from an old recipe with a very unfortunate name. It was a traditional English dish called "Lumpy Dick". ...SIGH... Yes, I know some of you are snickering... "Dick" is simply a boiled pudding in this case. But you can see why I sometimes avoided telling my classmates what I'd had for breakfast... I've decided to rename it in honor of my pioneer ancestors who made it: Pioneer Pudding!
While this isn't a fancy dish in any way, it's comfort food for me. The original recipe is not gluten free. So here is my modified gluten free version of Lumpy... I mean Pioneer Pudding! I think my ancestors would be proud of how I've adapted it to meet my needs, while still keeping it simple.

Pioneer Pudding:
2 cups of milk (Make this milk free and vegan by using  your favorite non-dairy milk!)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 heaping  TB buckwheat flour
3 heaping TB brown rice flour
1-2 tsp sugar depending on how sweet you like things.
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Mix flours, sugar, cinnamon and salt together well and set aside.
Bring milk and vanilla to a strong boil in a sauce pan. Don't allow to scald. Gently add spoonfuls of the flour mixture to the boiling milk. Stir constantly. Lumps will begin to form and this is good. Break apart any lumps that are too big. You want them to be about pea or blueberry sized. If they are too big you'll end up with dry flour on the inside and that doesn't taste as good. When all of the flour mixture has been added, turn stove to low and continue cooking, stirring often for about 10-15 minutes until the pudding thickens. You want those lumps to thoroughly cook, so give it some time. Let cool for a few minutes and serve warm.

My ancestors probably didn't add the vanilla, sugar and cinnamon, This was a simple food that they made when times were hard and they didn't have much. I feel incredibly blessed to have so much available to me in my lifetime and I'm grateful for the heritage of simplicity, self reliance, and thrift that my fore bearers left me.

Enjoy a couple of treasures from my family: 
A photo of my great grandmother, Jane. I love hearing stories about her. She was known as a great horsewoman and I've always loved horses, so I feel a special kinship towards her.
A sampling of some of my grandmother, Hannah's hand made lace. My grandma enjoyed making things to give to her family. I have several beautiful handmade treasures from her. 

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Ginger Peach upside down cake

Peaches are in season here and I'm loving them! I'm also loving this recipe I put together for Ginger Peach Upside Down Cake. Spicy ginger and sweet peaches are simply meant to be together. Think of them as best friends. They are awesome on their own, great with others, but when the two of them get together...Wow!
It makes me think of one of my best friends. She's like the ginger in our relationship, but not because of her gorgeous red hair- that's just a coincidence. I have always been drawn to her outgoing, spunky, personality. Whenever we get together, it's a fantastic time and crazy things can happen. I remember one time when we were young, she helped me smuggle home a kitten. My dad who was driving us didn't know, even when it began yowling! To this day, we still laugh at the idea of how crazy my dad must have thought we were as we suddenly began meowing and giggling uncontrollably in the back seat of the car! We have so many fun memories together; I can't help smiling when I think of her.  ...Ginger Peach Upside Down Cake is kind of like that, only in cake form. You will definitely smile when you taste it!

I made my cake in a 7x5 dish and it was the perfect size for me to enjoy with a friend and still have leftovers.  You may wish to double the recipe if you're making this for a larger group.

Share some with some of your best friends. It's fantastic with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

Ginger Peach Upside down Cake:

Approx. 2 small peaches sliced
1TB sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TB finely chopped crystallized ginger
1TB molasses
1TB butter melted

Line bottom of a greased baking pan with sliced peaches. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, molasses and melted butter and pour evenly over the top of the peaches. then mix together the batter:

1/2 C almond flour
1/4 C white rice flour
2 TB sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2TB milk
2TB butter softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix well and gently spoon over the top of the peach mixture and smooth out the top using the back of the spoon.
Bake at 350 F for approx 25 minutes
Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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Toggensuds Goat Milk Soap Giveaway! (Closed)

Thanks so much to all those who participated in this giveaway! It was a success and I think I'll have to have another one sometime. :)

