Monday, April 30, 2012

4/30 Meal Plan

Today I was going to post my recipe for healthy breakfast oatmeal bars... but as you know I'm camera-less and even my borrowed camera has a dead battery. BUM-MER.  So instead I'm meal planning again! This week I'm going to try double the quinoa, risotto and pizza recipes and freeze half for easy dinners next week. Wish me luck!


Oatmeal bars for everyone!


Leftovers or pb&j.


Monday: Black bean burgers w/ sweet potato fries. (We didn't have these last Friday so I'm carrying them over to this week.)

Tuesday: Quinoa salad

Wednesday:Pizza night (Bob's Red Mill has a majorly awesome gluten free pizza crust mix. Sometimes I make it without the sauce and it's a fabulous flat bread too! To make it vegan just add 1 TB flax+3TB warm water for the egg.)

Thursday: Orange Tofu w/ rice (This is a new recipe so I don't want to share it until we test it out. The recipe is orange chicken but I'm subbing breaded tofu.)

Friday: Risotto w/ asparagus & mushrooms.

Saturday: Eat Out! Saturdays are my busiest days so I give myself the night off :)

Sunday:  Tacos

Friday, April 27, 2012

FIESTA Friday!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo I wanted to share a birthday fiesta I threw for Hunter's birthday last year :)  

 Margarita cupcakes with tequila lime frosting :) 

Sombrero photo booth!!!!

My mama's famous Party On! salsa :) Soooooo d-lish.

I was veeeeeeeery pregnant last year on May 5th so all I know is that I'm have a marg this year :)  
What are you all planning for Cinco? 
Anything awesome!? 

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Today I'm so thankful for being busy.

I know that sounds kind of weird...but it means that Sugar Mama Bakeshop is doing it!
There have been so many times that I've been insecure about starting/ running my own business.
So many times that I felt lame for even calling it a business because it was really more like just a hobby I was spending way too much time and money on. 
But it seems to be paying off lately and I'm so thankful that I stuck with it. 
Thankful for everyone who supported and encouraged me to stick with it. 
SO thankful for everyone who reads this blog and comes to my classes and orders my creations :)
The busyness means less blogging and I'm sad for that. 
I really miss it, but cupcakes must be baked, 
     scones must be delivered, 
          emails must be returned. 

Plus my sweet baby is growing up SO fast. 
I can't justify sacrificing a second more than I have to with her.

And I'm barely sleeping as it is :) 
So I just wanted you all to know that I'm hoping for two good posts a week this summer.
I have some great recipes to share... but my camera is dead (RIP my dear).
And ALL extra funds are currently making their way directly into the "we REALLY want to buy a house soon" fund.
So I'll beg, steal... no I'll just borrow a camera for now :) 
Soon and very soon.  

Thank you for believing in Sugar Mama Bakeshop! 
a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Last Friday my friend Carina hosted a meal plan party.
It inspired me to get back on the meal plan wagon :) Thanks Carina!
Meal planning really is SO helpful.
We always eat way healthier (and save money) when I plan... but it seems like it only happens every other paycheck... and then I go back to wandering Target hungry and coming home from grocery shopping with chips, oatmeal and coffee.
Yep. We eat out a lot those weeks.
Anyway, here's what we're eating this week!

PS- This girl is an eating machine lately. I mean check out that focus!
First of all no, we don't do variety for breakfast around here. In fact we eat the exact same thing every morning around here. We know what we like and we DON'T like to wake up early to cook breakfast :)  

Hunter: breakfast burritos (There is nothing gf or vegan about these so I have no recipe to share. What can I say? The man loves his eggs, cheese & wheat tortillas... and I love that I can make a huge batch of these and he has breakfast in 2 minutes for 2 weeks. I've been thinking about making some gluten free tortillas and making myself some breakfast wraps with veggies and rice cheese... but I haven't yet)

Ash: Healthy Morning Muffins (These are a new recipe that I am ALMOST ready to share. They just need one more test round! They are agave sweetened and packed with fiber, fruit and veggies :) I've been having them with my coffee for a week now and I'm in love. One really fills me up too!)

Lily: Oatmeal bars (I'm buying these right now but I decided this morning that I'm going to create my own... I'll let you know how that works out.)

