Friday, December 21, 2007

15% Discount at Miss Roben's

I just got this in an e-mail from Miss Roben's:


Our advanced apologies for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas -the stock photography available to decorate these emails is lacking religious and ethnic diversity.

We know you are busy getting ready for the end of year holidays and if nothing else, having the kids home from school, so I will keep this email brief.

Most importantly, we are offering 15% off any order over $75 before shipping placed between 12-23-07 to 12-27-07. Enter Code: M9h38W

Some Updates:
12 days of cookies emails: For those of you wondering what happened to the 12 days of cookies newsletters-I kept meaning to get them out but was overwhelmed with other responsibilities and then got the flu. Sorry!

Frozen products: ALMOST done. Yes, finally. Without boring you with the details, there are many aspects that need to occur for a customer to place both fresh/frozen and shelf stable to their cart and successfully check out.

Loyalty Rewards: Another coding issue we are trying to correct. In the interim you can still redeem points, and accrue points without interruption. It is just more labor intensive then we want it to be and hope to have an answer in the near future.
Happy Holidays!Allergy Grocer

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Great finds at the Dollar Store

Look what I found at the Big Dollar Store yesterday. Andy loves the Imagine Tomato Soup. I have never tried the Crispy Chicken Coating Mix - but guess what? For a dollar I will! For those of you local - they have tons of both of these products at the Big Dollar Store on Robert Street (not Dollar Tree - also on Robert). This is not the first time I have found organic and/or gluten free products at this dollar store.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I hope you are all enjoying my failed attempts

It's not that I have that much trouble making cupcakes. It's that many of my recipes that I post here go through several revisions before they end up here looking perfect.

So many people say to me - I can't do what you do - I try and it doesn't turn out - well, guess what? Not all of mine turns out either. And it is costly to experiment - but it is also expensive to buy mixes and ready made products - and I've tried plenty of them I didn't like either.

Yesterday I made these from the recipe in Special Diets for Special Kids II (Lisa Ackerman's recipe). They are moist and wonderful and I am gobbling them up without frosting. But they will not do for a kid's birthday party - way too messy!

So I have convinced Andy that a cake is better than cupcakes and we are going with the Chocolate Zuchinni Cake that I posted a few months ago. He loved that and it was great. So no more experimenting for now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another attempt at cupcakes for Andy's birthday party

Thanks everyone for your comments and e-mails. Part of what I was trying to do was fine a great yellow or white cake. Andy doesn't really care for chocolate and I know I could make some kick ass carrot ones but Andy doesn't like them either and it is his birthday. But he will tolerate chocolate so I think the next attempt is going to be chocolate. Chocolate always seems to turn out better.

As I was searching for recipes I found that several of them used mayonnaise instead of margarine or shortening and I thought I would try that - they were certainly moister, but the texture is still not what I would like and the taste is just okay. My family did eat them all up just like the first batch so none of this is going to waste - just not good enough to fool those on regular diets - especially children.

Here is this batch coming out of the oven - they have a nice golden color.

And here they are frosted.

This is the recipe I came up with:

GFCF Yellow Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups raw sugar
2/3 cup mayonaise (I used Spectrum canola mayo)
1 cup milk sub (I used Silk Soy Milk, vanilla flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.
3. Mix the eggs, sugar and mayo until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, milk and vanilla and mix well. Batter will be runny. Pour into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting.

A new shape for Glutino Pretzels

Glutino Pretzels now come in sticks as well as the traditional pretzel shape. Same great taste and the same price. These could be used for some food crafts - like making log cabins or something....... Andy and I just like the taste.

Found a new gfcf cracker

Glutino Gluten Free Crackers. Like all gfcf products, they are expensive - but these really taste good.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Practicing making cupcakes for Andy's birthday

Andy's birthday party is two weeks from tomorrow. I would just as soon not have the expense and buy cupcakes - so I am practicing now. I made these today. They look great, but they just taste okay. We will eat them so they won't go to waste, but they just don't have the Wow factor that I want for his birthday party. I'm afraid they won't taste that good to the kids at the party who are not GFCF. So I will make another batch next weekend and try again.

