Trail Time

Scenic drives and nature hikes. I don’t think there’s a better season for those things than autumn.trail1

Fall officially began on September 23 this year and over the past two weeks the weather has been absolutely glorious in my neck of the woods.

As part of our schooling, we aim to go on an outdoor adventure once a week. It’s a right in the schedule book. But because it’s been so beautiful lately, we’ve gotten in a few more walks than normal – and I’m L.O.V.I.N.G. it!

A hearty hike will often lead to a hearty appetite, and I found a recipe for “Trail Mix Cookies” in my mother’s recipe box. They’re scrumptious and are a perfect way to end a walk in the woods.

If you need a new cookie recipe, maybe you could give this one a try. And if you need a new outlook on life, maybe you could try a scenic drive or a nature hike. There’s nothing quite like enjoying God’s creation to give a person a fresh outlook on life!


Trail Mix Cookies

1 c. sunflower seed butter

1 c. sweetened coconut flakes

½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips*

½ c. dried cranberries

½ c. dates, chopped

¼ c. brown sugar

¼ c. sunflower seedstrail2

¼ c. maple syrup

1 large egg

½ t. vanilla

½ t. baking soda

¼ t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well (using a stand mixer).

Drop by generous tablespoon full on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until set but still soft.

Cool on the cookie sheet.

Store leftovers in a covered container.

Can be frozen.


*Warning: Most chocolate chips contain soy and some contain dairy. Read your labels.trail

However, if you use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips you’ll have made a cookie that is

gluten, dairy, corn and soy free! And your food-allergy friends will LOVE you!


Cookie Baking Day

It’s baking day! If you swing by our home, you may find powdery messes on shirts, beaters in small hands and sticky sweetness on the faces of my cherubs. But when we’ve finished, baked a few cookies and placed the leftover dough in the fridge or freezer, we’ll have made a few more memories!!! (And added a few more calories to Momma’s waist, but – hey – who’s counting??? It’s the holidays!)

Rolled Sugar Cookies

1 c. shortening (or palm oil)

1 c. sugar

Cream together.

2 eggs

½ t. vanilla

Add to the sugar/oil mix.

3 c. GF flour (see mix below)

1 ½ t. xanthan gum

2 t. baking powder

½ t. baking soda

½ t. salt

½ c. yogurt or sour cream (or safflower mayo)

Mix together and add to the other ingredients.

Cover bowl and chill for 1 hour. Roll on floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out. Bake at 350 degrees on ungreased cookie sheet for 8 – 10 minutes.cookies

(GF flour mix – 2 c. rice flour, 2 c. arrowroot flour, 2 c. tapioca flour, 2 T. potato flour = Featherlight Mix. OR use your own mixture of GF flours!!!)


 Chocolate Chip Cookies

¾ c. sugar

½ t. salt

3 c. GF flour

Mix in a large bowl.

2/3 c. softened butter (or palm oil)

2 t. vanilla

Add to the first ingredients. Beat well.

1 t. baking soda

2/3 c. shortening (or coconut oil)

¾ c. brown sugar

2 eggs

½ t. xanthan gum

Combine with the rest of the ingredients and mix.

1 c. chocolate chips (how about Enjoy Life brand!)

Stir in the chips by hand.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the pan.


** Using the ingredients in parenthesis will make this recipe not only gluten-free but also free of dairy and soy!