Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gluten free/dairy free/no refined sugar recipes

My friend Daisy suggested I blog some recipes, so I am doing just that :). Evie and I have been making some gluten free/dairy free goodies lately. I actually have a crustless pumpkin pie in the oven right now. I will post the recipe for that as well. Evie and I were learning about France, so one of our recipes we tried was Crepes (Evie called them "creeps"!). The recipe wasn't gluten free or dairy free, but I made it that way, and they are SO good! I was going to take a picture of them the other day, but my camera wasn't working :(. Here is the recipe:


1/2 c. flour (I used millet flour one day, and rice flour another. Both worked well. Probably any flour would work)
1/2 c. milk (I used coconut milk, but probably any milk would work)
1/4 c. water
2 eggs
2 T. oil (I used olive oil)
1 1/2 T. sugar (I used xylitol)
pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients together. Let batter sit for 1 hour (one day we only waited for 5 minutes, and they turned out fine. The batter isn't as runny when it doesn't sit, which makes it a tad bit harder to spread). In a nonstick pan (I used an electric griddle, which worked great), pour some of the batter, and spread around to make it thin. If using a pan, you can actually pick the pan up and turn it to make the batter spread. Cook like pancakes, flipping over and cooking until lightly browned. Put on plate and spread all-fruit jam or jelly on middle and spread around. Roll, and enjoy!

Here is another great low sugar recipe that I modified from an old family recipe. It is brownies! Here is the recipe:

Chewy Brownies

3/4 c. flour (I use a combination of 6 parts rice flour, 2 parts potato starch and 1 part tapioca starch. You can also just use straight rice flour)
1/2 c. cocoa (we have also used carob powder)
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil (I usually use coconut oil, but any oil works)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 c. xylitol or honey
stevia, to taste
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix xylitol or honey, oil and eggs with hand mixer. Then add the remaining ingredients. Taste to see if the batter is sweet enough. If not, add more stevia. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. For more gooey brownies, take out sooner.

Here's some more recipes...

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
1 1/2 c. milk (If you happen to use fresh pumpkin, or homemade frozen like I have been doing, only use 1 cup of milk. I have used all different kinds of milk, and all work)
3 egg whites (I sometimes use the whole eggs, which work fine)
1/4-1/2 c. honey or xylitol
stevia, to taste
1/3 c. flour (whatever kind you want. today I used coconut flour/almond flour mix. I have also used millet flour, rice flour, tapioca, or whatever I have on hand)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp. salt

Optional topping (I sometimes add this for holidays. the sugar is a lot lower than most toppings)

1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. quick cooking oats (I have used ground nuts instead)
1 T. butter, soft (I usually use coconut oil instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pie plate. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor in order listed (minus the optional toppings). Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into pie plate. Sprinkle with topping if desired. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Refrigerate about four hours or until chilled.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

6 baking apples
honey (however much you want)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Walnut streusel topping:
1/2 c. rice flour
1/2 c. xylitol
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter or coconut oil
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped fine

Peel and slice baking apples. Pour honey over the apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix with spoon. Spread apple mixture in an 8 inch square baking dish or a casserole dish. Combine flour, xylitol and spices. Cut in butter or oil with knife or pastry blender until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle over top of apples and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Dairy Free Custard
2 c. milk (almond, soy, or coconut)
3 eggs
2 T. honey
1/8 tsp. stevia
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease individual custard cups or one large custard dish with oil or nonstick spray. In a medium-large double boiler, combine all ingredients and heat to scalding, about 150 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour into greased containers. Place dishes in a baking dish and add 1 inch of hot water to large dish; be careful not to splash water into the custards. Bake for 25-35 minutes for small dishes, 50-60 minutes for a large dish. Serves 4.

Strawberry Rhubarb Puff
16 oz. frozen rhubarb, thawed
10 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 c. honey or xylitol (or stevia if preferred)
2 c. flour (a good mix is 6 parts rice flour, 2 parts potato starch, 1 part tapioca starch. You can also use straight rice flour, or any other flour mix)
2 T. xylitol
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/3 c. oil (olive oil works well)
2/3 c. milk (any kind)
butter or coconut oil
2 T. xylitol
1 t. cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In an ungreased 9x13 pan, mix the fruit with 1/2 c. honey or xylitol. If preferred, just stevia can be used in place of the 1/2 c. honey or xylitol. If using stevia, taste the fruit mixture after adding it to see if it is sweet enough. Put in oven while mixing other ingredients. Mix flour, 2 T. stevia, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Pour oil and milk into a measuring cup (do not stir together); pour at once into flour mixture. Stir until mixture cleans sides of bowl and forms a ball. Add more milk or flour to make the right consistency. Drop dough by 9 spoonfuls onto hot fruit. Make an indentation in each biscuit and dot with butter or coconut oil. Mix 2 T. xylitol and cinnamon together; sprinkle on biscuits. Bake for 30 minutes, or until dough tests done with toothpick. Serve warm.