Here they are coming out of the oven.

And here they are with icing.

GFCF Yellow Cupcakes
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk substitute, at room temperature (I used Silk Soy Milk, Vanilla flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted GF flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Mix)
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used sugar in the raw)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup gfcf margarine, softened, each stick cut into 8 pieces (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)

1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans (24 cupcakes total) with paper liners.

2. Beat eggs, milk substitute, and vanilla with fork in small bowl. Measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Combine dry ingredients in bowl of mixer. Mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running, add margarine one piece at a time; mix until margarine and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas. This takes about 30 or 40 seconds after all the margarine is added. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture and mix at lowest speed, until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high (setting 6 on Kitchen Aid) and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining egg mixture in slow steady stream. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium- high until thoroughly combined and batter looks slightly curdled - about 15 seconds longer.

3. Spoon batter into prepared pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes, cupcakes should be golden. Allow to cool completely before icing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

GFCF Beef Stew

I love beef stew this time of year - and it is a great way to stretch your meat. You can change the amounts of each ingredient to suit your own tastes - I like lots of veggies in mine!

GFCF Beef Stew

1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into bite size slices
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, diced
5 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
4 tablespoons wheat free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
5 cups of water

In a large frying pan, brown the meat in hot oil - make sure to stir and sear all sides of the beef. You could skip this step, but it seals in the juices and gives it a better flavor.

Place the veggies in the slow cooker. Add the meat. Sprinkle with the tapioca, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add bay leaves. Pour water over it all.

Stir, cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

This is really good with corn bread!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mock Goldfish Cracker Mix

Miss Robens used to offer a Mock Goldfish Cracker Mix. It was really good - very close to tasting like the real thing. I made it a few times but it was too much work for me (I was still working full-time at the time) and my child wasn't one of those really attatched to Goldfish crackers. I've had a lot of people asking if I knew of a gfcf goldfish cracker and I was amazed that it appeared to be gone from their website.

But, I have it on very good authority, that you can special order it from them. Because it is special order - you have to order by the case (12 mixes which are shelf stable for 1 year). A case costs $70.80 plus a special order fee. The order number is 1190, but it is not available through their website. You must call them to order. Their phone number is (800) 891-0083 or 240-329-2717 if outside the USA.

I hope that helps someone who has a child that must have his goldfish crackers.

Free Soy Milk

For those of you who use soy - here is a link to a coupon for $2.25 off a quart of silk soy milk:

You should be able to print two. It tracks your IP address, but if you have more than one computer - each should have it's own IP address and you could print two from each computer.

Not all grocery stores will take internet coupons, but my Super Target does and they carry Silk.
Hope that helps someone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Countdown to Thanksgiving cont.

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. I accomplished all that I wanted to yesterday.

Today I plan on:

Making an apple pie and baking a pie shell for a lemon meringe pie. I don't like to make lemon meringe ahead of time as it doesn't hold as well.

Peeling and cutting up potatoes and storing them in the fridge in water until I cook them tomorrow.

Cut up bread cubes for the stuffing (the recipe I use is in the archives - just click on thanksgiving and then choose the one that says and all the fixins).

Make cranberry relish - and maybe cranberry bread or muffins.

Spend time with my family since Dan is off work today and Andy doesn't have school.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Countdown To Thanksgiving

Planning ahead takes the stress out of a GFCF Thanksgiving.

I usually start pre-cooking for Thanksgiving several days in advance so I can relax and enjoy the day stress free. Since we are not having any guests, I haven't done as much in advance as I would if we were having guests - but I still want the day to be perfect and stress free.

Here is what I have already done -

Sunday -

I went to the health food store to pick up items that I will not be able to get at my regular grocery store. The closer it gets to Thanksgiving, the more crowded the grocery stores get so it is good to plan ahead and not be there on Wednesday. Also - if they are out of something and you have to go somewhere else to find it, you have time to do that.

