Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I've been tagged for Meme!

GFCF Mommy tagged me in a game of meme. What a fun idea and a great way to learn about each other.

The rules for this meme game are:
1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Here are my 8 random facts:
1. I am on my 3rd marriage
2. I was raised in Warrens, Wisconsin - population 350 at the time
3. I graduated from Tomah High School in 1976
4. I raised dairy goats while married to my first husband
5. I graduated from UW-LaCrosse in December of 1982
6. I lived in Arizona from December of 1982 through October 1994
7. I moved to Minnesota in 1996 where I met my current husband
8. I am currently in graduate school studying for a Master's Degree in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education.

I hereby tag:
This Mom
Bea at Miracles do Happen
Angela at Angela's Kitchen
Alex at Recovering Jonathan!
Stephanie at A boy named Shay
Amy at A Day in the Life
Irish at Sometimes Holland feels like Hell
Michelle at Little-man D!

I can't wait to see if they all play along and see what random facts we can all learn about each other.

How necessary is Xantham Gum?

I forgot I was out of Xantham Gum today and I wanted to make a batch of mini corn dogs to have ready for Andy's school lunches.

I had already started mixing the ingredients when I realized I was out of it and my van has a flat tire so I can't run to the store and get some of the expensive stuff. So I decided that it is such a small amount - it would be no big deal to leave it out - after all, what does it do exactly?

Well, I can now tell you what it does - it makes the batter thicker and stickier. You cannot make good mini corn dogs without it. I made the batter and then proceeded to cut up the corn dogs and let the batter get thicker - the oil wasn't hot yet anyway. Finally I was ready and dipped the hotdogs in the batter - and it was way too thin and none of it would stick to the hot dog. So, unable to believe a small amount of Xantham Gum was responsible, I decided that I must have only added half of the corn meal - so I added more corn meal and got a thicker batter - and some of it did stick to the hot dog - but most of it slid off after it got in the oil and made a terrible mess. My son took one look at the corn dogs as they came out of the oil and pronounced - "I'm not eating them, they don't have any of the good stuff on them!" He really likes the breading - and has been known to pull the breading off and just eat it and leave the hot dog.

So, I sealed up the hot dogs and put them away for now. I guess I will have to put off making mini corn dogs for another day.

Here is a picture of one - sorry, it's not a good picture, but they are just pathetic. A good lesson for anyone. Do not omit Xantham Gum!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Making Tom's Bread (Celiac Light Bread)

I know I have posted this recipe for Tom's Bread before, but I don't think I included pictures before. I made a double batch today. I am between jobs right now and can't afford to be buying all of my bread at the bakery. Andy actually prefers Tom's bread but it is hard to find the time to make it all the time when I'm working.

First mix all of the dry ingredients well.

Then wisk the wet ingredients together with a wire wisk.

Add to dry ingredients and mix well - wait a minute - something is wrong - when doubling ingredients, make sure you double everything - this dough is not supposed to be smooth! I forgot to double the garbanzo bean flour! Oops.

This is how the dough should look - nice and sticky.

Put into well greased bread pan (I prefer using glass pans - I never cook in aluminum) and cover with plastic wrap.

Ready to go in the oven.

Coming out of the oven

Sliced and ready to eat!

And here's the recipe again so you don't have to go and search the archives:
by Tom Van DemanAugust 20, 2003
1 1/8 cup Chickpea flour, also called Garbanzo Bean flour (I grind my own)
1 cup cornstarch (I use Cream corn starch)
1 cup + 1 Tbs. tapioca flour3 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. brown sugar(Make sure that there are no lumps)
1/4 tsp. creme of tartar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/8 cup warm water (uncomfortable to touch but not boiling)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil (I use peanut oil or canola oil)
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

Bread Machine Method
WARNING: Adding more liquids or flours or reducing same could cause the bread to not cook thoroughly on the inside or to be too heavy. Also, I am at almost 6000 feet altitude in Denver area which might cause your bread to be slightly different than mine. First try it as is and then experiment if necessary.Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl except for the yeast. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly with wire whisk. Mix together the lightly beaten eggs, warm water, and oil in a separate bowl and thoroughly mix with wire whisk. Pour the liquid ingredients into your bread machine bowl (I use my Zoj). Immediately spoon in your dry mixed ingredients on top of the wet ingredients to make a mound in the center but covering all of the wet ingredients. With a spoon or spatula, make a small depression on top of your dry ingredients (must be dry for the yeast) and immediately spoon in your yeast. Place your bread machine pan in the machine correctly and turn the machine to regular wheat bread cycle and turn on machine. (This dough will need two kneadings in order to get its content to proper consistency.) Do not add any more liquids or flour. The dough will form a sticky ball. With a spatula, scrape down the sides of machine bowl to make sure all of the dry ingredients get into the dough ball. On the rise cycle, use your spatula that is wet to smooth the top of the loaf, if desired. Bake the bread using the medium crust setting. When finished, turn the loaf out onto your wire rack and allow bread to cool or you can slice it while hot (Do not squeeze the loaf too tightly while holding it to slice while hot.) Slice the bread thin with a serrated bread knife or electric knife and enjoy.

