Monday, December 21, 2009


Found this post by my friend Jenn. She heard about making Dulce de Leche by boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk. Since I am looking for an alternative corn syrup-free caramel recipe I decided to give it a try. All you do is put unopened cans in a dutch oven, cover it with water and simmer-3 hours for a nice topping, longer for candy. I'll try longer next time, but the three hours was perfect for topping. A word of caution-check often to be sure the can is still completely covered with water. I hear it can blow up if it isn't. I had no trouble-just kept setting the timer for an hour and would add water then. Take out, let cool a while, open and enjoy.

Oh, my! Hubs and I have already eaten our way through most of the first can, and I'm sure the second won't last much longer. We just love it as a dip for apples, and it is completely allergen-free for me.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bound For Texas

All wrapped up, cushioned with bubble wrap, and on its way to Austin.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Almond Toffee Recipe

Now this recipe is not "safe" for those allergic to almonds, corn, or chocolate. Needless to say, I don't eat it. It's okay, I've never been fond of cooked sugar candies, like toffee or caramels. But many people do like it and therefore I make it. It is fun to make, and friends and family reap the rewards.

Almond Toffee

1 pound butter-real butter, not margarine
2 cups sugar
2 T corn syrup
6 T water
2 cups slivered almonds
2 cups chocolate chips
extra butter

First, butter a big heavy cookie sheet with the extra butter. Finely chop 1/4 cup off the almonds and set aside.

Melt butter in a big heavy saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until candy becomes the color of a brown paper bag. I have an electric stove and I set the burner heat just below "high," but you will have to work out what the best temp is for your stove. Just before it looks like the right color, dump in the slivered almonds and continue to cook until the right color. I do this so the nuts will toast a bit-adds to the flavor. Very quickly and all at once, pour out into the cookie sheet and spread out. It sets up fast, so work fast.

Now the fun part: let it cool a bit, just until it seems to be getting firm. Not very long, but you don't want it runny at this point. Sprinkle 1 cup of the chocolate chips over the candy and hover over it until the chips soften. With the back of a spoon spread the chocolate all over the candy, covering completely. It won't seem like enough but it will work. Now-lay a sheet of waxed paper over the chocolate, making sure the paper is long enough to stick out over the ends of the pan. Very carefully and using potholders, flip the whole thing over and lay upside down on the counter. Take a thin-bladed knife and slip under a corner of the candy to break the suction, while you're lifting the pan off. Now you have the other side of the candy ready for the rest of the chocolate. Sprinkle the rest of the chips on it, let soften and spread as before. Now take the reserved chopped almonds and sprinkle over.

Lay your cookie sheet end to end with the candy and slide the candy back on the sheet. Put in a cool place (my garage in the winter is perfect) for the chocolate to set up. Break into pieces.

Now be ready for the applause!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Look What I Found Today!

Because of the corn allergy, I am severely limited in what brands of dairy products I can use. For instance, most, if not all major brands of yogurt have either cornstarch, corn syrup, or both. I can find the organic brands that don't contain corn products pretty reasonably at our local warehouse-type store. They also carry the Western Family Naturals brand of sour cream-most sour creams have cornstarch, but this particular one doesn't. I just have to be sure to read the label and get the natural one. I was across town today and wasn't planning to go to the warehouse store, but here's what I found in Walmart:

No corn starch-just milk products! (I'm lucky enough not to be allergic to milk)

Another shopping problem I had was powdered sugar. They add just a bit of cornstarch just to keep the sugar from caking. Consequently I haven't had frosting since May. This is what I found in the local Food Co-op:

Instead of cornstarch, they use tapioca starch. Frosting here I come-provided I can put together a decent cake with my special flours.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Coconut Mug Cakes

Hubby hates chocolate. People ask me how a chocolate lover like me can live with an anti-chocolate person. My stock answer is, "More for me!"

Last night I went to a Pampered Chef party where they made these delicious-looking miniature gooey chocolate cakes. Of course I just had to look and not touch. So today I decided it was time to make chocolate mug cakes, which I did, using potato starch instead of wheat flour. But-what to make for Hubby's Sunday night treat? This recipe came from that and he ADORED it!

