Cookie Day 2018 and Filled Snickerdoodles



Sugar cookies

We recently had our very first “Cookie Day” with my brother’s family. It was utterly delightful, and I am so glad I said, “yes!” when the idea came to us both in “relatively” early November. I struggled a bit with some aspects of the implementation and am thankful everyone worked together to make this day a sweet success. At the end, the little ones each got to fill a plate with six cookies- knowing that all the rest were going to head to Ama’s for Christmas Day and the days to come.


I fell completely in love with cookie stamps! I found an Irish claddagh. It is a beautiful, stoneware cookie stamp that is even dishwasher safe. Cookie-making with these stamps was so, so fun!


I was so happy to stumble upon a big sale at Michaels. It can be tricky finding safe sprinkles. The choices are limited. 

We set up three stations for the little ones:

decorating sugar cookies


cookie stamps


Ever grateful for my husband who handles the cut-out station to perfection (orderly, organized, calm, fair, and so on!)

Ryan had the fantastic (cozy) suggestion to have crockpots of chili.

He brought a venison mango/sweet potato chili with a spicy kick. We made our turkey salsa/black bean chili.

While three adults manned the stations, my older kids were able to complete almost all of the rest of our Christmas cookie baking. Nathanael and Asher made their traditional peppermint cookie bark, and Abi made filled snickerdooodles.

We have gotten a lot of requests for our filled Snickerdoodle cookie recipe. These cookies are becoming holiday favorites for our teachers and other people we share them with at Christmas-time. They are definitely a festive treat!

I am sharing the recipe below! Merry Christmas, friends!

Filled Snickerdoodles
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup dairy free margarine or coconut oil
2 eggs
2 3/4 unbleached white flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
3 TB cinnamon
3 TB sugar      {for rolling dough balls in}
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix first six ingredients into a dough that forms small balls in your hands
Mix cinnamon/sugar mixture
Roll dough into balls and then in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Place on trays and back for 8-10 minutes.
we prefer our cookies slightly soft so we choose the shorter cook time
we have found that baking these cookies on stoneware creates the absolute best cookie
coconut oil has a softer, richer texture than dairy free margarine
Best Vanilla Frosting
1 stick dairy free margarine or 1/2 cup coconut oil (softened/melted)
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
Water or Vanilla flavored dairy free milk such as almond or rice milk
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and whip together
we use our basic vanilla/white icing filling or sugar cookie icing
the icing made with coconut oil seems the most delicious- but it is the trickiest to make. If not careful, you can end up with a lumpy mess that is hard to salvage.
Let cookies cool completely. Fill with a light layer of frosting. Place in freezer or refrigerator until ready to give away or serve!
Note to my children: remember to make the cookies on the small, thin side. 🙂

Cranberry Chutney & Home-made Honey Mustard Dressing


I looked back and found their hands intertwined. 

Preparing food for this Lord’s Day feast- and in some way- feeling like every Sunday should be a mini-Thanksgiving with gratitude to God round a bountiful, delicious table:

Cranberry Chutney

(delicious, warm, seasonal side for pork or chicken; can be served over pancakes or dairy items like Brie or ice cream – if you eat those items)

4 Cups cranberries

3 chopped, green apples

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 cup water

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot; cook on high until apples are soft. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened. Keep warm in crock.


Home-Made Honey Mustard Dressing for Sunday’s Green Salad

[this has a kick (or a bit of a bite- as they say) to it which Todd and I love]

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

shake of good sea salt

dash of ground black pepper

heaping 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix well and serve over greens

Sweet and Spicy!


Blessings on this Lord’s Day!





Pancakes- Large Family Style

It’s Scout Camp Cook day today!!!

We’ve got Piano Guys on the playlist.  Todd’s getting ready for his mid-term exam (which he will take today). The house is filled with all joyful bustle. I just shocked tall son with a liberal sprinkle of sea salt on diced potatoes whilst talking continually to another son. SPL son is helping new, young scout pack. Hamburgers are done. Chicken’s on. Pork’s on. Ground beef’s cooking. Pancake batter’s a-mixing. The joy like the dawn dish soap -rising – effervescent.

And in honor- I am posting the pancake recipe I just converted (yet again).


  –for my tribe-

10 large eggs

5 cups white flour

5 cups whole wheat flour

7 1/2 cups liquid (rice milk, water, orange juice, coconut milk, etc)

10 TB brown sugar or coconut sugar

1 1/4 cup oil  (we use olive)

10 TB aluminum free baking powder

*earth balance or coconut oil to grease griddle

*berries, chocolate chips, or other add-ins

Beat eggs in bottom of large(est) mixing bowl. Add the rest of ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add berries if desired.

Heat griddle until a sprinkle of water bubbles and pops.

Ladle batter in pancake sizes onto greased griddle and cook until surface lightly bubbles.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired. Turn and cook other side.

Serve with Maple Syrup


Chicken Enchilada Upgrade

Happiest birthday to my love, this day.

Celebrating in our style- with feasting and pictures, cards, some gifts, and cake!

And his menu is as follows:

Chicken Enchiladas

Spanish Rice

Italian Salad

Banana Cake with Strawberry Frosting

I am reposting our Chicken Enchilada recipe. Originally posted in 2010, we were not yet utilizing daiya cheese alternative which has transformed so many dishes for us! Now we use it weekly (on our pizza) and it is an integral component of this dish.