Here are a few pictures of things I've been up to lately. I'll be writing about these in upcoming posts, so be sure to check back!
Last week I wrote about the lovely soaps I won in an online giveaway for Toggensuds Goat Soaps. Read about it HERE.  I am still enjoying these lovely soaps and now, thanks to the generosity of Donna at Toggensuds, you have the chance to enjoy them also. Introducing Amaranth and Kale's very first giveaway!
 Toggensuds soaps come in such a fantastic array of scents and they have just added a few new ones as well which will be showing up on their website soon. Be watching for Patchouli, Patchouli Rose, Lemon Verbena, Honeysuckle, Jasmine Vanilla, Black Raspberry Vanilla and Purty Pooch Dog Soap. Check out their facebook page too! There are lots of fun pictures!

One very lucky winner will receive 3 amazing soaps and a soap tray!

Enter today! Good luck! 

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Sweet Cherry Almond Muffins

I recently spent a beautiful afternoon in an orchard filled with sweet cherries! It was like heaven! I brought home several bags full of fresh cherries including some luscious Bing cherries. Bings are the most produced variety of sweet cherry in the united states and for good reason. They are beautiful, full of flavor, and have a nice firm flesh. The variety was developed in 1875 in my home state of Oregon, so these cherries are like a little taste of home for me!

Food can often trigger memories. Good ones and unfortunately bad ones too! Fresh juicy cherries bring to mind good memories and that's one reason why I love them so much! They make me think of happy, carefree summers that I spent running around barefoot with my little brother. We had a lot of fruit trees growing up, including cherries, so my mom would serve a big bowl of cherries at practically every meal during the peak of cherry season. When I was younger I enjoyed having cherry pit spitting contests off the back porch! Well, Perhaps I still do this on occasion, but not in polite company.
These almond cherry muffins are a perfect way to use a few extra cherries, forget that...These are a good reason to go out and GET a few extra cherries.. right now! The flavors of the almond and cherries compliment each other perfectly. They are great hot out of the oven or the next day, if you can wait that long. You won't regret trying these even if you don't need to eat gluten free. That's how delicious they are!

Cherry Almond Muffins:
1 cup gluten free oat flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup fresh pitted and chopped sweet cherries

Mix dry ingredients well in a medium sized bowl. In a smaller bowl, beat together egg, yogurt, and almond extract until well blended and then mix into the dry ingredients. Stir well. Once all the ingredients are mixed together sufficiently, gently fold in the chopped cherries. Pour batter into small baking tins or muffin pans, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


Toggensuds Goat Milk Soap Review

I won an online giveaway! 
Thanks to Hannah at Lovely Little Life and Donna with Toggensuds Goat milk Soap Shop! I was recently the lucky winner of an online giveaway for Toggensuds homemade goat milk soap! Toggensuds is located in northeast Georgia in a small town known for it's agriculture, friendly people, and country living. The soaps are made using the milk from Toggenburg goats, the oldest known breed of dairy goat and originating from the Beautiful Swiss Alps.

Why goat milk?
The benefits of using goat milk is no secret. In fact, it has been used for ages. Cleopatra, who was famous for her beauty, is well known for her skin care regimen which included regularly bathing  in goat's milk. Goat milk soap has alpha-hydroxy acids that naturally soften the skin.  Goat milk is loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins and also contains natural emollients and triglycerides that act as a natural moisturizer. Read many more benefits of goat milk soap at the Toggensuds website.

I was super excited to try out their soaps! They arrived in fun wrapping with business cards, and an information sheet. They are beautiful soaps! I've always loved homemade soaps and have tried a lot of different kinds over the years. I could tell right away that these were quality soaps! They come in a variety of natural scents and also unscented. They have a creamy smooth lather when you use them and they leave your skin feeling clean, soft, and smooth. If you are used to commercial soaps, don't expect the same amount of bubbly lather. Commercial soaps use additives to increase lather, but a good quality homemade soap doesn't contain these things and is much healthier for your skin.

I definitely recommend trying Toggensuds soaps, you and your skin will love them!

 Check back next week for part two of  Summer Essentials. I will be sharing some delicious ideas on how to stay better hydrated. Believe me, you won't want to miss out!
Until then, make sure you check out part one HERE.
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