Coconut Mug Cakes

4 T flour of choice (I used 3 T potato starch and 1 T coconut flour)(hubby didn't miss the wheat)
4 T sugar
1 egg
3 T milk
3 T cooking oil
1/4 tsp coconut extract
3 T shredded coconut

I don't mix my mug cakes in the mug, I use a small bowl, so stir together flour and sugar in a small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, except coconut, and mix until just blended with a wire whisk. Stir in coconut.

Brush a bit of oil in 2 8-ounce ramekins and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Divide batter between the two ramekins. Cook in the microwave approximately 1 minute 45 seconds. You might have to play a bit to get the right time, given the differing wattages of microwaves. Let cool a bit, turn out and serve.

I served this to Hubby with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and some raspberry Italian soda syrup. I kid you not, he went nuts for it! Then he suggested next time I use the Italian coconut syrup that's in the pantry downstairs. Sounds good to me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Someone Else Eating

We have diners that come every morning to feast in our back yard. They way they fight over the suet, you'd think we had four star dining!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

You HAVE to have something pumpkin at this time of year! I developed this recipe for that specific craving.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

3 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 16-oz can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg or cloves-I prefer cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
3/4 C potato starch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a springform pan with waxed paper or parchment. Spray no-stick spray on parchment and up sides of pan.

Beat together all ingredients, pour into pan and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 60 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then loosen the sides of the pan. Cool a bit more then lay a plate over cheesecake, flip over, pull off parchment, lay a plate over bottom and turn rightside up. Cool completely. The potato starch firms it just enough to flip so you can get rid of the yucky pan bottom.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Found This

I just Googled, "sucrose corn" and the first thing that came up was this. Kind of chilling what the modern food industry is doing to us.

Why I was researching was that I made a pumpkin cheesecake today (recipe soon) and wanted a nice whipped cream to put on top. I popped into our small town's "mom and pop" store thinking this would be a lead pipe cinch. Boy was I mistaken! The first carton of heavy whipping cream had "modified food starch," which of course is corn starch. The only other kind they had there had sucrose in it. Riggggght-corn derived. What the heck is all that crap doing in an innocent carton of whipping cream? Anyway read this article, it's an eye opener.

(I did get my whipping cream. We had to go to Belgrade for a function at the grandkids' school tonight so we stopped by the supermarket there and I found one that just said "cream, milk" on its label. Not organic, but beggars can't be choosers at 8:00 P.M. on a Thursday night.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Update on My "Dirt"

I haven't posted any progress for a couple of weeks because I wanted to give the Diatomaceous Earth a good chance to do what it needs to do.

Soooo-well, I've been on the stuff for three weeks now, a tablespoon in the morning and the same at night. Here's a few things I've noticed:

Hot flashes are somewhat better-not gone, mind you, but better.

I'm still sleeping wonderfully. I can get by on 6 or 7 hours a night and feel like it's 8 or 9. Most nights I sleep through until 6:00 or 7:00. This is new to me. Because of the fibromyalgia I woke up several times during the night and took anywhere from half an hour to 1 1/2 hours to just GET to sleep. Now I'm asleep usually within a half hour and rarely wake up.

This probably is partly due to the good sleep but my head is so clear. No more foggy brain-I can actually form coherent thoughts. I have a continuous feeling of well-being, something I've heard is common with the DE, but I'm a bit surprised by that. Happy, though, nobody likes a grump!

My sinuses are clear all the time. As a general rule, they would be clear sometimes and sometimes very congested. Now they're never congested.

People are still noticing that I'm not coughing as much. I had a gab fest on the phone this morning with a friend and she commented on the fact that I hadn't coughed once during our 1 1/2 hour conversation. Still coughing, just not as much. I did notice something this morning-the ink that our local newspaper uses usually sets me off in a huge coughing spell, but either they changed back to soy ink or I didn't react to their regular ink.

I'm still "cleansing," but it's becoming more consistent and not so (ahem) offensive. My urine is pretty dark, which is odd because I drink a boatload of water. Aha, I heard that it cleans the bladder. Which is the main reason I'm doing this-to get myself off the antibiotics.