Oven MethodTurn your oven to 375 degrees. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl or your mixer bowl including the yeast. Mix thoroughly on medium or low setting. Mix together the lightly beaten eggs, warm water, and oil in a separate bowl and whip with wire whisk until all ingredients are mixed. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with your mixer on medium speed (Use paddle or dough hook). When sticky ball forms, scrape sides to get all of the flours and ingredients mixed together and continue to mix for about 1 minute more. Scrape into a 9 x 5-inch lightly greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap, set in non drafty warm place and let rise until at least double size (approximately 45 to 60 minutes). Remove plastic wrap and place pan in preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a spoon. Turn the loaf out onto your wire rack and allow loaf to cool or you can slice it while hot (Do not squeeze the loaf too tightly while holding it to slice when hot.)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sesame Ginger Baby Bok Choy

This recipe comes from Rebecca Katz, author, One Bite at a Time, (Celestial Arts, 2004)

The first time I made it I made it exactly as she had written, but as I have made it more and more I have changed it a little - my changes are in ( )s. I also put the weights in so you know what amounts I used to come up with the nutrtional analysis.

I have to tell you that I had never had Bok Choy in my life before I started at Hawthorn and making this recipe was part of an assignment. I wasn't even sure what I was buying when I was in the store looking for it. I have since joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) since I don't have enough space to grow all the veggies my family can eat and I have been getting Bok Choy in my box from them every single week. I am so glad to have this recipe. I have tried a few other ways to cook Bok Choy but none are as tasty as this one.

Sesame Ginger Baby Bok Choy

4 heads of small baby bok choy (3 to 4 oz each) [I used 19.3 oz of regular bok choy]
1 Tablespoon Lemon or Lime (I used lemon)
1 Tablespoon Tamari
1 Tablespoon Mirin
2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
½ teaspoon Maple Syrup
1 ½ Tablespoon Sesame Oil (I used Toasted Sesame Oil again)
1 Teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (as garnish) [I forgot these]
Pinch of red chili pepper flakes
3 Medium Garlic Cloves, minced (Mine came to .4 oz)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Root, minced (Mine came to .55 oz)
2 Medium Scallions, sliced thin on the bias (I used 4.45 oz of onions)
Squeeze of a lime (I forgot this)

1. Cut the baby bok choy into chunks. Separate the bulb and the tops.
2. Combine the lime, tamari, mirin, sesame oil, and maple syrup in a bowl. Reserve
3. Heat a skillet. Add 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil. Add ½ Tablespoon of sesame oil, add red chili flakes, ginger, garlic and scallions. Stir fry until fragrant, until 30 seconds. Add the boy choy stems and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the sauce mixture and simmer just until thickened, another 30 seconds.
4. Add the bok choy greens. Cook another 15 seconds. Squeeze the lime and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the boy choy and serve immediately.

Here is what it looked like - Yum!

And here are the nutrition facts.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Armenian Eggplant

Andy loved this - asked for seconds - I was sure this was going to be an adult only dish. I included the nutritional information from my nifty new software from Esha - so I included weights on my ingredients so you would know what I used to get the nutritional information.

Armenian Eggplant

1 large eggplant (mine was 5.8 oz)
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped (mine was 4 oz)
¼ teaspoon dried garlic (or use fresh)
1 Medium Onion, sliced (mine was 7.5 oz)
4 Tomatoes, diced (mine came to 1 lb. 1.45 oz)
¼ cup Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon saltFresh herbs to taste (I used oregano, basil, tarragon & rosemary)

1. Pare and dice eggplant (if you don’t want it darkening, sprinkle with lemon juice).
2. Heat oil in skillet; Add onion, green pepper, eggplant and garlic. Stir over low heat until eggplant is soft.
3. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper.
4. Simmer a few minutes.
5. Add herbs.
6. Pour into casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.