Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gluten and Dairy Free Pancakes

You know how it is, whatever you try not to think about is the only thing you can think about. That is me with carbs and dairy right now. I would appear to be on a quest to see how much weight I can gain in the shortest amount of time. But it does make for some great eating. I found this recipe in the magazine "Living Without." I had never seen this magazine before but it has been around for 11 years. It is full of recipes that are gluten and dairy free. I can take no credit for the following recipe but want to pass it along because it is so good. These pancakes are light, fluffy and moist - and dairy free!. They also happen to be made with nothing but the bad kind of carbs but like I said, I can think of nothing else lately. Besides the kids all love them and they are quick and easy. I usually don't bother with making flour mixes but since I have made these pancakes 3 times in the last week it is saving me time to premake the mix.

Pancake Flour Mix

2 cups white rice flour
3/4 cups tapioca flour
3/4 cups sweet rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 tsp xanthan gum

2 cups pancake flour mix
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 cup milk of choice
3 large eggs
2 T agave nectar, honey or sugar
4 T melted coconut oil

Mix all dry ingredients well in large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined. There should be small lumps. Cook until golden brown.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Amazing, Chewy, Gluten Free Cheese Buns

Okay, call me a hypocrite. Last week after Justus weaned himself I found myself not breastfeeding or pregnant for the first time in 5+ years. It makes me kinda sad that that part of my life is over but there are some perks. It occurred to me a couple days after he weaned that I could now try dairy again. After that thought struck in the morning the entire day all I could think of was all the things I could have again. By 4pm I couldn't stand it anymore and declared that I was going shopping. I *may* have gone a teensy bit overboard. If it had dairy in it, I bought it. I came back with about 40 lbs of cheese, cream, butter, milk, ice cream, sour cream etc etc. The following day I made the most amazing lasagna ever. (I got that in the oven and then realized that I was going to have nothing to give Justus so I then made a gluten and dairy free lasagna for him. It ROCKED! I will try to post that recipe soon too) I still feel guilt over eating this. I am hoping to get this out of my system and go back to at least mostly dairy free. Dairy doesn't like me either. I get gut aches, bloating and my ears get all plugged up but these are all things that I can ignore until I can try all the things I couldn't in the previous years. I have to get this done and quick. My 20 year high school reunion is this July. While I am not trying to lose 20 pounds before then I really don't want to gain 20 pounds before then either. If I continue to eat like this I will be too embarrassed to go.

First thing this morning the idea of these cheese buns popped into my head. I had seen a food network show more than a year ago and I wanted to try it so bad but it has a ton of cheese in it. I found the recipe this morning and made my own version. The original was from "Simply Delicioso" and she called them Yucca Buns. Here is what I did.

Cheese Buns

1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
pinch garlic powder
2 egg yolks
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
half and half

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl mix the first 4 ingredients. Then add the egg yolks and cheese. Using your hands, mix it well. At first it will be like flour coated cheese. Then add half and half 1 TBSP at a time while continuing to mix with your hands. When the dough is well blended, uniform and able to stick together, roll into eight balls. Bake for 15 minutes until very lightly golden. Don't brown them. Browning will change the flavor. Let cool for as long as you can stand to and eat warm.

I have to confess that although these are certainly not low fat I ate them with butter. Lots of butter and a little orange marmalade. They were so moist and chewy like a cheese bun should be. There is no way a wheat bun could be this good!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Best Ever Devilled Eggs

Being that we raise chickens, I always have fresh eggs and am always looking for ways to use them up. There are only so many times a person can have plain eggs for breakfast. Honestly, if I eat another scrambled egg anytime soon I will likely wretch. I don't make devilled eggs very often because peeling really fresh eggs is an excersice in extreme frustration. I have tried countless ways to peel them in a manner that does not produce an egg that looks like it has already been predigested and I am still looking for that magic technique. If you know of any tips PLEASE leave a comment. Anyway, this morning I tried again. I choose the least fresh of the bunch but still they were only maybe 3-4 days old so they still looked terrible. However, they tasted fantasic. As far as I am concerned they were the best I have ever had. They are just eggs, right, how good could they be? Try this and find out.