Gluten Free Banana Cake
I use this as birthday cake. It is SO good!
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. xylitol or honey
stevia, to taste
2 large eggs
1 c. mashed banana
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. mayo (I use vegenaise)
2 c. gluten free flour mix (6 parts rice flour, 2 parts potato starch, 1 part tapioca starch)
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Using a mixer, cream together the oils and the honey or xylitol. Add stevia and mix. Taste batter to see if it is sweet enough. You want it really sweet. Add the eggs, banana and vanilla, mixing well. Add the mayo and mix. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add to wet ingredients, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Spread batter into a 9 x 13 sprayed pan, or 2 round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until tests done. Can be frosted, or eaten as is.

Low Sugar Rice Crispy Treats
1/3 c. almond, cashew or peanut butter
1/3 c. brown rice syrup (can be bought at health food stores, or at
stevia, to taste
3 c. brown rice crispy cereal
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine the nut butter, vanilla and rice syrup in a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Heat until mixture becomes syrupy (watch carefully. This will only take a few minutes). Add a bit of stevia, to make more sweet. Pour the syrup over the cereal and mix well. Try to get the cereal evenly coated. Lightly coat a glass 8 x 8 inch pan with butter or olive oil, and add your crispy mixture. Push down to fill pan. Let stand until cool, and cut and serve. If you want to speed up the process, you can chill in the fridge for about an hour.

I have more recipes, but if I keep typing, this will be the longest post ever :). I hope you enjoy the recipes!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Life with Dolly

I'm sitting here watching my cat on the windowseat, curled up in a ball sleeping. Dolly is the oldest pet I have ever had. We had a dog growing up, but he only lived to be 10. Dolly is going to be 12, and she is starting to show her age. She got sick in the summer, and I nursed her back to health. She is still recovering from that, and is still bony. She looks and acts completely fine, and is her ornery self :). We got Dolly as a kitten. My friend Nikki's barn cat had just had kittens, and she wondered if we wanted one. I wasn't really interested, but we wanted to come and see them. I saw Dolly when she was only a few days old, with her eyes still closed. We ended up taking her home when she was 9 weeks old. We named her Dolly because she would let me sit in a rocking chair and hold her like a baby and rock her. She was really healing for me, during a time when I was losing babies. When Evie was born, we started finding out how tolerant Dolly was. Evie would crawl up to her and squeal really loud....then grab her fur or tail with her little fists and pull. Dolly would yowl, but not bite, as we tried to unlock Evie's little fingers from Dolly's fur. When we got SiSi, Dolly glared at me for weeks, like, "How could you!" I'm not sure she still has forgiven me for that :).

This summer we experienced something with Dolly that will forever be in our family storybook. In fact, it is still brought up every week by either Evie or Jeff, in some way. I will say that if any of you have weak stomach's, you may not want to read the rest of this! lol! I still can't talk about it without hysterically laughing because it was so awful. Awhile back, a certain blogger friend told me I should blog about it, so I am. So if you get grossed out to the max, you can blame her...I won't name names (Liliana). lol :). So here goes! I spent 3 weeks living in the town Jeff had been working in. We thought we were moving there, and had moved a whole lot of our stuff there, along with our pets. When we found out that the company was closing soon, we decided Evie and I would move back home while Jeff continued with the job until it ended. We had the car loaded down to the max with all the stuff we were bringing back home. I don't know how we packed as much stuff in that Explorer as we did. It was amazing. We had the dog and 2 cats in the Explorer too. We put Daisy in a pet taxi and Dolly just sat on my lap during the trip. I didn't have a litter box set up in the car for them (no room!), so I tried to made sure I saw if they went before we left. We had traveled with them before and never had any accidents. I figured it was only a 2 hour drive. I mean, what could happen in 2 hours?? We were about 45 minutes from home when Dolly started acting funny. She was all over my lap, meowing and acting weird. I thought maybe she was scared. Why I thought that, I will never know. She has traveled with us countless times, and never been scared! So because she seemed so "scared" I decided to hold her like a baby. Oh yeah, real smart move on my part. Please note the sarcasm there. I look down and I see something on her tail. Then I yell to Jeff, "Oh no Jeff, she is pooping!" I had nowhere to put her because I had stuff between my feet in front of me, and there wasn't a single place open. We had just been to McDonalds, so I grabbed a napkin and tried to stop it. What happened next will forever be etched in my mind. We hear this popping sound, and like a cannon, Dolly shot liquid poo out out all over me, the window, and the door. It was everywhere. I just sat there in utter disbelief and said "Oh my word" about 500 times. Jeff pulled over into somebody's yard (it was out in the country, but on a busy road). He rolled the window down because of the smell, not thinking what would happen to the stuff all over the window! It smeared the poo all the way down the window as it went down. I threw Dolly outside into the yard, where she proceeded to throw up all over the grass. I sat there trying to figure out what in the world I was going to do, and then I started laughing hysterically. I have no idea why, but the whole thing was beyond disgusting, but so funny at the same time! I had no idea how to start with trying to clean things up. We only had some napkins and some hand sanitizer, and a little water. I did the best job I could. Then we had to cram Dolly, who was definitely not smelling like a rose at this point, in the pet taxi with Daisy. We rode with the windows down, and that 45 minutes home was the longest, stinkiest trip I have ever been on! We came into town, and had to wait 10 minutes for a train. I think we burned some nose hairs because of the smell in those 10 minutes. So really, the trip ended up being about an hour. I came home and washed my hands and legs about 50 times, gave the cats a bath, and hosed the car down with disinfectant. It was an experience I will never forget, that is for sure! It is a good thing I have a strong stomach. So are you all totally grossed out now :)?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy New Year!

