Thursday, February 28, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

I Love Granola! Recipe =) that is GF and NF!!

 That's right! I made it! I created it! I can brag about it, because it is rockin' awesome delicious! Even our 18-year-old son, Ethan, was eating it! I am allergic to two main food items...gluten and nuts, so, guess what is in most granola products?! Nuts and, of course, gluten. So, I went through many recipes and then headed to my pantry to see what I had that I could through into the pan.

 Then after I baked and allowed the granola mixture to cool, I stored it in a air tight container. I have a feeling that it won't last very long...Better stock up on more of the ingredients lol...

Now for the recipe...

I Love Granola! Recipe
that is Gluten-free and Nut-free...

2 1/2 cups old fashion oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (cheaper in the produce section of the grocery)
1/2 cup whole flax seed (found in the produce section)
1 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon roasted quinoa
3/4 cup golden raisins (more if you want)
3/4 cup dark raisins (again, more if you want)
1 tablespoon milled flax seed
1/4 cup of real local honey

Mix all these together in a large mixing bowl, coating everything supper well.
For the really brave ones, put on some gloves, get your hands in the mixtures and 
massage the mixture until it is all well blended.
Spray an iron skillet or baking sheet with cooking spray.
Pour the mixture evenly into the skillet or baking pan.
Bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
The mixture should be dry and crunchy, so time may vary. 
Remember, I used a toaster oven lol...I have a makeshift kitchen right now...=)
but it will grow up to be a real stove and oven one day...lol...
You can also add: 3/4 cup of dried cranberries for an amazing color at the mixing stage...

Happy baking...
Hugs, Rita

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Cooking Spinach is a New Experience...

Cooking spinach was something I was totally afraid of until I began experimenting with this...other green vegetable. First, I tore it up in salads and that wasn't so bad. I was giving my family extra vitamins in a sneaky way. Then I sauteed some onions, mushrooms in a skillet and wondered about throwing in a chopped apple and some garlic. WOW! The flavor popped.

On top, I packed fresh spinach and in minutes it was this beautiful green lightly sauteed green mixture that was a such a sweet delight to my mouth when I tasted it. A party...a celebration! I was a happy healthy camper! Now, I don't think twice about sauteing some up in the microwave or on the stove for my favorite pasta dishes or my not so favorite other dishes to give them a boast as well as slip something in on my family that is not only healthy but filling them up more so than just starch. That sounded bad but hopefully you get what I am trying to say...let's try again...where I use to add two boxes of 16 oz of regular pasta, I now use one 8 or even 16 oz gluten free pasta (since I am allergic to the other) and load it up with vegetables like spinach, onion, garlic, apples, broccoli, cauliflower, and more sauteed, steamed, and roasted. Everyone that eats at our table is getting a balance of wonderful, delicious food. Now, here is how I do the spinach...

Simply spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat the skillet on medium heat until hot. Then add 1 large onion, peeled and diced. Add two gala apples, cored, peeled and diced. Add one clove of garlic, peeled and minced. Saute all of this until onions are browned slightly and tender. Add 1 teaspoon each of chopped parsley and cilantro. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and salt. Finally place fresh spinach on top of the mixture and cover with a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally  until the spinach is tender. Serve hot.

Any that is leftover can be used later to add to pasta or layered with spaghetti squash to make a lasagna. Regardless how you eat it, I promise that the apple gives it a wonderful new flavor. Try adding a bit of cinnamon for a popping new flavor!

Hugs, Rita
Monday, February 25, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Crochet Granny Square Scarves...

I think of coffee when I see this fiber...
then it really don't take much for me to think of coffee lol.
This is a narrow version of the scarves I have been making...

I also whipped up a wider scarf for those colder days...

The stitch is a simple granny square stitch...

This cutie can be worn year round
as a necklace or embellishment...
I will write up the pattern soon for both of these
pretty scarves...promise...They are so easy to make
and you will want to make them over and over.
You can easily make both of these beauties from
two skeins of yarn too!!
Why do I suddenly want to dress in the 1930s or 1950s 
with the necklace scarf...hmmm.

Hugs, Rita

Sunday, February 24, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

My Gluten Free Snicker-doodle Cookies Recipe

Being diagnosed with a gluten allergy, added to that a nut allergy, doesn't mean that you have to go with out delicious sweet treats, like this one! I had such fun making this recipe and it is a really large making of dough too...or at least I think it was. Everyone kept coming through getting spoonfuls for tasting! lol...yummy. Light and tasty, you won't eat just one, but get your fill because by morning, they will all be gone...