I baked pumpkin cookies and froze half of them so there will be some on Thursday!

Monday -

I didn't do a lot on Monday because I had to work and then had a conference at Andy's school in the evening. I did take the turkey out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to thaw. If you haven't already started your turkey thawing - do it now! The larger the bird the longer it takes to thaw - I usually start thawing on Sunday but we are having a smaller bird this year.

Today is Tuesday and the last day I have free time - Andy is off school tomorrow.

Today I plan to:
Bake bread so I have plenty for making stuffing.
Go to Super Target and do my regular grocery shopping.
Cut up onions and celery and store in the fridge for making stuffing on Thursday.
Make pie crust dough - so the dough is super chilled when I want to roll it out and make the pie tomorrow.
If I have time I may also peel potatoes and store in the fridge covered in water to be ready to rinse and boil on Thursday.

I hope hearing about my preparations ahead of time help some of you plan your time and alleviate some stress for you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

GFCF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

GFCF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose gf flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Blend)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1/2 cup raw sugar (you could substitute granulated sugar)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12-ounce package) GFCF chocolate chips
2/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional – I did not use)


PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda in small bowl. Beat margarine and both sugars in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until blended.

Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chips and nuts.

DROP by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets; flatten slightly with back of spoon or greased bottom of glass dipped in granulated sugar.

BAKE for 11 to 14 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Tips for a Successful GFCF Holiday Season

Tips for a successful GFCF Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us – it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Chanukah, Christmas and New Years are not far behind. If this is your first holiday season GFCF or if previous holiday seasons were a disaster you might be looking for some tips to make this year better. Here are some of my best tips. Feel free to leave comments with your own tips – together we will all survive this stressful time of year.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Set priorities and keep in mind what is truly important – and that may not be the same for all of us. My number one goal is to keep Andy GFCF – while eating organic, and totally eliminating high fructose corn syrup along with artificial flavors and colors is something I try and do every day – sometimes something has to give. If treats are brought into school that are GFCF but have HFCS in them or have red 40 in them, I will go ahead and let Andy have them. Sometimes it is equally important to allow Andy to have normal social experiences.

Give yourself permission to change traditions. My home used to be the place to be on Thanksgiving – everyone knew there would be lots of wonderful homemade food. I never asked anyone to bring anything because I love to cook and this was my chance to show off – but if they showed up with something we put it on the table. Our first year GFCF was a disaster – I asked everyone to please not bring anything as I did not want any food in the house that Andy couldn’t eat. Some people just don’t like to show up empty handed – and I felt bad turning away their food so I let them bring food in – and when my back was turned – Andy was fed a piece of regular pumpkin pie. The next two years we went away on Thanksgiving. I just didn’t want to deal with it and keeping Andy safe was more important that hurting other’s feelings. So we rented a luxury condo at a water park and went and had fun. I still made a turkey since we had a full kitchen – but while it was cooking I kicked back in the hot tub in front of the fireplace on the four seasons porch with a glass of champagne while Dan took Andy down to the water park. It was heaven! Last year we stayed home and just didn’t invite anyone – since we took a couple of years off and everyone found somewhere else to go we were now off the hook for entertaining. So do what you have to do – to keep your family safe.

Ask for help using reverse psychology. If there is a gathering that you just must host or attend, pick out the person that you are most worried about not respecting your boundaries and ask them to help you. If it’s your mother in law that thinks that a little bit won’t hurt – ask her to help you. People can’t resist helping. Pull her aside and tell her how you are so glad she is going to be here because you really need help. Explain to her that not everyone is as conscientious as she is and you are really worried about your child getting into something not on their diet and getting sick. Can she imagine how terrible it would be if you ended up having to run Johnny to the ER in the middle of the party? Can she help you watch out for him? She will be so busy watching others and trying to catch them that she won’t have time to try and feed him something herself.

