DIY Christmas JOY Sign

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Christmas really is the best time of the year. It brings back childhood memories, you get to spend time lots of time with family, eat delicious food, give and receive presents, and decorate the house like a glorious winter wonderland! I love making new holiday crafts for my house and this year I made a great addition for the front porch. It was fairly simple and I had most of the items I already needed at home, which always makes me happy. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and have time to make a few Christmas crafts. :)

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Chewy Gluten Free, Dairy Free Brownies

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I was on the search for a delicious brownie recipe that was gluten and dairy free. However, a strange thing happens when you start to search for gluten and dairy free desserts…people add weird ingredients to desserts that just do not belong there. When I was searching for a brownies recipe, I found a ton of recipes that used avocados and black beans as the main ingredient. I don’t want to bite into a black bean brownie, that just does not sound appetizing to me. I want a nice chewy, fudgy, and full of chocolaty tasting brownie. I’ll save the avocados for my guacamole. I finally found the perfect brownies to make which came out so perfect and hit the spot. I didn’t even have to use any healthy ingredients ;)

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Pumkin Swirl Bars

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It’s cold outside and that is the best time to bake desserts, even better is pumpkin desserts since Christmas is right around the corner. When everyone is bringing another pumpkin pie, you can be the hero and show up with delicious pumpkin bars with a cream cheese swirl on top…yum! If it were me I would pick that…and a piece of pumpkin pie because I’m greedy like that and will never pass up pumpkin pie. :)

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Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

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Who doesn’t love a good bowl of thick, cheesy macaroni and cheese? Even if I can’t fully indulge in this because it’s full of dairy, I still love making it for family and having a few small bites. Yes, I live on the edge and lead a dangerous life! Maybe not, but this recipe is super easy and took less than 15 minutes to make. It’s the perfect post Halloween meal to top off your sugar induced coma with, enjoy. :)

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Anything but Boring Pumpkin Bread (GF, DF)

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This time of year is my favorite time to bake because everything has pumpkin in it. You can’t go to any grocery store, bakery, or restaurant without some sort of pumpkin flavored food screaming for your attention. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins….pumpkin, pumpkin, PUMPKIN! I love it but I must admit, I loved it much more last year when I was able to eat all of it. This year it’s a bit of a bummer that everything has gluten and dairy in it. Don’t get me wrong, if you catch me on a weak day I might have a couple of lactose pills in one hand and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s pumpkin cheesecake ice cream in the other. I will feel like total hell for the rest of the night and the next day but that 30 minutes of pure heaven was worth it.

For the rest of the time that I decide to stay on track, I made this delicious pumpkin bread that tastes exactly like the kind full of gluten I’ve made in the past. I was so surprised by exactly how much it tastes the same. It’s so soft and full of yummy pumpkin flavor. My husband couldn’t tell a difference and loved it so much! He told me I wasn’t allowed to share this loaf with anyone because it was too good to leave the house. Perhaps a little selfish but a great compliment and I’ll take it! My stomach does not react well to xantham gum (it’s actually pretty nasty stuff if you read about it) so I use gelatin instead when baking with gluten free flour. I use 1/2 teaspoon for every 2 cups flour. It makes everything nice and fluffy as you can tell from the bread and it turned out beautiful. I’m so happy with the Betty Crocker flour also, it hasn’t failed me yet. I hope you enjoy this bread during the holidays this year :)

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Dairy Free Banana Bars

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I go in phases where I will eat a banana everyday, sometimes two in a day. They’re so simple to take with you for breakfast or a snack. However, last month I was in a banana hating phase. After a while of eating this easy, on-the-go fruit day after day I just can’t peel another mushy banana for breakfast. One day I passed by the huge mound of yellow fruit in the grocery store and I looked at them with a little bit of disgust and just keep walkin’…no more bananas! But, as with most of my phases, this one passed and I’m back to my banana loving phase. Which brings us to this delicious dairy free recipe. I had my doubts about these banana bars when I was making the batter because it seemed a little too easy and too healthy. But I was so shocked when I tasted them because they’re super delicious. They have just the right amount of sweetness and banana flavor mixed together. Who is ready for yummy pumpkin fall desserts? I am, it’s my favorite time of the year!

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Ham and Egg Crepe Squares

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Aren’t theses the cutest crepes you’ve ever seen?? Apparently they are “deee-licious” as well. I wouldn’t know because my husband gobbled up every last bite before I could taste them but wanted me to make sure I wrote “delicious” as their description. Umm, thanks, I guess…. :) Looks like I’ll be making another batch very soon.

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