First of all no, we don't do variety for breakfast around here. In fact we eat the exact same thing every morning around here. We know what we like and we DON'T like to wake up early to cook breakfast :) 

Monday: Pesto Risotto (My variation is with homemade veggie broth and no parmesan cheese. YUM!)

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Tuesday: Tacos (Taco night is always our favorite night! Hunter loves taco "meat" which is just taco seasoning and tvp (texturized veggie protein. Seriously the cheapest stuff ever, full of protein and has a really similar texture to ground beef... so similar that I don't really love it, but I do love beans, grilled veggies and guacamole!)

Wednesday: Mediterranean Quinoa salad (Wednesdays are crazy for us. Hunter has to come home after work, pick up his guitar and head straight back out for band practice, so I try to make something he can eat in the car on the way. I don't even think this counts as a recipe because it's so simple but he really loves it (and so does Lil)! I mix cooked quinoa with hummus, balsamic vinaigrette, and whatever veggies sound good. It's awesome with fresh spinach, tomatoes & artichoke heart.)

Thursday: Stir fry (Peppers & onions, tofu and brown rice!)

Friday: Black bean burgers and sweet potato fries (I'm still working on a recipe that I absolutely love but in the meantime this one isn't bad.)

Saturday: Eat Out! Saturdays are my busiest days so I give myself the night off :)

Sunday:  Mac & "Cheese" (I just LOVE this mac & "cheese"!!! It's gluten free & vegan and even Hunter loves it. Seriously try it! )

Our lunches are almost always just leftovers.
Fancy. I know.
So there you have it! Next week I'm hoping to do more freezer meals that I can make ahead.
Any good suggestions?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baking Gluten Free & Vegan Cupcakes

Tuesday night I taught my first baking class!
Baking Gluten Free & Vegan Cupcakes (through Dabble)
I think it was a huge success :)
I intended to take fun pictures of the participants as they measured, stirred and baked...
But alas, I did not.
A great big THANK YOU to my first class takers.
I know I've got plenty of room for improvement in my teaching skills, but I had such a wonderful time and can't wait to do another!

(We made mocha cupcakes on Tuesday. My absolute FAVE!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest posting & lemon glaze

I'm guest posting over at today!
If you haven't seen Heather's blog yet, check it out.
She's so fun and everything over there is so pretty :)
I'm sharing my scone recipe, which reminded me of a little bonus tip I have for you.
I tried them out with blueberries instead of chocolate chips and YUM!
We all really liked them but thought we might like a little extra somethin'.
So.... I added a lemon glaze!
It's very very very simple.

-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tsp grated lemon peel
-1 tsp plain coconut milk
-dash of salt
-1 cup powdered sugar

Stir in extra powdered sugar until you have the consistency you want.

I poured it over my blueberry scones on a cooling rack and let the excess drip off.

The result was a very light, lemony sweetness that made the scone better than ever!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Hunter!

Just popping in to say Happy Friday!
I'm baking birthday cake... and nap time is dangerously close to ending.
I just wanted to do a quick shout out:
Happy Happy Birthday to my love (tomorrow)!
I couldn't have asked for a better best friend, partner, husband, baby daddy.
At the risk of sounding really sappy:
Being married to this man makes me excited (not sad) to celebrate getting older, because I get to do it with him by my side.
So here's to you Hunter!
Here's to being 27 four whole months ahead of me ;)

And here's to butterscotch cake!
Several years ago I made Hunter a butterscotch cake and he fell in love... with the cake... he already loved me... but I guess it probably didn't hurt huh? hmmm :)
Anyway, back then it was a $0.79 white box cake mix with Always Save butterscotch chips.
For his birthday this year I'm trying to reinvent the fabulous butterscotch cake to fit into our new lifestyle and baking beliefs.
Attempt number one looked beautiful:

I thought about just showing you pictures and making you think I'm awesome...
But I love honesty and transparency and blogs that show real life not just the gorgeous side :)
So in the name of all those things: it was sick.
Such a bummer, but I'm at it again!
I've got a great feeling about round 2.
I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tangy Lemon Frosting

Monday I shared my fab lemon cupcake recipe.
I also shared that my Easter frosting FAILED.
I tried to take a short cut and turn some leftover vanilla frosting into lemon...
The results of my creativity and frugality: tasty but uuuuuugly :)
Luckily I do have a tried and true lemon frosting so you don't have to experience the same failure!
It's light & fluffy & tangy & buttery.
Tastes like spring!