Try and keep routines as normal as possible. If you usually eat lunch at 11:30 and dinner at 5:30 – try and keep to that schedule. If you really can’t because it is at Grandma’s house and she always does Thanksgiving at 1:30 and she’s not budging – then bring food along and feed your kids on their normal schedule. They can eat again at 1:30, but just give them small portions and don’t expect them to finish. If your children are young and still napping – make sure they get their naps. There is nothing worse than a toddler that needs a nap at a family gathering. Make sure you take care of yourself and get adequate rest yourself so you can keep up.

Plan ahead. Regardless of if you are cooking or traveling – try to anticipate what you will need and don’t catch yourself short. If you don’t know what is on the menu that is GFCF and you don’t know what will be available to buy locally, bring some of your child’s favorite foods with you. If you are cooking, do as much prep work ahead of time as you can. I cut up onions and celery and things like that all during the week prior to Thanksgiving so on Thanksgiving morning I can get that turkey stuffed and in the oven early. Check and make sure you have all ingredients ahead of time – you don’t want to find yourself without a key ingredient when it’s a holiday and the stores are all closed.

Don’t experiment on important days. Thanksgiving Day is not the day to experiment and see if digestive enzymes will work in place of the diet. If you want to see if your child can cheat occasionally ad use enzymes in place of the diet – experiment ahead of time. Trust me – I’ve been there and done that – not on Thanksgiving – but it was disastrous just the same. We were traveling to visit family and I thought it would be easiest to use enzymes. Andy, being celiac, needs to be gluten free – the enzymes did nothing for him. A very short time after arriving he got terrible diarrhea and I was left scrambling to find GFCF foods in an unfamiliar town – and poor Andy spent 3 days in the bathroom and covered with terrible rashes. The time to experiment is at home in a familiar environment.

Keep in mind that the holidays are stressful no matter what. Most everyone experiences some stress during the holiday season. Sometimes just realizing that helps. Do everything you can to keep yourself stress free and just try and relax and enjoy this busy time of year.

I do have lots of great recipes posted here from last Thanksgiving – be sure and search my blog for recipes that will work for you. I am always glad to help if I can.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Florida's Natural Brand Au'some Fruit Stiks

I just love it when products are labeled gluten free - it means that I only have to search the ingredients for dairy. I also love it that my son has learned how to read "gluten free". I took him shopping with me this past week, which I rarely do, and as we were passing the fruit snack section he pointed these out to me - saying "Look, Mom! Gluten Free" - well since my kid is so far behind in reading I just had to reward that and buy them. And they contain no artificial colors or flavors and none of that evil high fructose corn syrup that I try so hard to avoid.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kick Ass Chicken Wings

I made these for dinner tonight and they were so good there are no left overs. Sorry - I forgot to take a picture, but trust me they were great.

Here is how I made them:

Kick Ass Chicken Wings

5 lbs Chicken Wings
½ cup Wheat Free Soy Sauce
¼ cup Lemon Juice
¼ cup Water
½ cup Rapadura (you could substitute brown sugar or honey for this)
2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 Tablespoon Ginger Root, finely minced

Cut Wings into 3 parts and discard the tips. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Place chicken wings in baking pan and pour the sauce over them. Stir until well coated. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to coat evenly with sauce.
I was going to sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving, but I forgot.

Friday, October 19, 2007

There were no left overs last night!

I seriously am so happy to discover that Mrs. Dash is GFCF and all natural. Here is what I made last night and Andy was pretty upset that Dan had seconds and there are no leftovers for his lunch today.
I cut two chicken breasts into bite size pieces and cooked them in just a little bit of olive oil. I sprinkled Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb on them as they were cooking. I also cooked up a half of a box of corn macaroni. When the chicken was done cooking I added 4 small tomatoes from my garden cut up along with the pasta. I sprinkled a little more Mrs. Dash on top. It was so simple and yet so tasty.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Roasted Squash and Apple Soup

Cut up one squash, 2 yellow onions, 5 cloves garlic and 2 apples. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in a 425 degree F oven for 45 minutes.

Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil.

Add roasted veggies and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder.

Puree using a hand held mixer.

Add more water or broth until it is the consistency you desire.