One "detox" thing I'm experiencing is more muscle spasms. I had a spasm in the lower left side of my back which I've never had before, but it dissipated fairly quickly. I also have bumps on my skin, kind of like pimples only firmer. Just a few, but something I've never noticed before. Yep, I think my body is chucking the Candida!

Progress, I think, but I've heard from several alternative physicians that for every year you've had a condition it takes a month to heal. I've been coughing for 20 years, had fibromyalgia for about 25 years, and chronic UTIs for 41 years. I guess I'm in it for the long run. Thing is, if I didn't do this, where would I be in 20 months-so what do I have to lose? It's cheap and harmless so I can hang in there as long as I need to.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Winter Chicken Soup

A perfect supper when the weather is totally unseasonable for October. (Cold!) I made gluten-free biscuits to go with it and it was very satisfying. I almost didn't miss the noodles.

Winter Chicken Soup
2 large chicken breasts, cubed in 1/2" pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tsp Herbs De Provence (I made the Emeril recipe from Food Network but you could use any recipe)
1 tsp celery seed
1 T dried parsley
1 can organic chicken broth (label reading is important with this ingredient)
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pound sliced carrots
3 large stalks chopped celery
Potato starch
Olive oil

Season chicken with salt, pepper, herbs, celery seed and parsley. Brown in 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter. Add celery and brown for a few minutes. Add broth, carrots, and additional water to cover; bring to a boil and simmer at least 2 hours until flavors are blended.

Stir 2 T potato starch into a cup of cold water and stir into soup. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture is thickened. Makes about 8 generous servings.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Utah Peaches

Hands down the best tasting peaches are those from Utah. I think the alkaline soil makes them sweeter. Some years we drive down and buy peaches, but it didn't work out this year. No grocer in this area seems to want to carry Utah peaches anymore-it's either Washington or California. Neither are as sweet. My SIL told me she found Utah peaches on the corner near her home and did we want her to pick a box up for us? Of course! They weren't cheap, but what a treat.

More of those make-do containers. I try to reuse every container I get-there's even a potato salad container among the yogurt containers.

So far, there's been lots of eating, and the other day Hubs put up seven quarts in the canner. Today I made two batches of freezer jam. Oh, winter will be much nicer with this little stash! Add that to the strawberry and raspberry jams in the freezer and we will be happy campers! Oh, and I made my cobbler, too!

The heavenly jam-it set up really fast. This container won't make it to the freezer-I have some waffles that are waiting for it.

My SIL brought me a recipe for fake corn syrup. I used in the jam since the recipe in the pectin box called for corn syrup to prevent sugar crystal from forming in the freezer. I'm going to try the rest of the syrup batch in my special caramels and if it works I will post both recipes in a day or so.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Thing I Can't Have!

I thought, after reading the label, that the Starbucks Mocha coffee was safe for me to drink. Not so-it contains ascorbic acid and I just Googled it and it also is derived from corn! This is just not fair-all I want is a little treat now and then. Manufacturers don't care about people, just profits, and since corn is cheaper to use, they use it a lot.


Monday, October 5, 2009

First Week

Okay, here's the disclaimer:

I do not publish this information to treat or diagnose any disease. I only share what works for me and hope that someone else gleans information out of my posts. Hope that's enough for the FDA.

Monday, Sept. 28-Received shipment. Started out with 1 tsp of Diatomacious Earth in water. It wasn't bad-good, that will make it easier to stay consistent.

Tuesday, Sept. 29-Tried it in my coffee 1/2 tsp at a time. Not bad-gotta keep it stirred, but this isn't going to be terrible. I'm now taking 1 tsp in the morning and 1 tsp in the evening, before bed. I stirred into grape juice. Is it too soon to notice that I have less phlegm? I do but is it due to the DE?

Wednesday, Sept. 30-My coffee didn't back up in my throat today. Not so much phlegm today, either. Had coffee with my friend Diane and gave her a container of DE. She noticed that I didn't cough much. Folks, I coughed ALL the time-strangers would come up to me in restaurants thinking I was choking or had pneumonia. I had to cross my legs, I coughed so hard.