Lemon Frosting

1/4 cup Earth Balance soy butter
1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP vanilla coconut milk
1 whole grated lemon peel (about 1/4 cup)
3 cups powdered sugar

-Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer until smooth.
-Mix in lemon juice until incorporated.
-Add powdered sugar and mix until creamy.
-After adding sugar, slowly add the milk until you have a spreadable consistency.
-Stir in lemon peel.
-Frost away! This frosts about 12-16 cupcakes. I guess it just depends on how generous you are ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Lemon Cupcakes

I hope you had a happy Easter weekend! Ours was so lovely.
Just simple, and beautiful and wonderful.
We spent yesterday in the sunshine hanging out with family, eating great food & drinking good wine, and being entertained by Lily :)


Hunter's mom made delicious grilled portobello mushrooms and his sis made baked tomatoes with spices, olive oil and cheese ( I even got some special ones with rice cheese) that were fabulous!
For dessert we had lemon blueberry cupcakes. Not these lemon blueberry cupcakes because unfortunately I tried to ad lib my frosting and it melted all over the place.
This picture is from the last time I made them :)
Don't worry, they still tasted d-lish yesterday... and I'm a firm believer that taste trumps looks when it comes to dessert. Always.


Sugar Mama's Lemon Cupcakes

-3/4 c brown rice flour
-3/4 c tapioca flour
-1/2 c coconut flour
-1 c (minus 2 TBSP) cane sugar
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
-1/2 c plain coconut milk
-1/4 c fresh lemon juice
-3/4-1 c warm water
-3 TBSP oil
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
-1/4 c grated lemon peel

-Preheat oven to 375.
-Whisk together dry ingredients.
-Add wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
-Fold in lemon peel.
-Scoop batter into lined cupcake tins.
-Bakes 15-20 minutes until cake bounces back when touched lightly.
-Makes 12-14 cupcakes.


PS-I want to share the frosting too...the fab one not the runny one :) But nap time is quickly coming to an end and I've got laundry waiting! I'll try and have it up by Wednesday.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fiesta Friday {May Day}

I'm hosting a bridal shower for a friend and we just decided that the best date is May 1...
May Day!!
Did you all used to make sweet little paper baskets filled with flowers and leave them on your neighbors' porches on May Day?
We totally did!
A celebration of all things spring & sunshine & flowers makes so much sense to me!
Throw in a recipe/ kitchen gadget gift theme and you've got yourself a par-tay :)
First things first I think everyone should have a little brown paper basket of flowers... probably with name tags for a place setting/ party favor right?
We'll also have gorgeous cupcakes... I mean obviously.

I also believe I'll be decorating with cupcake wrapper garland.
A certain dog got into a ton of my pretty tulip cupcake wrappers... they're still intact but to slobbery to eat from :)
Lucky for Amos I've been wanting to try this anyway.

For centerpieces I love twine wrapped vases!
This one is extra cute with the doily :)

Oh and remember I said it has a kitchen gadget theme?
In the invite everyone will be asked to bring their favorite recipe on a notecard and a kitchen gadget as a gift!
Maybe I need to paint some wooden spoons!?

Well, I think that should keep my busy for awhile :)
I'm out for the weekend.
Have a happy Easter my friends!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gluten Free on a budget

A couple weeks ago Ashley asked me to do a guest post at The Vanilla Tulip. She has started a series called Thrifty Thoughts where she posts about budgeting, saving money, being thrifty etc. I love the idea of working together to save money! So I shared a post on how I feed my fam gluten free & vegan on a seriously small budget. It CAN be done I promise :)

I forgot I never shared it here. So here you are! I would love to hear your feedback and comments. How do you save?

I get lots of questions from people considering cutting gluten from their diets & I LOVE being able to answer questions & help out!
I've been gluten & dairy free for almost 4 years now & I've definitely learned some things along the way.
One of the biggest things everyone is concerned about is the cost of going gluten free.
Luckily I can help there too, because not only are we gluten free & vegan at our house...
We're on a serious budget.
My husband, daughter and I recently moved into my in-law's basement to fast track our savings plan so that we can buy a house next year.
My in-laws are gracious, lovely people but living in the basement is serious motivation when it comes to sticking to budget & saving every penny you can ;)
Anyway, I would love to share some of my best advice for eating gluten free (on a budget)!
Hopefully these are helpful tips to those of you who are recently gluten free or considering it.

