Babycakes Mini Muffins

Babycake Mini Muffins
For Christmas this year Bella asked for an Easy Bake Oven, with her Gluten allergy, I felt like the oven would be disappointing. One day during the last month we found ourselves at the JC Penny Store, we walked through the Home Appliance section and on one of the the end caps was this cute PINK Babycakes Mini Muffin maker. It is cheesy, and yet another appliance that will be stored under the cabinet or left on the counter to get in the way. The basic idea is that it has 8 wells to pour batter into and then is closes to create perfect round top muffins. Little Bit LOVED it, so Grandma went on the sly and got one for her. The recipe book that comes with it is not so helpful, all gluten recipes. Our first attempt we used a gluten free chocolate cake mix, it worked great. There was too much batter, we (I) made four batches, that does not seem like much but each batch takes 9 minutes and my helper lost interest after the first batch.

So this morning I sat down to create a gluten free recipe that would make about 2 batches, which is perfect cause the first batch get gobbled up as soon as it is cool enough to eat and than the next batch is ready by the time you have eaten the first.
Babycake Mini Muffins
Gluten Free Babycakes Fruit Muffins
Makes Approx 16 mini muffins

1 Egg
1/3 - 3/4 cup rice milk (start with 1/3 cup add more if needed after mixing in dry ingredients for good pouring consistency)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Frozen banana thawed and mashed or 1/2 cup Apple Sauce or 1/2 cup Fruit Preserves
6 shakes of Cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar (if you used perserves you may not need any additional sugar)
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix (this is what we had on hand, the mix is good cause it already has Baking Soda and Xanthan Gum in it)

Whisk together all of the liquid ingredients before adding dry ingredients (start with 1/3 cup  milk add more if needed after you finish mixing in the dry ingredients to create a  good pourable consistency or to extend the batter to get 2 batches).

Babycake Mini Muffins
Use spray oil on the muffin maker, the machine is non stick, our first batch stuck a little. We use a half cup measuring cup to pour the batter into the wells. DO NOT OVER FILL, the lid will come down and make a super big mess. I try to get A to under fill.We are still practicing.
Babycake Mini Muffins

Close the lid and set a timer for 9 minutes. Check to make sure they are done, Carefully use a spoon to remove the muffin, both the muffins and the maker are HOT.

Spray the oil on the maker and refill for another batch. Gobble down the first batch.

Go off and play, expect mommy to finish up.

In my experience, Gluten Free breads are good for the first day, then they get weird, moist gooey or super dry. So the Babycakes may be wonderful, it is easy to wipe down and it makes just enough to enjoy with no leftovers.
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Yum Yum Yummy

I am not a baker, my sole purpose in the kitchen is to make coffee. Yesterday I decided I needed to step to it if I wanted any Gluten Free, Lactose Free yummy treats for the holiday.

Yummy Food

Thanks to Dot at Food Whirl's twitter messages there was an amazing cookies recipe, originally posted at Delicious Delicious Delicious. The Chocolate, Cinnamon and Peanut Butter Cookies  recipe is NOT gluten free,  I subbed in Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour and dark chocolate chunks. The dough was super stiff and did not bubble up and melt flat like wheat cookies. Next batch I will probably add an extra egg and more baking soda. If I have it in the fridge I will add some Xanthan Gum, which is supposed to help make gluten free flour less absorbent or something (it is in all the GF bread recipes). The cookies taste great and look good but they are a bit heavy.

Yummy Food


What is a holiday without Pie! My children informed me that they prefer Pumpkin Pie to Pecan Pie. FOOLS! I made both.

I used a the Gluten Free ready made crust from Whole Foods, these crusts are not dairy free. The crusts have butter, which does not seem to bother my daughter (butter should have very little lactose if properly made), very good cause I am no crust maker.

Dairy Free Pecan Pie recipe came from Dairy Free Cooking, this recipe does not use corn syrup, just brown sugar. Pick you poison I guess. My mom gave us whole pecans in our holiday gift bag, so Arabella took the time to make mandala style designs on the top of the pecan pie. I followed the recipe, the only sub I made was to use tinned Coconut milk for the soy milk and the margarine and GF Flour. The top of the pie crusted beautifully before the middle was done, I hovered a bit to make sure the crust did not burn.

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie recipe came from This is a pretty basic recipe, I subbed in tinned Coconut Milk for the liquid part. I think it could use a bit more sugar, it almost taste healthy and maybe more spice. The crust did get a little too brown by the time the center was done, I should have lowered the temp to 350, I think 400 was too hot.

Yummy Food

Hopefully there will be pie to bring to my dad's house tomorrow, last night we had pie for dinner. PIE is healthy, I went through a dozen eggs yesterday and nuts and coconut milk and beta carotene. All very good for you. Hubby asked if we had any veggies yesterday, only if baked beans count. Yeah for the holidays and yeah for yummy food.

Going to the Birds

Felt Bird Experiment

Okay I am moving on, this holiday season feels pretty over, at least from a making standpoint. I need to think about spring and what is better than birds and birdhouses. So to that end, I started searching for patterns of plush birds I could fiddle with and make my very own. I found a lot of patterns for flat birds (no gussets) and some folks who are making 3 -D birds and the Spool bird pattern.