I increased my dosage and today is the first full day of a full dose-1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 in the evening.

People are noticing that I'm not coughing as much. I've been plagued by hot flashes for ten years. Bad ones-if I bent over the sweat would run like a stream. I used to be on the cold side. It would take a while for me to warm up when I went to bed, then in the last ten years I would have to throw the covers off to sleep. Last night I shivered for an hour until I warmed up enough to sleep. No, I don't have a virus. Hm-now that I think about it, I haven't had a hot flash all day and I didn't have to take my coat off at the restaurant. Maybe.....

I have this feeling of well-being. Not sure if it's due to the DE. Can't be the weather-cloudy, 36 and windy.

This next thing is kind of gross. I mentioned the cleansing effect of this stuff. Yeah, I'm cleansing-and every time it has a different odor. Wonder what that means?

Anyway, I'm encouraged. I'll stay on the stuff for a while and see if my good results continue. My ultimate goal is to completely get off the antibiotics and dampen some of my allergic reactions. We'll see.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Harvest Time

About 50 pounds or so-not our record but enough for us.

Even though I'm allergic to tomatoes, we raise them primarily for Stan. We give a bunch away, too, especially to our busy kids. Today we picked all the tomatoes, squash, and broccoli. We'll freeze the broccoli and can a few tomatoes. I covered up but came away with a pretty good rash on my arms where the glove and sleeve didn't meet. I suspect the squash plants. I've never been tested for squash and don't seem to have trouble eating them, but the plants have always given me fits. Stan keeps telling me to back off, he'll get those, but darn it the work needs to get done!

This kid is crazy about carrots. Can't wait to dig those up, there seems to be a huge crop!

In other news, I'm keeping a daily diary of the Diatomacious Earth and will probably post weekly about my progress or lack thereof.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My "Dirt" Is Here

The FedEx guy dropped my package off this morning. I thought they were supposed to get a signature! At any rate it's here. I put the bag in a 5 gallon bucket that Stan had, and found a cute glass jar to put some of the "dirt" in for the kitchen.

I think I'll start tonight, taking it just before bed. I'll start with a teaspoon, and work up to the recommended tablespoon. It's supposed to to a cleanout and I tend that way anyway so I'd better start a bit slow. I'll try it straight, in water first, then if that isn't palatable, I'll figure something else out. Straight water would be less of a hassle and will ensure that I take it regularly. Any kind of a fuss and it's harder to keep on a schedule.

Well, here goes!

Applesauce Cake With Toffee Sauce

I've been working for a while to perfect a cake recipe. This one turned out pretty good, and was made even tastier by using Stan's homemade applesauce.

Applesauce Cake
1 1/4 C gluten-free flour mix
(I used: 1/2 C Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free flour mix, 1/2 C potato starch, 1/8 C coconut flour, and 1/8 C potato flour)
1 C Sugar
3/4 Tsp soda
3/4 Tsp salt
1/8 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/4 Tsp cloves
1/4 Tsp allspice
1 C applesauce
1/4 C water
1/4 C oil (I use canola oil)
1 egg
Nuts and raisins, if desired or tolerated, 1/2 C each

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together dry ingredients, mix together applesauce, water, oil and egg. Stir into flour mixture. Bake in a 9" greased square pan 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce.

Toffee Sauce
Melt one stick (1/2 cup) butter, add 1 cup brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup cream and simmer 5 minutes until slightly thick. Add 1/4 tsp vanilla. Pour over cake and ice cream.

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day in Yellowstone

We drove to Yellowstone yesterday to see if we could hear the elk bugle. Yes we did, but not until we were heading home. That was OK, we still got to see them. We ate lunch in Mammoth at the restaurant there. The waitress was very accommodating about my allergies, and I had a nice salad. After driving through Norris and Tower Falls and back to Mammoth we stopped at the snack bar for ice cream. Not for me-the kid scooping found the ingredient list and read "corn syrup." I got a cup of coffee and ate part of a "safe" candy bar I had in my purse for just such an occasion. It was fine and the trip was great, but I still felt a bit left out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My "Snake Oil" Journey

I'm a fan of alternative medicine, and my oldest son calls it all snake oil. Of course he's wrong, even if he is my wonderful son!