Best Ever Devilled Eggs

7-8 eggs
1/3 cup mayo (more or less depending on how creamy you like it)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 T chopped fresh dill (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Place eggs in a pot and cover with water. Once boiling set timer for 10 minutes. Don't overcook the crap out of them. Timing does make a difference. If you leave them in there too long the yolks get that grey color around the outside and are sort of dry on the inside, ick! After 10 minutes drain, crack shells by jiggling the pot back and forth, and cover with ice water. Peel (or try to). Cut in half, pop the yolks out into a small dish. Combine all remaining ingredients with yolks and mash together until creamy. Check for seasoning and then refill the egg white halves. If you want them to look prettier you can sprinkle with paprika but I can't be bothered. I also didn't bother with a picture since mine are never pretty. Fresh and yummy, yes. Pretty, no.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Boy, they sure do learn to lie at an early age don't they. This afternoon Justus was in his walker minding his own business while the girls were playing dress up in my shoes. All was well until Ron and I heard Justus let out a scream. You know that scream that says "I'm really hurt!" Ron goes running over there and Rori is standing beside Justus with a pair of my shoes, with heels, in each hand. We ask her "why is Justus crying." She responds "I don't know." We ask "did you hit him?" She says "No." We ask "did you hurt him." Straight faced she says "no." We ask "did the shoe hit him." (We were hoping she would take the bait and admit that it was the shoe that hit him, not her.) Again she says "no." A few minutes later when Justus had calmed down, Rori's lie became apparent, literally. The shoe had left a heel print in his forehead.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wicked Good, No Guilt, Kid Loving, Whole Grain Breakfast Cookies

Since I have gone back to work Ron is having to step up and be Mr. Mom on those days. He is really doing a great job. However, he does hate to cook. His idea of nutrition and mine are very different. He will give the kids meals based on it's ability to get them to stop saying "I'm hungry." I offered to give him some suggestions to make it easier to decide and I even have stuff in the fridge and freezer that would be easy to get together quickly. I had another idea this morning. What if I made something healthy that the kids would like so much they would ask for it and there would be no preparation or planning necessary? Breakfast cookies! I just whipped these up with the girls and the second batch is already in the oven. Rori who usually senses when something might be good for her and then will subsequently reject, it has already asked for seconds, as has Sage. Even Justus could eat these. They are whole grain and have no refined sugar. Of course they are gluten and dairy free, as always. These are downright healthy, guilt free "cookies".

Breakfast Cookies

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 millet flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup teff seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
Wet Ingredients:
2 eggs
3 very ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup honey
1 TBS vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Combine all dry ingredients
2. Combine all wet ingredients
3. Mix all together and add chocolate chips if you wish. (Difficult stuff, hey!)
4. The dough is very thick and muffin like. Scoop large tablespoon balls onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees or until the edges are starting to brown.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cesear Salad Dressing

I love this time of year in Arizona. It makes me feel like I am living in paradise. My family in Canada are still dealing with snow and cold and here I am harvesting from my garden. I will savor it because during the summer it feels like hell and is just as hot. My garden is coming along really well. Last night I made a Thai noodle dish with chicken and broccoli. The broccoli was right from the garden. It was awesome. My lettuce is also doing really well. It is growing faster than I can eat it. So I have been eating a lot of salads lately. Even Sage is loving the lettuce. She routinely has a fistful of it and eats it just plain. Rori on the other hand... If it is green she won't even try it. Anyway, here is the salad that I have been eating nearly daily. I never buy salad dressings anymore. They are gross. Nearly all of them. Ever look at the ingredients on those dressings? Ick! It is so easy to make your own. This is my favorite. It is a cesear dressing but I put it on regular leaf lettuce from my garden.

Cesear Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 minced garlic clove
3 anchovy fillets
1 T Dijon mustard
1 raw egg yolk (make sure it is fresh)
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything into a blender or mini food processor and blend until smooth. Lightly dress salad and top with whatever you like. My personal favorites lately have been pine nuts and black olives!