Here's the complete recipe:

Roasted Squash and Apple Soup

1 winter squash – peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (I used an acorn squash)
2 yellow onions – peeled and cut into chunks
2 apples - peeled, cored and cut into chunks (I used Cortland)
5 cloves garlic
Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Pepper
2 to 3 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon curry powder

Place squash, onions and apples in a roasting pan – drizzle with olive oil – I probably used 2 to 3 tablespoons. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir. Roast in a 425 degree F oven about 45 minutes.

Heat the chicken broth to boiling. Add the roasted ingredients and curry powder. Using a hand held blender, puree. Add more chicken broth or water to get to the thickness you desire. Adjust seasonings.

Monday, October 15, 2007

GFCF Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are so yummy! Making them healthier has not hurt the taste one bit!

GFCF Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) GFCF Margarine (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 ½ cups Rapadura (trying to go healthier on the sugar – you could use sugar in the raw or a combination of white and brown sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 ¼ cups GF Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Mix)
½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 bag GFCF (2 cups) chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease your cookie sheets.
Beat margarine, rapadura (sugar) and vanilla in large mixer bowl.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour, Xanthan Gum, baking soda, and salt.
Stir in chocolate chips
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

Makes between 4 and 5 dozen

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mrs. Dash Seasonings and Marinades

Gluten free does not have to be bland. I'm so excited to discover that Mrs. Dash is gluten free. I have been wary of spices and spice blends because I know that many times they contain hidden gluten. When Bzz Agent offered me a campaign for Mrs. Dash I did what I always do when it is a food product - I sent an e-mail to the manufacturer to check on it's gfcf status.

Here was the response I received:

Dear Ms. Fischbach,
Thank you for taking the time to contact Alberto Culver regarding your interest in Mrs. Dash. It is always a pleasure to hear from our consumers and we are happy to respond.Mrs. Dash products do not contain gluten or dairy. However, they are not manufactured in a gluten free and dairy free facility.

Thank you again for contacting Alberto Culver.

Jessie West
Consumer Relations Manager

I don't worry too much about it not being in a dedicated facility - if we get a reaction then I worry - but for now I will try it.

I used to use the marinades and loved them - so I will be trying them again.

Bzz Agent has provided me with some packets that contain recipes a couple of small samples and a coupon - if you want one, e-mail me with your mailing address and I'll be glad to put one in the mail for you.

Mrs. Dash is also salt and msg free so it is better for you. Check out the Mrs. Dash website for lots of great recipes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

GFCF Raspberry Swirl Muffins

Andy and I made muffins tonight.

Here's Andy whisking the dry ingredients together

And here he is spooning the jam in the middle. This is homemade jam that I just made yesterday and I put it through a food mill before making it so it is almost seedless - but any commercial jam should do fine in these.

This is what they looked like going into the oven

And here they are coming out.

The recipe -

GFCF Raspberry Swirl Muffins

2 cups GF Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Mix)
1 ½ teaspoons Xanthan Gum
¼ cup sugar (I used Rapadura – trying to go more natural)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk substitute (I used Dari Free)
¼ cup cf margarine (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks), melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grated zest of 1 small orange (make sure it’s organic or you’ll be adding a lot of icky chemicals)
Raspberry Jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin pan with muffin papers.

Thoroughly mix flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.

In small bowl, whisk eggs, milk substitute, margarine, vanilla and orange zest until blended.

Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and fold in until just combined – do not over mix muffins ever!!!!

Fill muffin cups with a little less than ½ full with batter. Add about a teaspoon or so of jam (Andy did this part so I think we got a little more than that in ours). Top with the remaining batter. Using a knife, swirl the jam into the muffin.

I sprinkled a little sugar (rapadura) on top of each muffin before baking.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before eating. Makes 12 muffins (we made 16 because I like to make smaller ones that Andy can finish – but if you like your muffins to raise up above the pan, then it will make 12.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hansen's Organic Juice Slam

I try to limit the amount of juice we drink - but these are nice for the lunch box. They come in several flavors and are all organic and 100% juice - and they don't look too different from what the other kids are drinking.

