Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ramblings: Rockin' Green GIVEAWAY!!!!

Ramblings: Rockin' Green GIVEAWAY!!!!
I'm trying to win some funk rock and you should too.
Funk rock takes away ammonia stinkies and burning diapers.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Seed Flour Cake GF, CF, SF

I made my first fondant cake the other day. It was a lot of fun and totally delicious. More and more I am making treats that taste delicious but are also healthier. I found this pumpkin seed flour cake at The Whole Life Nutrition. This blog has never ever let me down. Her recipes have fabulous helpful tips that made me the gluten free, casein free, soy free baker I am today. This cake looked delicious and of course she would serve it with something fruity but I thought it looked like a cake that would hold up under fondant. Nothing I've ever made from her recipes has been crumbly or brittle. Let me tell you this is the moistest, most delicious chocolate cake I've ever eaten and it was extremely easy to make. Finding the pumpkin seed flour was a little trickier. However my local health food store carries Omega products and they ordered it in for me.
I had made the fondant the week before and apparently it keeps in the fridge for months in an airtight container. I tinted it with Wilson's icing tint and rolled it out using a ton of icing sugar. Someone gave me a tip to use cornstarch instead so I'll be trying that next time. I watched a few youtube videos on cake decorating and I was off and decorating. It was actually pretty easy. My kitchen did look like a snowstorm had hit it though and my children did ingest a lot of the fondant in the process. But we had a blast. Everyone who tasted the cake loved it even those who have no allergies and are not gluten free. This is my new standby birthday cake. It looks like it would hold up to a mold. Since M wants a spiderman bust for his 5th birthday. Wow 5.... But I digress. I dirty iced the cake with a regular buttercream first (well regular for us I subbed coconut milk in for the milk and used earth balance soy free version margarine for butter). Do you like my new terminology? I am learning cake lingo.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guitar Playing

A Hankering for some chocolate and peanut butter

I love making healthy tasty treats for my kiddos. Things that I don't feel guilty giving them before dinner. Because we all know dessert tastes better before dinner. I am on a mission to learn to make treats and food that the whole family enjoys and can eat. D's food challenges make it the most difficult and M's add to it. There is a blog called the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen that has taught me to be a pretty excellent gluten free, casein free, soy free baker and cook.
There was a roundup of lunch ideas and these cupcakes were featured. I changed the recipe quite a bit (no longer vegan) so I'll show you my adapted version here as well as the dairy free, soy free peanut butter frosting recipe that I created. These were a huge hit with the whole family and no belly aching accompanied them.

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free & Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened hemp milk)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1/4 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour

1 cup almond meal
3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp xantham/guar gum

1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup grapeseed oil


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or line a cupcake pan with liners.
Combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl to create a “buttermilk”. Let this mixture sit for at least five minutes. Sift together flours and remaining dry ingredients. It is important that you sift – no one wants a white lump in their chocolate cupcake! Add the maple syrup, vanilla, egg and oil to the non-dairy milk “buttermilk”. Stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches. Stir just until combined. Spoon into cupcake pan (a little more than 3/4 full since they don’t rise very much) and bake for 20-22 minutes. Test one cupcake with a cake tester or a knife. MAKES 12 CUPCAKES.

Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Peanut Butter Frosting

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1.5-2 cups powdered coconut sugar

1/3 cup coconut milk

Cream oil and peanut butter together until fluffy then add .5 cup of icing sugar and mix until completely incorporated. Slowly mix in coconut milk until creamy. Then add another cup of icing sugar and whip until fluffy. Add more coconut milk if necessary to make it the right spreadable consistency.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gluten free dairy free Zucchini Muffin or loaf recipe

I have been experimenting with substitutions in my favorite recipes so that everyone in my family can eat and enjoy the same foods. With the amount of time I spend baking and cooking anything that saves me some time and effort (like not making 2 versions) is well worth it. These is my favorite recipe for zucchini and I just made these gluten free. Thought I would share my success with you all. One little tip is use cupcake holders in the muffin tins so that you can pop them out easier. Please excuse the photography I need some practice.

Spiced Zucchini Muffins

3 eggs
1C brown sugar
3/4 C honey
1/2 C applesauce
1/4 C vegetable oil I used grapeseed
1/3 C cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated Zucchini
3C gluten free mix (recipe attached)
1/2C almond meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 C choco chips soy free, dairy free (enjoy life)
1/2 C chopped walnuts or pecans

beat eggs, sugar, honey, applesauce and oil together, add vanilla and cocoa powder stir, add the zucchini.
Sift flours, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, and spices then add chocolate chips and nuts. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir just until mixed.
bake at 350 for 30-35min

Gluten free all purpose flour mix
2C brown rice flour
2C sorghum flour
1/2C millet flour or quinoa or amaranth
1/2 C arrowroot powder
3/4C potato or tapioca starch
5tsp xantham gum

Friday, July 16, 2010

Working and Mothering

Right now this is what is churning me up inside. I work shift work fulltime. Which entails 4 twelve hour shifts in a row (thankfully not nights right now). Then I get 5 days off if I do not work any overtime. I see my kids for 10 minutes in the morning rush and for 30 minutes in the evening before bed on my early shifts. On my late shifts I see them for about an hour in the morning but not before bed. The moments before and after my shift are not happy, relaxed, joyful ones. They are filled with tension, irritation and stress. I can't switch my hats off fast enough. It's like the working one is glued to my head and the mama one is just out of reach. My toddler is glued to me and screams if I leave the room. My preschooler pesters and annoys because he can't get in for a snuggle or his sister will scratch his eyes out. Some mornings both cry as I head off to work.