I took our recipe to the next level today with the serendipitous addition of canned coconut milk instead of rice or soy milk.  This coupled with daiya cheddar promises to be creamy, delicious… divine!

Note: today I forgot entirely about salsa and did not add any at all to this meal. Salsa and chips also makes for a very pleasing side to this meal alongside a luxuriant green leafy salad.

Dairy Free Indulgent Chicken Enchiladas

1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
Olive oil to saute garlic and chopped onion
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (at least)
3 teaspoons cumin
2 cans green chilis
1 container Better Than Sour Cream (divided ¾ to ¼)
1 can full fat coconut milk

2 Cups Cheddar Daiya -divided
Large Tortillas
Salsa (optional)
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and almost clear, but not browned.
Add chicken, ¾ container sour cream,green chilis, cumin seasoning, coconut milk, 1 cup daiya cheddar and mix.
Fill Tortillas with chicken filling and layer in casserole dish. (this makes two 9 by 13 dishes for me)  Spread remaining sour cream over the top of tortillas.  Add (garnish with) salsa as desired. Top with  the remaining daiya cheddar.
Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes (depending on how crunchy you desire the meal to be.) You can also bake this at 350 for a bit longer, if you desire.




The Things They Say and (Recipes and Food Finds!)

“Son, I think you grew!” I say to a rapidly stretching young man of mine.

“Yeah!” He says. “There was that one week when Fig Bar was my life.  I was hungry every five minutes. And Fig Bar! Fig Bar saved the day! They gave me one hour of bliss! One hour when I wasn’t hungry!”

Thankfully, that week of every five minutes of hunger has passed. For now.

Fig Bar! Our newfound true love!

The Things They Say (at 14)

Link to these loves here

Recipes and Food Finds: No Whey Chocolates

(Note: I was going to schedule this post, but just in case there is someone who might benefit and want to order for Easter…I think there is just a day or two left for delivery by Easter)

With Easter soon upon us, I am SO very excited to share about a company that is new to us.

For many years we have purchased Amanda’s Own Confections. I always buy the Lamb Chocolate lollipops for our Love Baskets at Easter. And I buy little foil wrapped Easter figures that I place in Easter Eggs. I am still buying from them but we have never really expanded into all the different things they offer due to the expense. The chocolate is dark and is not the favorite for some of the children. They are high quality and delicious and I always experience great service.

No Whey Chocolates came across my facebook feed a month ago or so. I think I saw it on the Allergic Living page.  Then I saw an ad or two… then, I checked them out. I saw that they were distributing Chocolate Easter Bunnies to Wegman’s. I was intrigued.

The Easter offerings (some of which are sold out and no longer pictured) looked so fun!

I ordered and I emailed. I was reassured that the company is

dedicated Top 8 free, Kosher, Vegan, Gluten-Free,(and no artificial colors or flavors!) and batch test/sample ingredients.

It is very, very, very hard to find truly safe chocolate candy. It is one of the most dangerous foods for milk allergy.

I am so glad I discovered this company and everything was just as we hoped and just as they said!

I dreamed about the treats arriving and all of my children being able to taste, try, and enjoy.

And the day they came- was just like I imagined!  We moved carefully (and slowly as always) with Asher. He is the true litmus test.  He passed! He has passed every thing he has tried and loved (almost) all. We all have!

The Just Great Candy offerings are alternatives for typical favorites like M and M’s; Hershey Bars; and Snickers Bars. And they are delicious.

Most of my children have never had an M an M or Candy Bar.

These treats are definitely items I will put in the Boy Scout Camp food bins as well as in packed dinners for Sports Away Games.

They are delightful for Tea Parties.

The delight on my teen boys’ faces -especially the two who have never had a Candy Bar (until now)- is a joy to behold.

Our favorites are the Choco No-No’s, the No Whey Bar, the Milkless Bar, the mini peaNot cups, and the mini-cream Easter Veggs. The Peek-A-Boos are super fun, too.

The names seem odd to me and it is hard to say them- but the candy is terrific! I listed the favorites because, when I was choosing what to order, I looked at what people highly rated and it helped.

Yay for No Whey Chocolates! An awesome allergic lifestyle food find!




Butternut Squash Cake

In the last many months, we have greatly enjoyed the delights of cake made with different squash. I have made summer yellow squash cake, a squash and banana cake, and a butternut squash cake. The butternut squash cake quickly nestled itself into our hearts’ favorites. Amazing!

I spent some time searching for this recipe as I did not write it out or save it to my computer the last time I made this. So here it is! A new family favorite:

Butternut Squash Cake

4 large eggs

2 1/2 cups sugar (coconut sugar for a healthier alternative, coconut sugar is amazing paired with squash)

1 cup oil (coconut, olive, or other)

2 cups butternut squash puree (roast one butternut squash at 350 for an hour or for 25 minutes at 400 degrees- let cool slightly or all the way, and scoop into a blender. Puree. A large squash makes enough for two cakes)

1 tsp orange zest (optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (sprouted flour or whole wheat pastry flour for a healthier alternative)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 by 13 baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, squash, zest, and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until fork/toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Frost with Dairy- Free Cream Cheese Icing.

Celebrating the Season,