1.) Buy Bulk:

I don't necessarily mean head to Costco and stock up on a year's supply of rice (although rice does keep for awhile and I'm sure that's cost effective). But I'm talking about the bulk section at your market. Whole Foods has a great bulk section and it's typically significantly cheaper than the prepackaged goods.
You can find so many staples:
  • rice- Rice is a staple for a gluten free diet I've recently switched to slow-cooking instead of instant brown rice to save even more. It takes about 45 minutes to cook but you just get it simmering and then set a timer and it's totally worth it to me! We probably have rice with dinner 3 times a week and the slow-cooking, bulk, brown rice is only about $.05-$.07 per serving!!
  • dried beans- Another great place to save is dried beans. Beans in general tend to be cost effective and if I find the cans on sale I usually stock up, but I also like to buy dried beans and cook them in a slow cooker so that they soak up the flavors and spices while they rehydrate! So yummy and CHEAP!
  • spices- To be honest I'm not sure what's cheaper ounce for ounce, but the bulk section is AMAZING for spices you don't use very often. Instead of paying $7 for an entire container of a spice that you need 1/2 tsp of for one recipe... You can scoop 1/2 tsp into a tiny baggy and pay about $.50 for it :)
  • baking supplies- Most gluten free flours aren't available in bulk yet, but you can usually find sugar, oats, chocolate chips, nuts and dried fruit. Again, you only have to buy as much as you need so you don't end up wasting as much.
One quick note about buying in bulk: I have a gluten sensitivity and can't directly eat anything with wheat, barley or gluten without getting sick, but cross-contamination isn't a huge concern for me. However, I never use anything that isn't packaged in a gluten free facility when baking for my business. Depending on the severity of your allergy/ sensitivity you may have to be more cautious with this option.

2.) Case Discounts:

Sometimes I find a few gluten free specialty items at my regular grocery store, but most times I end up needing a trip to Whole Foods for some basics. I probably don't have to tell you but it's a little tricky trying to shop at Whole Foods on a tight budget!

My best advise is to take advantage of their case discount policy. If you buy a case of anything they will give you 10% off! You just have to find an employee and ask about some of your faves to see if a case is 6 or 45 :) Six boxes of pasta isn't to unreasonable and then you get a discount on everything!

3.) Don't be a sucker for marketing!
So this is true for anyone looking for save money but I've seen it way more since I quit eating gluten (and dairy). Now that gluten sensitivity is becoming a more common health issue it seems like everyone is jumping on the g-free train. Have you noticed how suddenly nuts, chips, and rice cereal are all GLUTEN FREE? Well... actually they always have been. They're just labeling it now (and you're probably paying more JUST for that label). Here is a basic list of foods that are naturally gluten free:
  • rice
  • potatoes
  • fresh, frozen or canned vegetables (check that the veggie is the only ingredient added)
  • fresh, frozen or canned fruit (again check for sneaky additives)
  • quinoa (LOVE this stuff!)
  • nuts
  • beans
Don't pay extra for these things just because they're labeled gluten free. Also make sure you're reading labels. Sometimes seasonings in packaged foods can sneak in gluten!

I hope that helps a little. I know it can be overwhelming to cut out gluten at first, but it can be such a relief to know that you can cure health issues with a simple diet change. And you can absolutely do it on a budget!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

...and we're back!

I'm feeling so out of the loop lately.
I've been keeping so busy with baking, marketing & traveling that I haven't found much time for blogging.
This weekend I took a 9 hour road trip (should of been 7 but apparently Lily is NOT a fan of road trips.)
We went to Kansas for her great-great-grandad's 100th birthday party!
He was a farmer his whole life and she wore her sweet little overalls in his honor :)
It was so amazing and precious to see them hanging out!
He looked at me and said "Well, it looks like you got a good one."
I think so grandad!
Today is the last day to get your 50% Sugar Mama deal.
Also I'm really hoping to have a new recipe up tomorrow (finally right?)
How was your weekend? Anything exciting?!


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