home is where you make it.

When I was about seven, we moved from the tiny brick bungalow, and the only home I’d known, into a shiny, new, yellow aluminum sided four bedroom colonial. It was nestled on a the end of a cul de sac in a neighborhood that was full of strange kids who would become my walk to school friends, kick the can buddies and all around partners in crime….and  I was excited. I love change.

In the past five years since getting divorced, however, I’ve moved seven times. Change at that rate gets a little old. Kick the can games fewer and far between.

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kitchen kitsch

My latest stop has me renting a condo, which means the month that you decide to go “off lease” and rent month to month is exactly the time the landlord calls and tells you he has someone interested in buying that condo. Change? It seems to like me more than I like it at this point.

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map wall

But, on the other hand, maybe it’s a good thing.

I’m also turning (a BIG number birthday…like a really big one…halfway to being mentioned by Williard Scott and being sponsored by Smucker’s big) this week and have always dreamt of seeing this amazing country of ours.

We (my current partner in crime and myself) have been slowly planning, plotting, budgeting…a way to travel around to the National Parks — seeing everything I’ve / we’ve / never gotten to see. Hence the big map on our wall.

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After all, home can be anywhere…..in a big, shiny, yellow aluminum house on a cul de sac, or in the front seat next to your best pal driving across the country…..

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stay tuned.

 

 

All images © 2013-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

time to bake.

(finally)

looking back, and realizing that we have moved six times in the past year helps me understand why lately I just feel like sitting on the bed zoning out to back episodes of shows like “keeping up with the kardashians” and “brooklyn nine nine”.

mindless brain numbing occupiers of my time.

 

but last night I decided I needed a treat, preferably a gluten free one….and even better if I could bake it myself.

so

I did just that.

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behold; the shortbread crust.

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reserve 3/4 cup of the crust, blend with brown sugar and 1/4 cup gluten free flour.

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I used frozen organic cherries….tossed with a tiny bit of sugar (about a teaspoon)

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sprinkle the crumb topping on top.

bake!

 

Gluten Free Cherry Shortbread Crumble

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (280g) + ¼ cup (35g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (224g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (109g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen (organic) cherries, thawed and tossed with a teaspoon of sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square pan. Set the pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place 2 cups flour, the xanthan gum, (if needed)  granulated sugar and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, and mix to combine. The mixture should come together as a soft dough. Remove about ¾ cup (150g) of the dough and transfer it to a medium-size bowl. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and the remaining ¼ cup (35g) flour to the reserved dough, and mix to combine. This is the crumble topping. Place the bowl of crumble topping in the freezer to chill.
  3. Scrape the remaining soft shortbread dough into the prepared square pan, and press into an even layer with a spoon, or well-floured hands. Set aside.
  4. Layer the cherries on top of the shortbread evenly.
  5. Remove the crumble topping from the freezer and sprinkle it in an even layer on top of the cherries. Press down on the topping gently but firmly.
  6. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is uniformly light brown in color and seems set. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely (place in the freezer to speed the process).
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Freeze any leftovers, tightly enclosed in freezer-safe wrapping.

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so.

 

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sometimes things don’t go as planned.

so, alas we are moving again. moving; and moving on.

I am ready for peace, and to focus on our goals.  life this past year has been seriously crazy. I means seriously crazy; the stress landed me in the hospital the other night.

 

but now, I’m ready to attack the next year.

 

and hope it doesn’t attack back.