So why don't I stay home? I've debated this. Our income would be halved but we could do it with some changes. I've searched inside and out and I just cannot come to terms with being a stay at home mom. I loved my maternity leave but while I was on it I longed for something else. Something else to occupy my brain other than diapers, laundry, cooking, baking, education, playing, gardening and whatever else. I was so wrapped up in the kids and the house. I felt guilty if I took any time for myself. So I guess work is time for myself that's less guilt ridden. I can convince myself that I NEED to be there. That my family NEEDS me to be there and be happy with the time for myself among adults. Yet right now I am not satisfied at work. I want to make a change. So it feels like if I'm not happy there I should just be at home with my kids. I don't want them to remember me as this resentful working mama who hates her job and is cranky when she gets home.

I want to go back to school to get my master's degree. However I am afraid of how that will affect my family. I don't want to be stressed over school and always studying and writing and never have any time for them. Yet I want to lead by example to say that you can achieve anything you desire no matter what your circumstances are. Yes this would be easier if I did not have children but I do. That's the path I chose and I can still achieve all my goals but at what cost?

Oh and throw into the mix we want a third child. Where does he or she fit in all my plans?

I feel like no matter what I do some part of me or my family has to be sacrificed. I am yearning for balance and a clear path.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Babykicks now in Canada

Newandgreenbaby.com has babykicks. A very cool one size organic pocket diaper system with snaps. We all know I am a snap fan. I would love to try some of these diapers.
I would add the video but I don't have a youtube account so I'll just link back to newandgreen's blog and let you watch it there.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Allergies! Yikes!

This has to be one of my greatest parenting challenges.
M is allergic to soy. He's been blood tested and came up negative. However there is a very visible reaction when he has something that contains soy. He gets a red rash on his face. His hands get puffy and turn blotchy and purple. He starts coughing and wheezing and producing mass amounts of saliva, dark circles appear under his eyes. Then there's the not so visible part of the reaction. The emotional upheaval and tantrums, not sleeping through the night for 3-5 nights in a row. We carry an epi pen because he had a bad reaction that affected his breathing in the past to a piece of pepperoni.

M spends a lot of play working through his challenges of a soy free existence. When he pretend cooks he asks everyone their allergies and then proceeds to make dishes that contain these ingredients and tell everyone that they can't have any because they are allergic. We can't go out to restaurants because almost everything contains soy. We can't buy any packaged products because they all contain soy. Most candy is off limits. I make everything from scratch. Let me tell you cooking from scratch is time-consuming. If he wants something I feel that I must make it for him. I don't want him to feel deprived at all. Sometimes the answer of "We will get the ingredients and make it" does not satisfy M. He cries and wonders why he's plagued with this. Usually he's very good about asking before taking snacks but lately he's gotten into a rebellious stage where if he's told it has soy he'll try to grab it and eat it. Vacations are the hardest. It's so hard to avoid soy when you have no access to a kitchen.

D is intolerant to gluten and dairy (though she seems to tolerate butter alright). Her visible reaction isn't immediate. Her intestines suffer the worst of it. We are wondering if she might be celiac. She gets explosive diarrhea from gluten and a bleeding diaper rash. She gets constipated and gassy from dairy. Both make her scream and cry in pain when she tries to sleep. She gets very emotional and cannot be put down. It is a terrible thing to watch as a mother, knowing that something I fed her made her feel that way. I learned a new level of time consuming and difficult cooking: gluten free, dairy free, soy free. Eh Gads! My goal these days is to make tasty things that both my kids can and will eat. Often I have to make 2 treats, 2 kinds of a bread, 2 kinds of pasta. I love the products that I have tried from Enjoy Life. Their chocolate chips in particular have saved me! Both kids can and will eat their products. Their granola bars are just the right size for a kid and they are so handy. I always have a few in my purse.

What I have learned over the last year about living and loving kids with allergies:
1. Always have food and drink with you
2. When attending a party bring a tasty treat to share that your kids can have
3. Find fun things to do that don't involve food
4. Make and freeze treats and bread
5. Make the large meal one that everyone can eat (this saves a lot of time and effort)
6. Make sure the kids do not feel that their allergies are a burden (I have the attitude that this is a fantastic challenge to make something better than the storebought version)
7. Garden (growing food ensures that you control what's in it).
8. Find out what's on the menu and make a suitable alternative to bring to dinner's or let the hosts know about allergies.
9. Have rescue remedy on hand (this will tame the emotional part of the reaction)
10. Have benadryl and epi in the bag that goes with the kids. It does no good if one parent has the bag and the other parent has the kids.
11. Essential oils work for many of the reaction symptoms.
12. A bath with epsom salts will help with detoxing.
13. Make sure the child's system is healthy. We use Vit. D, C, Quercetin, and plenty of Omega 3's. We also make a lot of broth to cook with.
14. There is always a website out there that will help.