Okay, I'm only 20 days late, but it is still a new year :)! We have been getting lots and lots of snow here, which has been really pretty. I am sitting here right now watching about 10 cardinals in the trees around our bird feeders. With the snow behind them, it sure is pretty.

I know it is only January, but I have been having fun trying to plan our garden. Last year was such a wild year for our garden. First, we dug up the garden in the spring, when Jeff was still unemployed. Then Jeff got a job 2 hours away from home, and we thought we were moving. We put the house up for sale, and we grass-seeded over the garden. Then Jeff found a job close to home, so we tore up the garden again. We didn't end up actually planting the garden until the end of June! It was amazing how God still blessed us with a good garden, even with us planting so late. This year it is fun to actually be able to plan more what I want. I got my latest heirloom seed catalog, along with some new books about gardening. One is about companion gardening, or what plants work best beside each other. The other is a seed saving book. I would like to be able to learn how to save seeds from my plants, so I don't have to keep buying tons of seeds each year. I also bought a book on herb gardens, but I haven't gotten that one in the mail yet. I really want to have a nice sized herb garden this year. I would love to grow things that I make tea out of, like chamomile. Our yard isn't very huge, so I am going to have to get creative! I would love to plant some fruit trees on our property too. We planted 4 blueberry bushes this past year in the side yard, and I want to get a few more. I can't wait until they start growing big enough to produce berries!!

I'm almost halfway done with homeschooling. We have done about 80 days so far. The breaks we have been taking every 5-6 weeks have been nice. Around Christmas, I started having doubts about the year-round schooling. I was wondering if I would really miss having a full 3 months off in summer instead of 6 weeks. After our 2 week Christmas break, I was shocked at how much Evie forgot. We had to go over a lot of stuff again. So it looks like year-round schooling is the way to go for us. I may take those 6 weeks in summer and spread them out, taking a week break after a week or 2. That way stuff will stay in Evie's memory more.

Evie started back to horseback riding again this week. She is on a much less ornery horse, which she is thrilled about. She is getting so comfortable with riding that they are tying up the lead ropes, and she has been riding without anyone holding the lead ropes. It has been really cool to see her grow so much with horseback riding. It is so refreshing to go to her therapeutic riding center. I love that the people there treat her like a person. They don't treat her like she is strange or different. They don't tell me I am doing a terrible job as a parent, or tell me that I need to control her hyperness by spanking her more (I can't tell you HOW many times I have heard that one--as if spanking magically solves hyperness). At her riding center, they treat Evie like the amazing human being that she is. It is so refreshing to go there, and it lifts me up. I am amazed at the lack of understanding most people have when it comes to sensory processing disorder. How people have treated us has been one of the hardest things for me to deal with as a parent. Anytime a kid is perceived as anything but "normal", it seems like either the parents or the kids get blamed. People say horrible, cruel things about us as parents, and about Evie. I haven't blogged much lately, partially because I have been going through some difficult times with all this. I have been quite outgoing and social for most of life, until recently. I have really started to become introverted and quiet because of the huge lack of understand people have had. Wow...didn't mean to go off on that. I honestly would love to write a blog post on how I am feeling, but it would probably not be the happiest blog post in the world! I am learning that God is the only one who can be trusted completely with things. I know that I can share how I am feeling with Him, and He won't judge me. If I feel all alone, without a friend, I know that He will be my friend. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Him in my life.