A couple of months ago, an elderly friend started talking about taking her "dirt." She was thrilled with her results-joint pain going away, and digestive disorders gone. She couldn't remember what it was really called-one of her grandkids orders it for her. When she started talking about killing ants with it, I knew exactly what it was-diatomaceous earth, otherwise known as "fossil shell flour." I did the Google thing and found a reliable site to order it from and got it ordered this morning. My friend Diane and I are going to split a bag just to test it out. It's very inexpensive and you get a lot in a shipment.

The alternative circles believe that allergies are mostly caused by "leaky gut syndrome," and this stuff, if it works right, would help to get rid of that. Leaky gut syndrome is said to be caused by an overgrowth of Candida in the intestines, caused by overuse of antibiotics. Well, that is me for sure-I've been on a preventative dose of antibiotic for about twenty years now to try to avoid the chronic urinary tract infections I've been plagued with since my wonderful son was born 40 years ago. I do many things to keep the Candida down, but Candida is very stubborn and virulent. It also returns because I'm still taking the antibiotic, so that dose of Diflucan only helps for a while. My goal is to get off the antibiotic.

I'm going to try to chronicle my progress with this stuff. I'll be totally honest-if it doesn't work I'll tell you, but if it does work I'll shout it from the housetops. Western medicine has done very little to help me with my cough and allergies-even to the point of refusing to test me for food allergies at one point (not my present doctor-a fancy specialist wouldn't)-so I've left it in God's hands and I am praying that something natural will take care of it. At any rate, according to my research, it doesn't hurt anything, so it's worth a try.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


What do you do when communion is scheduled at church? The elders offered to get rice crackers, but I had to explain that I'm allergic to rice, too.

Today was communion again. I usually just skip the bread and drink the juice, but today they threw me a curve. Last month they used juice that was sweetened with Splenda-not my favorite, but I tolerated it. (Why does grape juice have to be sweetened anyway?) This month, right after I downed the tiny glassful, I could taste the corn syrup. I immediately got welts on the roof of my mouth, my lips itched, and I coughed all afternoon.

After church I went down to the kitchen to see if I could find a label, but the juice was in a regular pitcher, so I couldn't tell. If there was a can in the trash, it was buried and I wasn't going to dig. I'll have to have a chat with the elders. I'm thinking of making a cracker of some kind that I could use for the bread-any ideas?

The worst time I had was Good Friday service. They decided it would be more meaningful to file to the front of the church, tear off a piece of bread and dip it in the juice. Of course I couldn't take ANY of that, especially after all that wheat was dipped into the juice. People kept trying to urge me to the front and couldn't understand why I was skipping communion. I think they thought I had some terrible sin to atone for or something.

I let myself have a bit of a pity party today. Communion is such a meaningful time and I can't completely participate-C'mon, Lord, it's for You-help me out here!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Little Shopping

For quite a while I've been looking for just the right ramekins. I wanted both the 8 oz and the 4 oz, but I had kind of given up. Last night I had an hour to kill, so I decided to wander about the local Dollar-type store. This one is a locally owned store that kind of reminds me of Big Lots.

Lo and behold, I found exactly what I was looking for!

I got six of each size, so look out Chocolate Melting Cake, here I come! (Recipe to follow in the near future)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baked Chicken Recipe

Most of the time I dislike chicken breasts. They tend to be dry and get that way fast in that short period between done and overdone. I developed this recipe last week when I needed something for a church potluck that I could eat, too. I didn't let anyone know it was "special" and it was gone in a hurry.

Baked Chicken Breasts
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper

Cut chicken pieces in half, season with salt and pepper. Pound with the flat side of a meat mallet between two sheets of wax paper. Mix together potato starch, paprika, celery salt and paprika. Dredge chicken in mixture and brown in butter/olive oil. Lay pieces in a casserole dish. Stir water into leftover dredge, pour in skillet. Whisk until smooth, adding more water if necessary to make a smooth sauce. Pour sauce over chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serves 4.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Check This Out-Really, PETA!

