I know I've been a blog delinquent, but I've been busy canning and focusing on cooking/reducing my consumption of commercially prepared and preserved foods. I had this recipe written up but no blog post for it... and ran across someone asking for it!

So here it is... If you haven't tried "Miles of Chocolate" you really should make an effort to. It's fantastic, but very expensive for a couple of pieces of fudge-y delight. The consistency is somewhere between a brownie and a truffle, with a crunchy crust. They do sell a GF version at Whole Foods (which I've tried and is excellent. you can see a review here), but I really need a dairy free version without the butter so I set out to try and clone it!

I ran across Cookie Madness and saw she had a working recipe that was close to the original texture (you can see it here). She was absolutely right that extra yolk creates the right "crust" on the brownies. I've made several trial/test batches of these, and they are fully approved by my non-gf/df friends. In fact they were specially requested for a recent party! I've been on a gf/df diet for so long now, it always is nice to get verification that it really does taste good and I'm not just forgetting what good food tastes like.

 I've used rice flour in this recipe because that's what the GF version at Whole Foods uses, but I'm planning on trying almond flour or maybe cassava for the next try to reduce the refined grains. You can use any combination of flours you like since it's done by weight! You could also use butter in place of the oil if you don't have dairy restrictions. I do have chickens and use fresh eggs, sometimes they bake differently.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Miles of Chocolate Clone
100 g rice flour (finest grind you can find)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
4 oz coconut oil
3 oz dark chocolate, (I used ghiradelli chips)
200 g granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon Kahlua 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large egg yolks (*I use Farm Fresh eggs!)
1 whole egg

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
-Line a 6x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or silicone coated foil (worked better for me than the parchment).
-Stir together the flour and salt and set aside.
-In a saucepan, melt oil over medium heat.
-When butter starts to melt and coats pan bottom, add chocolate and reduce heat to low.
-Stir constantly until chocolate is melted.
-Add 1/2 cup of the sugar to melted chocolate and stir over low heat for about 40 seconds.
-Remove chocolate mixture from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes (important!).
-Stir in Kahlua and vanilla.
-Meanwhile, beat eggs for 2 minute or until foamy and light.
-Add remaining ½ cup of sugar to eggs and continue beating for another minute.
-Fold a small amount (about 1/3 cup) of the egg mixture into the warm chocolate mixture to lighten then chocolate.
-Next, fold the lightened chocolate into the bowl with the egg mixture.
-Stir in the flour/salt mixture (be careful not to over-mix as it toughens up brownies).
-Pour into pan (I sprinkle the top with sea salt) and bake for 35 minutes or until top is set and brownies start to smell.
-Let cool completely, Transfer to refrigerator and chill for a few hours or overnight.
-Lift from pan and cut.

Have you checked out LensHero yet? If not you should. I ran across it by accident killing time the other afternoon and was pretty impressed. It's a fairly straight forward system to help you choose a lens (or several) that fit your budget and your camera system. You can filter them by style of lens (macro/zoom/etc) or have the system suggest something for you. The results are nicely done and include photos of the lenses, your typical specs (aperature/stops), and weight/size information. The page for an individual lens has linked reviews and more technical information. The only thing they don't seem to offer is telling them what you have and suggesting lenses that would fill in the holes in your system, or a space to share photographs taken with a particular lens to get an idea of what's possible. Overall? I think my wallet may get a little lighter now that I've discovered more lenses than I knew existed for my camera. LensHero has the foundations of what looks like it's going to be a great site. They're also giving away some nice lenses and toys to kick off the launch of the site- but be quick. The contest ends on the 23rd though, so be quick.

For those of you that have been following me for a while- I spent some time writing tutorials for Instructables.com and really enjoyed it. I received an email a few weeks ago from one of the editors, wondering if she could use two of my older projects (fusible binding and color picking 101) for a potential ebook project.

And it's available now as an epub through the itunes store. (If you have a reader but epubs don't work for you- think about trying calibre, a free ebook organizer and converter.) You can also see the other projects in the book by vising this page at instructables. Thanks for including me with some other great projects, there are definitely some I want to try!
I need to start writing more- I've been neglecting this space a lot, and in truth I just don't have the same time I used to for making things. My dissertation and research have been taking up the largest portion of time, but as some of you know I stopped eating both gluten and most dairy a few years ago and my life has changed drastically when I no longer have access to convenience type foods. I'm now making and cooking almost everything I put in my mouth, and while it's a wonderful way to live it cuts hugely into my available time. I had originally started this writing to try and document my crafting and making, and at the time I was actively selling things on Etsy. That too has unfortunately fallen short.

I'm planning on re-purposing this space a bit, and starting to talk about some of the other adventures in "making" I've been working on. I've got several posts I'm working on about projects I've been involved in and some cool photography stuff. If you're still reading, I hope you'll stick with me.
I know it's still cold in many other parts of the country, but here in southern Louisiana it feels like it's almost summer already. I'm getting a late start due to lots to do at work, but I've been spending evenings in the garden to try and get some vegetables started. I started seeds last week with little peat pots, but the place where I've bought them before was out this weekend when I went to buy more. My neighbor helped me and we made tons of newspaper seed pots (I didn't write a tutorial but you can find one here). I used a $1 bud vase from walmart instead of a toilet paper tube, but it's the same principle.


I'm excited- having someone co-garden this year has energized me to really get going. We started 29 different things and still have a handful of seed packets to get to, but it's going to be grand (and a whole pantry full of canned food for the winter). My fig tree I was given last year has a whole 3 figs on it as well!

figs on my tree!
So I've been far far away mentally and had mostly stopped blogging. I had started this site as a way to keep up with my crafty projects, and in the past two years I haven't been crafting very much. Life's been busy and graduate school has moved from time consuming to life consuming- but blogger has been calling to me...

I keep meaning to update and write, but then I have to decide whether it's crafty enough. And I just haven't had the time to write when I've actually made something. I'm hoping in the next few weeks and months to try and write more about what's going on around me in life. There have been several life changes that have eaten into my crafting time, and I'm going to start trying to incorporate those into this writing. I found out I needed to eat gluten free several years ago, and time that previously went to crafty pursuits was consumed by learning about new flours, new ingredients, and making almost everything that goes into my mouth. About that same time I moved into a new house, by myself, and now have a yard and house to take care of!

I've been inspired by Mallory over at Miss Malaprop and Becky at Artsy-Crafty Babe who are both fellow Louisiana girls I've met in person that seem to always find time to share, even though their lives are as crazy as mine!

Expect to see some changes, and I can't wait to hear what you think.
It's by busiest time of the year for work and it's been insane so far! I haven't had a lot of time to sew or be crafty, though I did quilt a quilt for my mom (the adorable hexagon baby quilt above). I of course forgot to take a photo before I mailed it off for her to bind, but it had a nice medium meander in pink varigated thread. I also made some summer dresses, but I'll do another post about those.

I've been trying to keep up with the crafty blogs as well- it's of course been Couture Fashion week which always makes me drool a little bit. The Cut published an amazing video this afternoon of what goes into the Chanel Haute Couture process, and it's inspiring and a little bit frightening at the same time.

You've also got another week to finish (or start) something for the CRAFT and Singer Swimsuit Cover Up Contest. They're giving away some nice prizes, including a sewing machine, dress form, and gift certificates to the Maker Shed.