Barbara's Brown Rice Crisps

A substitute for Rice Krispies. They are very tasty.

Dari Free

Dari Free has changed their packaging. It comes in this nice canister now - much easier to use.

Vegan Cheese Slices

I couldn't find the Tofutti brand that we usually buy, so I bought these. No one would eat them - so the dog gets them. What a waste. They totally do not taste like cheese!

Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

This is the margarine that I am using these days. I like the taste so much better than what I was using.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Vegan Grated Topping

This is really a bad picture - this product is not blue, a lavender color! This is what we use in place of parmesan cheese these days. I'm not sure if it is a different product from the one I posted before or if it is just different packaging - but at any rate, it looks different so I thought a picture was warranted so you know what to look for in the store.

Applegate Farms Uncured Chicken Hot Dogs

Sorry about the bad picture - I really have to get a better camera. These are the current hot dogs that we are buying. Andy will only eat Chicken Hot Dogs - when I occasionally buy the beef, he won't eat them - I, however, like the beef variety - I think it's just that chicken the beef is a little spicier. You really want to try and avoid nitrates with your child if they are on the autism spectrum. I keep these in the freezer and just take them out and use them one at a time so they don't spoil. When I get home from the grocery store, I open the package and spread the hot dogs out on a cookie sheet so they are not touching and put them in the freezer to freeze - that way they freeze individually and you can just take one out of the freezer without chizeling one out of a package or thawing a whole package and having part of it go to waste. If you eat a whole package of hot dogs at a time, then that isn't necessary. Just make sure that once they are frozen you pack them in a freezer container - don't leave them open in the freezer or they will get freezer burn.

Ricera Rice Yogurt

Here's a yogurt for those of you who also are avoiding soy. I just picked these up and haven't tasted them yet. I only bought these 3 - following my old rule of not buying more of one (or one of each flavor) until you know if you like it. I haven't tried it yet - after we have tried it I will come back and edit this post and give you my opinion. This is the first non-soy gfcf yogurt I've seen.

Ian's Cookie Buttons

This is a new product out. Only the Crunchy Cinnamon is GFCF. They come in individual bags so they are great for lunch boxes and for snacks on the go. Andy loves them but he also thinks they look like Molly's (our dog) food (she eats Iam's mini nuggets) and so he pretends to be a dog when he eats them. They are small crunchy cookies.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

GFCF Caramel Apples

It is caramel apple making time. Unfortunately for those of us GFCF, most caramels contain dairy. Here is a great recipe and then my own variation. Pictures below!

GFCF Caramel Apples
1/4 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup or brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water
5 or 6 tart apples (with sticks)
1. In medium saucepan, melt margarine.
2. Stir in sugar, syrup, vanilla and water.
3. Bring mixture to a boil and keep boiling for about several minutesuntil a candy thermometer reads 245 F.
4. Remove caramel from heat. Put a Popsicle stick in the center ofeach apple. When the mixture has stopped bubbling, swirl each applein the caramel syrup to coat. Place apples on a well greased cookiesheet to harden.

Melt the margarine

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the apples)

Use a candy thermometer

These make great caramel apples, but when Andy has had them in the past - he really didn't like biting the whole apple and the way the juice ran down out of the apple. So I thought I could just drizzle the caramel over cut up apples for him to eat.

Great idea - but it was pretty clumpy (is that a word?) and it hardened pretty quickly.

So I heated the caramel back up (it had hardened) and stirred in a little "fake milk" (I used dari free, but any milk sub will work) and it made a wonderful dipping sauce. My son is dipping apples as I type and very happy with this variation (I would take a picture, but well Andy doesn't want to be on the computer this morning).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wild Rice Casserole

I don't believe I have posted this recipe yet - it is one of our family's favorite rice dishes.

Here it is in a 2 quart casserole dish so you can see how much it makes.