Can you believe how insulting this billboard is? I have never thought PETA was long on common sense, but to put down overweight people with the false idea that if you didn't eat meat you would be thin confirms my suspicion. I have vegetarian friends-some are heavy, some are thin. I know meat-eaters that are fat and meat-eaters that are thin, but you can be overweight no matter what your food beliefs are. Personally, with all my allergies to fruits, vegetables and grains, I'd starve to death as a vegetarian. I thank God that I can eat an egg!

Thanks, Alexandra, for bringing my attention to this. Alex is a successful vegetarian with a super sense of humor and a boatload of common sense.

I'm chunky (overweight) but I've decided to be healthy and ignore today's interpretation of what a woman's body should look like. Besides, most of the weight loss programs are heavy on the foods I can't eat. Besides I am convinced that most of the overweight in the USA nowadays is caused by food additives-corn syrup, trans fats, hormones, antibiotics, etc. Clean up our food and thin down our people.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

About Time I Published the Cheesecake Recipe

My Allergy Free Cheesecake
3 8oz pkgs softened cream cheese
1/2 C potato flour
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a springform pan with wax paper or parchment, spray with non-stick cooking spray. Beat cream cheese, add sugar and coconut flour. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Spread in pan and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool a bit, then run a knife around edge to loosen and remove sides of pan. Cool completely. Not too heavy, not too "fluffy."

Raspberry Topping
4 C raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 C sugar
2-3 T potato starch

Crush half of the berries, mix with sugar and potato starch. Cook over medium heat until quite thick. Let cool for a few minutes, then add the remaining berries. Store in refrigerator.

I made this for a church potluck last week. I didn't tell anyone that it was for "special" diets and it disappeared so fast I almost didn't get a piece!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blueberry Cobbler-Breakfast of Champions

We couldn't resist the big box of luscious blueberries at our favorite store. I thought we needed to have immediate dessert and I haven't perfected my wheatless pie crust yet, so a cobbler was the logical choice. Of course you could use any berry. If you use tarter berries you might have to bump up how much sugar goes in the filling, but with the blueberries the sweetness is just right.

Blueberry Cobbler

1 Tablespoon potato starch (if you're not allergic to corn, you could use corn starch)
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C water
3 C blueberries or other fruit
1 C flour mixture (I used 1/2 C potato starch, 1/4 C teff flour, and 1/4 C coconut flour)
1/2 C white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C milk
1/4 C melted butter

Mix first three ingredients, add fruit. Cook and stir until mixture thickens. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Stir dry ingredients together, add milk and butter. Spoon over fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 6-8.

We always try to justify eating lovely desserts like this by having them for breakfast. A great way to start the day. It's very good with ice cream if you can do dairy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No, Don't Tell Me!

The buckwheat pasta I had last night and for lunch-turns out it had wheat in it! I had a reaction, but sometimes I just don't know what makes me cough, and I spent the day checking and rechecking labels. We stopped at the Co-op tonight, I had the bag numbered for the next batch of bulk pasta, and I had the rubber glove ready to start filling my bag, when I decided that I'd better recheck the label on the bin. Not only did it have wheat, but wheat was the first ingredient. What a disappointment! They carry a packaged 100% buckwheat pasta, but it's $6.99 a half-pound. I can't bring myself to pay $14.00 a pound for pasta.

I guess it's back to the kitchen. I've made some tasty things that are "safe" for me, I'll just keep working on pasta.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I Had Pasta!

I was in the Co-op the other day and noticed that they had 100% buckwheat soba noodles in the bulk section. I bought a small handful just to see how they are. I asked hubs what starch we should have for supper tonight and he mentioned the noodles. Oh yeah! I cooked them up and just put a little butter, cream and a bit of Parmesan cheese in them.

Hubs said they tasted as good as any pasta he's eaten. Victory-he doesn't care too much for pasta, so this is a huge step. It was sooooo nice to actually eat noodles.