Gluten-Free Snicker-doodle Cookies Recipe

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup Splenda brown sugar (love this stuff)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup local honey
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups gluten-free white rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet 
or spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
In a mixer, blend butter, sugars and honey together.
Wait about blending in egg until the mixture is well blended...
so the egg won't cook with the warm butter.
Add the beaten egg and mix well.
Then add flours slowly as the mixer continues to rotate on a very low speed.
Stop the mixer and add the remaining ingredients and continue mixing until all the ingredients is well blended. If the dough isn't sticky to the touch and able to form into a ball, add more of one of the flours until this consistency is reached. 
Form the cookie dough into small balls and lay on the cookie sheet.
Back for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes approx. 35 cookies...depending on how much dough is eaten...
so I really don't know how many cookies can be made from this recipe...
everyone keeps dipping into the DOUGH lol....

Hugs, Rita...


Friday, February 22, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

French Toast with Peaches...

 Friday night is just made for comfort food. At the end of a long week, it creates a sense of warmth, happiness and an ease into a great weekend. Topping such a delicious meal with a special fruit and warm syrup, then you have a sit down meal in a matter of minutes with few ingredients and little cleanup.

Egg covered, toasted golden brown...
large pieces of sourdough bread...

...with peaches, drained/rinsed and warm syrup to
top the French toast...

Delicious...

Friday Night's Comforting French Toast Recipe

12 large eggs, beaten well
1 teaspoon real vanilla
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 large loaf of bread

Mix all the ingredients well.
The mixture should be bright yellow, creamy consistency.
Slice the bread, if not already sliced, 1/2 inch thick.
Spray the skillet with cooking spray and warm on medium heat.
When skillet is hot, dip one slice of bread in egg mixture,
coating both sides generously and lay in skillet.
Leave on each side for 1 minute or until golden brown.
Repeat until all the egg mixture or bread is gone.
** If there is egg mixture left, you can scramble the remaining or freeze it. 

Delicious...Should I video making this? 
What do you think...in my makeshift kitchen...
in the craziness of my house lol...
Hugs, Rita
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

I love these moments...scrapbooking page layout

 My friends say that if anyone knows where all the Starbucks are in the state of Alabama and to Nashville, it's me! Too funny. However, it isn't just for enjoying a cup of coffee, a latte, a flavored frap, hot chocolate, tea, or a nice pastry...one can read, play games on their laptop, do school work or...scrapbook! I do... This is one of many pages I have created at one of my favorite Starbucks. "I love these memories..." not only at Starbucks, my point of a good cup of coffee but a point of respite for me during these days of my life, but also, I love my time with girlfriends, scrapbooking, crochet, talking, Bible study, or just being.

The kit I used was from Close to My Heart and I really liked the canvas embellishments that came with it. I ordered a second kit I liked it so much. The papers are a little weak but with the added cardstock from my stash, it worked great. I added tags with my favorite Stampin' Up punch as a the pull. I can journal more about the event and the photos using the tag. The event represented on this page was different years at Scrapping for a Cure to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. I love Rachael McGuire and her family. They work very hard to waken the community and those around them to the creativity of scrapbooking as a respite and to CF. Love the whole process but not the disease. Check out their story...

Respite...creating and refreshing the mind...I highly recommend it for everyone...

Hugs, Rita
Monday, February 18, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Stamp and Organizing Idea...

 To say I have a LOT of stamps, both wood mount and clear, is to say...a girl has a lot of makeup, jewelry and shoes. Well, I guess, I'm not one of those girls, but I do have a lot of stamps. I haven't dismounted my wood stamps because I got these really cool wood racks off ebay a million years ago and love love love them. Plus the stamps look absolutely beautiful on the wall. I just don't have the heart to separate any of the fabulous feeling I have looking at all of them. So, I can I be a good steward of using them...so glad you asked.

 I pulled some of my most used inks and started stamping the images on cardstock using my small trusty cutting board which I carry with me just in case the surface I am using isn't stable for stamping. Then I place the sheet of cardstock into the organizer for my stickers/paper/embellishments for that themed stamp. Thus, I use that stamp. I have several images stamped, ready to go or to share. If I need more or stamped in a different color ink, I am reminded that I have that image and can easily pull it. Perfect. Done. Better steward of what I have. Plan to do this with my diecutting images too.

What is your way of organizing stamps? I could use all the advice in 2013 in getting my studio and art supplies organized...

Hugs, Rita

Sunday, February 10, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Sunday Randomness...and my makeshift kitchen...