So I just started with a traditional shaped bird, slopey back and tummy added a gut gusset and a head gusset. Kinda liked them, my cat LOVED them, which is why they are covered in hair and other gunk. I thought they needed a tail. I added a tail to the last one and called it finished, I can't find that one, thanks kitty. They felt more like ornaments for the tree, I think I was still in Christmas mode.

So I made one of the Spool birds and it is too fat, too big and too puffy. I like the one back seam and how the tail was part of the body but ...

Let's modify! I put the pattern on a diet and reduced the overall size, then I significantly changed the tummy gusset and the tail, much sleeker. I added a head gusset but it looked wrong I kept changing the shape of it, still wrong. Finally, hubby suggested I make the head seam "correctly" or on the inside and let the other seams show. I knew I married him for a reason, he makes the hard choices. The inside head gusset made it look like a bird head instead of a bird with a hat on. On the last one I added some legs, that are seriously weird and I need to work on them.

Felt Bird Experiment

Still not sure if this will get past the prototype stage but if you have been looking for some bird tutorial here are a few I looked at:

Here is a very cute mobile and tutorial using the Spool pattern made by Jen at House of Wood.

Retro Mama has an adorable Partridge pattern, just right if you need to make yourself crazy before Saturday.

Here is a cute Robin pattern from Bird's Party


Lunar Eclipse Silly

What could be more fun than waking your seven year old up for a lunar eclipse on the longest night of the year. Arabella was so game, she understood the concept of solar eclipse, it took a bit to get that it happens to the moon too. We set the alarm for 2 am, we brought out our sleeping bag, pillows and bunches of quilts and made a snuggly bed in the truck. We only saw about 4 glimpses of the moon as it flashed through the cloud cover but that was enough.

We giggled, laughed and make silly jokes that can only be made  at 3 in the morning while you are getting sneaky glances at the moon, snuggled into the bed of your truck with your family. Daddy keep hushing us cause he was afraid we would wake the neighbors, silly daddy the neighbors should be outside with us. I missed our big girl and I hope that my mom took her out to watch the night show.

Lunar Eclipse Silly

Made in America--Kinda

Why is a Jeep Commercial so heartbreaking? I saw this ad and the words made me cry. I don't give a rat's backside about Jeep, they are cashing in on a moment, a realization that as a culture we have lost something.

We all have our soap boxes and I realize mine is a bit shaky. For all of my buy local, support the arts and grow your own foodism--I feel like a hypocrite, in a very big way.

This holiday as I make make make our gifts I realized that even if I am making the final product, many of the components are not made in America (MIA), they are made in China (MIC) or Japan or some other country far away.  Since the ones MIC don't have a disclaimer, they were probably made by children and prisoners.

This leaves me in a quandary, do I abhor all things manufactured outside of the USA? I think I allow myself to temper that thought with the fact that there is not a MIA option. As an artist, crafter, educator and local/online shop owner, I support the making of things. The things I make and sell feed my family, not feeding my family is not an option.

Thinking sucks.

Comedy Of Errors

Magnets 2010

Have you ever had an idea, then bumbled your way through figuring it out, spent way more than you anticipated and yelled at your kids because it was all for them?

That would about sum up the holiday gifts we (I) made (are making) for my daughters' friends and teachers.

Idea!! Magnets are cool but who wants them for just the refrigerator. I want to make a necklace with magnets that kids can swap (cause I am so over silly bandz).

Research: I see it on etsy, looks doable. A lot of folks use bottle caps, those make me nervous they have sharp edges and you fill them with epoxy, yuck! I see that they now have an epoxy style sticker, still sharp edges. My best bud has a 1 inch button maker I can borrow. DONE! Let's order the magnet button supplies (100 is the minimum, we don't have that many friends, we will give multiples) and something that we can make into a pendant.

Reality: I am cheap, I don't want to order bezel pendants, so what else would work? Dog tags out of stainless steel, much less than pendants.

Dear Mommy

To the gifts you keep forever, written by my 9-year-old for her little sister, a gift to me for my birthday.

Handmade Shopping til Dec 24th

Find Sloth Craft Holiday gifts and others crafty artists all month at these amazing locations:

Naked Art
3831 Clairmont Avenue
Birmingham, AL 35222

Monday thru Saturday 10:30 - 7, Sunday noon - 4

235 Westminster Street
Providence RI 02903
Craftland Show is a month-long annual holiday sale in downtown Providence, RI that celebrates all kinds of sparkly handmade objects and the 170 artists who make them.

Atlanta Events 

Spruill Gallery
4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Wednesday-Saturday, 11am - 5pm

Young Blood Gallery
 636 N Highland Ave. Atlanta, GA 30306

Arts for All Gallery at VSA arts of Georgia
Suite R-1, 57 Forsyth ST NW
Atlanta, GA 303903

Open Every DayNovember 26th - December 30, 2010
Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Support the arts,
 purchase one of a kind handmade gifts for the holiday!


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