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Gluten free cookie success

A friend stopped by recently with a bag of gluten free flour. While that may not seem life-changing to you, for us it was a big deal. This flour is designed to use instead of regular white flour without adding anything special. That’s a big deal because I’d been reading recipes that including mixing a couple different kinds of flour and xantham gum together to get “flour” to use in gluten free baking. Besides seeming like a lot of work, I don’t even know where to buy xantham gum 😦 This bag does all the mixing and you just use it instead. Yay.

Our first attempt was my traditional chocolate chip cookie, following the long-tested and approved Toll House recipe. These were ok, but still different. They had a hint of that gluten free grittiness we’ve found in baked goods. So, it was like eating a long-time favorite that just wasn’t quite right.

Our second attempt turned out to be more enjoyable. We made Pioneer Woman’s Monster Cookies. These turned out great! Going into it I thought it may be successful since there was a smaller amount of flour in relation to the other ingredients. Adding oatmeal and crispy rice cereal seemed to help out with the texture issue. We followed the recipe as written with the addition of a handful of butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips. The end result is YUMMY! This one is a winner!

The flour is available several places, my friend found it at Sam’s. But, if you’d like to skip going out in the cold, it’s available at Amazon too.

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Working with Daddy

Our girl is pretty excited to be learning our holiday traditions, and this is one of the best. Making chocolate fudge with Daddy. 

We have a divide and conquer strategy with holiday treats. I do the baking and Morgan does the fudge. It works out quite well. 

The temperature finally dropped here today so we’re celebrating with gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and fudge. Yum!

I love that Morgan finds ways for J to be involved. She’s totally enjoying getting to help him. 

Looking for a unique gift?

photo of red gift box

As holiday giving options are popping up all around us, I have one more for you to consider. If you have someone on your list that you’d like to give a gift but they already “have everything”, how about making a donation to our Let’s Start Talking project on their behalf?

You can make a donation online and then let me know that it’s a gift for your person. I’ve got a couple of things in mind that you’d receive in return:

  • A Christmas ornament handmade by Joanna thanking you for helping us share Jesus this summer.
  • A report after the project is complete letting you know about all the cool things you made possible.
  • Satisfaction from helping some people learn about Jesus that may not otherwise hear the Good News.
  • That cool feeling that comes from finding a perfect gift! (This is one that is helpful to several people, doesn’t require any storage space or batteries, and isn’t something calorie-laden that includes guilt for eating)

So, please, join us if you can! Any amount you can give will be appreciated and get us closer to our goal.  And, yes, your donation is welcome even if it’s not a gift for someone 🙂

And, right now, LST is offering gift certificates -these are a way for your donation to increase by 10%. So, if you’re interested in giving that way, check out the info about gift certificates.

Potato Soup Success

Tonight’s dinner was a success! Not only did all 3 of us like it, but it tasted really good to Morgan. He’s had a rough food day due to having to avoid gluten, so having something that was satisfying for him was awesome.

It seemed blog-worthy so that I can find the recipe again :). Here it is. I followed it pretty close, except I left out the cilantro, had only 1/4 pound bacon (instead of a pound), used half and half instead of cream, and used gluten free multipurpose flour. Wow, that doesn’t sound so close after all.

In any case, we all enjoyed it, maybe you will too.

She can count to 15

This morning our girl woke me up by asking me to come see her 15 Beanie Boos. She had lined them up and counted them. She was very excited to tell me there are 15.
So, while it’s nice to see she can accurately count 15 items, it is also a bit embarrassing or overwhelming that she has so many! And, she would love to have more. 

These are the one item she always asks for, it’s like she has a built-in sensor and knows where to find them in each shopping venue. She spies them at Hobby Lobby, the Science Museum gift shop, the grocery store, the gas station, airport gift shops, and more. These things are EVERYWHERE, just asking to be added to her collection. 

Several months ago we had a proud moment when she was willing to give one away when we were gathering up items for kiddos living in a shelter. Her choice of one of these precious ones was a sweet act of caring for the unknown kiddo in a tough situation. 

Time to do LST again!

After a 7 year hiatus we’re excited to be planning to participate in a Let’s Start Talking project this coming summer.

We’re still working out the details of where we’ll be serving and whether or not our team will be bigger than the 3 of us (let me know if you wanna join us), but we have applied, have started re-reading Luke, and are beginning the fundraising process.

So, join us if you can! Check out some ways:

  • Join our team and go with us.
  • Pray about the work.
  • Make a financial donation. If you’re not a fan of giving online we can send you an envelope, just let me know and we’ll get one on the way to you 🙂

Though there are lots of details still to be decided, we do know that the main work we’ll be doing is helping people learn about God’s love by reading Luke and practicing English. We’ve seen such change in people’s attitudes about Scripture in the past by spending time reading with us that we know lives can be changed by our willingness to serve in this way.

We’re looking forward to the project and hopeful you’ll join us in anyway you can!

Here’s the link again in case you’re able to give online: https://give.idonate.com/lets-start-talking-estes-family/support#donate

And he’s off

We’ve had a great week with my dad here in town. I hope to share more later, but here’s one photo of the 4 of us. 

He’s on the road again, so we’re praying for safe travels as he’s heading back to Indiana.