This is it. All I have to use to cook with. Why? I don't have a kitchen. In 2011, we were hit by storms and we were in the midst of adding on with plans to remodel the existing house. After our rush to move into the addition, a wild story, we bulldozed down the old portion of the house in 2012, another story I haven't been able to blog here or share the video yet.  So, I cook in this makeshift kitchen complete with a microwave, toaster oven and two-eye burner. It is really fabulous BUT I dream of getting a real kitchen...eventually. This is in the studio space we decided in the new addition that we are using for dining and living until that day...not sure when that will be...hopefully this year. Need to work toward saving money for the rebuild.

For now, I am cleaning out my studio stash and reorganizing. I began by going through my scrapbooking. A friend, Terri, which isn't online, sad to say, told me that she simply put kits together for her crops. I got to thinking about that and decided to take mine a step further, which I will totally share with you later. ((I forgot to bring my power strip with me for my blogging Sunday afternoon lol)) TOLD you...Sunday Randomness...

Then that thought led to another...I once went a few months without purchasing art supplies except for adhesive and my goal date was my birthday. Then I realized with my birthday coming up this Saturday, that maybe I could go a whole year without buying supplies... Thinking this might be a challenge worth considering. Then swap, barter, recycle or trade for things that I need... This is all areas of my art, not just paper, but beading, fiber, glass, fabric, wood... What do you think? Who is with me? Think I can do it...((Gulp)) What have I just typed...battery go dead now please...

Hugs, Rita
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Madison's Birthday Bow

Madison's Birthday was January 22nd and she turned a beautiful 16 years-old! Purple is her favorite color but pink comes in a very close second. So, her mom brought me some sweet ribbons to make her a bow for her to wear a couple of times that week. I did and she was adorable. Pretty regardless of the bow. Madison's spirit is just uplifting and makes me even more happy than I already am...

Hugs, Rita
Sunday, February 3, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Scrapbooking: Blinging it Up

 One thing I have never been afraid of or never second guessed, is using ribbons, embellishments or even bright pretty bling on my boys pages. I have three sons and I figure that if they want to recreate the pages, then, sweeties, feel free to scan them and go for it! I would love to see what you create. In today's technology, I think they would love digital scrapbooking, don't you?! Regardless, I love using bling. My eye glasses have it, my cups have it, my life is all about bling...so, why not my pages...

 I created a trail and then an imperfect flower, I just noticed lol. In addition to the bling, I added the tab punch behind the photos for simple journaling. In this Special Ministries Sunday School Class, we used Art Journaling to build our lesson and reinforce the encouragement we wanted those with us to carry with them all week.

On this page, I added some simple pearls to the page as I have done on some other pages along with tiny journaling spots and punched tags behind the photographs. Sweet expressions for sweet faces that brought us joy week after week and do now day after day. Loving it... Consider adding bling, metal, ribbons, or recycling something you find on your path of walking from place to place and bringing it to your page. I wonder what it might be?!!

Hugs, Rita
Saturday, February 2, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Scrapbooking: multiple photographs on a page

 I will be the first to admit that I am still a baby scrapbooker. I can't wait to learn how to put 12, 16, 18 photographs on a page!!! Hear me breathing heavy?! LOL, I don't take that many photographs at an event (rolling my eyes, holding my fingers crossed behind my back, praying for repentance as God forgives me and just shakes his head lol)... However, I had eight photographs that were all large and were screaming "please don't cut me down to size" so I had to use them on a two page spread.

 I did it! I fanned them out simply and completely with a focal point at the bottom of the fan. I added a simple journaling spot to the corner. The paper spoke for itself and then I added scrap trim around the outside of the layout when I had my photographs down. I also added pearls to the page detailed elements for accent. Pretty.

Again, I fanned out the photographs, giving the page a focal point photograph and a simple journaling spot. I kept it simple and unique which was totally perfect and complete. Doing this, if it had been an attended event, I could have added the tickets, napkins, bulletin, etc behind the photographs...perfect for holding whatever life brings to the page. =)

Hugs, Rita
Friday, February 1, 2013 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Scrapbooking: double using tags

Finding creative ways to use tags is my nitch in creating scrapbook pages. If there is a way to use a tag, this gal will find it! =) I love love love to use tags. I take soda boxes, cardboard, poster board, cardstock, junk mail, magazine subscription tabs, whatever that has some texture to it and cut them out as tags. It is inexpensive and a great way to recycle. 

 Here I put a tag behind the photograph as an embellishment and even left a bit hanging out that could have some simple journaling on it if I wanted. I also used a tab punch pull but could have punched a whole and dangled some fibers and some beads with charms...many fun options are still available before I actually post this in a book.

Then I added a space behind the paper piece I added to the page to hold a tag for my actual journaling. Tags are a great way to add some punch to your pages and even hid that bit of journaling you might not want to take away from the photograph or the page as a whole. Give them a try...you will love the addition to your pages...

Hugs, Rita
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