And here is a close up so you can see the whole grain goodness. I wouldn't expect a child new to the diet to accept this - but it is great for the adults and children who have adjusted to eating healthier - Andy loves it.

Wild Rice Casserole

1 cup wild rice
1 cup brown rice
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
½ cup pine nuts
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons juice - any juice you have on hand works - apple, cranberry or orange
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring 5 cups water to a boil in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add the wild rice, stir and reduce the heat. Cover the pan, and simmer or 15 minutes.
3. Add the brown rice and simmer 20 minutes more. The rice should be tender.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
5. Transfer the rice mixture to an ovenproof casserole, covering tightly and bake until the rices are soft but not mushy, and the casserole is heated through, 20 to 30 minutes.
6 to 8 portions

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

GFCF Apple Bars

It's apple season - and my apple tree is loaded. I made these yesterday and they are already gone. Yum, yum.

Apple Bars

½ cup melted cf margarine
1 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 egg
1 cup gf flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Mix)
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped. You want to use firm cooking apples.
1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a square 8 inch by 8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix melted margarine with the sugar and egg. Mix in flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and cinnamon. Then stir in apples and nuts. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I frosted mine with an icing made from powdered sugar mixed with a little vanilla and fake milk (I used Dari Free).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Awful peanut butter cookies

I have seen this recipe floating around in many places and people talking about how it's a great and easy recipe so I decided to try it instead of my usual one. It is awful. It made very hard jaw breaker cookies.
The recipe uses no flour. It is 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 egg. I do not recommend this recipe at all!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

GFCF Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

My husband says this pie is his new favorite - it sure didn't last long.

GFCF Apple Pie with crumb topping

Single Pie Crust (I made one using a mix from Miss Robens)
6 cups chopped and peeled tart apples
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 tablespoons Tofutti fake sour cream
4 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup minute tapioca
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup gf flour mixture (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Mix)
½ cup sugar (I used natural brown)
¼ cup cold margarine

Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust.

In a bowl, combine apples, margarine, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon into pie shell.

For topping, combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the apples are tender.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Andy's bag lunch today

The sandwich is organic peanut butter with my own homemade rhubarb jam on Tom's Bread. The veggies are organic bell pepper slices and carrot slices (from my garden). The back tupperware container has cut up fruit and the front one has french dressing to dip the veggies in. And then organic grape juice.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today's Bag Lunch

The thermos contains mini corn dogs and green beans. The bottom tupperware container is cut up fruit and the top one is catsup. And then organic grape juice. He took an organic peach for morning snack today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wellshire Kids Liverwurst

Andy's new favorite for sandwiches.

Back to School Time

School started yesterday, the day after labor day. Time to start packing those GFCF lunches and snacks. I do have an excel spreadsheet that I have developed that I will send to anyone who wants it. It has a rotating menu so you are not packing the same thing everyday, a shopping list, recipes and ideas for packing lunches. You will need to modify to suit your child, but it is a great starting place. I have made some changes since I started using it myself as I have found new products and my son's tastes have changed.

Andy's lunch for the first day of school. I knew it was too much food for him to eat - but he was so nervous over the first day of school that I just wanted him to be able to have choice. It included a Kidz Dream Smoothie drink, a liverwurst sandwich (he loves that stuff - I'm not sure all kids will) made on gfcf bread (Tom's bread), carrot sticks, a fruit cup and a rice bar. He brought back home the rice bar unopened and half of the sandwich.

Organic Cherry Applesauce for his morning snack at school

All ready for his first day of second grade. Even though he has a smile, his eyes are swollen from crying - he can't believe I am making him ride the bus this year (he did fine on it).

Second day lunch - The thermos contains organic french fries, Ian's fish sticks and a few green beans. The bottom tupperware container has cut up fruit and the top one has catsup for dipping his fish sticks and fries into. The pretzels are for his morning snack. And organic apple juice to drink.

The label on top of his thermos is from Mabel's Labels. It has his name and his allergies (gluten isn't an allergy, but school officials may not understand that). I have the same label on his lunch bag and on his communication notebook.