Pasta, I've missed you so.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This is Unbelievable!

Just saw a news report on an Australian boy who is actually allergic to everything:

Okay, I feel a bit better about my allergies, but what goes on here? What is wrong with our modern world that people are showing such severe allergies?

At least I can eat out, and have mostly had helpful servers who really try to find something I can tolerate. This poor Australian boy may never be cured, so may have to be fed by a tube for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just What are We Eating Anyway?

This op-ed piece by columnist Ellen Goodman appeared in today's Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

I've always been conscious of what is added to our food on a regular basis, but as time goes by, I am more and more amazed at the lengths they go to to get you to consume their food.

For instance, why do McDonald's french fries have wheat in them? They make a big deal about cooking their potatoes in a dedicated fryer (for the celiacs) and then sabotage their health by putting something dangerous in them.

BK is no better-if you go to their website and look at their ingredients they have rice as an additive. OK if you're not allergic to rice.

I could never figure out why fast food fries would make me cough-hard! The doctors all said it was the grease irritating my acid reflux, but I knew there was much more to it. Lo and behold I was consuming two of my worst allergens-rice and wheat. (The only two worse are tomatoes and corn)

In future posts I'll rant and rail about corn and high fructose corn syrup.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Berry Ice Cream

3 C half and half
1 C heavy cream
1 1/2 C sugar
6 oz softened cream cheese
2 C berries-raspberries or strawberries are delish. I like to use them frozen
1 tsp vanilla

Mix 2 cups half and half with the heavy cream, stir in sugar. Stir with a whisk until dissolved. In a food processor, blend 1 cup half and half with the cream cheese. Add berries (if they're frozen leave them that way) and process until smooth. Whisk into cream and sugar mixture and freeze in ice cream freezer. After ice cream is thickened pack into an airtight container and ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

This recipe, of course, does have dairy, but it doesn't have eggs. I can eat eggs but my 4-year-old grandson Sam cannot, so I leave them out whenever possible. The berries I use are from my garden. I freeze them on cookie sheets and when they're hard I put them into zip-type sandwich bags in 2-cup portions.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chocolate Drop Cookies

One thing I am NOT allergic to is chocolate. Yes, there is a reason to live! This cookie is pretty tasty, adapted from a recipe that won me a blue ribbon in the Montana Winter Fair.

Chocolate Drops
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 C sour cream (if you're allergic to corn, check the label-many brands add corn starch)
1 tsp vanilla
1 C potato starch
1 C coconut flour
2/3 C cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 T milk
2 C chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture, add milk, then add chips. Using a cookie scoop, drop on greased cookie sheets. Pat down gently-cookie will not spread, so they have to be flattened a bit. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, remove to cooling surface. Cookies are tender, but the freeze very well. I put them in a plastic container in the freezer and take one or two out at a time to eat.

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Recipe

Wheat/Gluten Free Crepes
1 C flour mix (I use 1/2 C potato flour, 1/4 C coconut flour, and 1/4 C teff flour)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 C milk
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
dash salt

Combine all ingredients. The best way to mix this is to use a blender, but if you don't have a blender, let it stand a few minutes after mixing. You might have to add a bit more milk-this is a very thin batter.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter in a hot, lightly greased 10 inch non-stick pan, swirling to cover bottom of pan. Cook on medium high until it starts to brown, flip by sliding a spatula under. Cook second side till dry. Keep mixing batter while cooking, it tends to settle. Makes 9-10 crepes. They freeze well-layer them with waxed paper, wrap and freeze.

Teff is a tiny grain from Ethiopia. It's actually a grass and is delicious. I like to cook the whole grain as a cereal similar to Cream of Wheat.

You will seldom find xanthan gum in my recipes. My digestive system dislikes it, and I really can't tell a difference in the texture of the baked goods when I use it anyway.

Hello World of Food Allergies

I created this blog because I was recently diagnosed with multiple food allergies. Mrs. Claus Cooks will chronicle my quest to cook well and eat well in the minefield of allergens. Here I go!!!