Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lemon Juice to make Lemonade

I make a lot of lemonade in my world, especially with kids allergic to corn---no corn syrup drinks for us!  A friend of mine pointed out that she uses Santa Cruz 100% organic lemon juice to make hers.  I was so happy that she shared this tidbit with me.  It is a 16oz. bottle for about four dollars.  I use to buy a bag of organic lemons, getting approximately six to eight lemons for four bucks.  I find that I get more juice with the Santa Cruz, without my lemons spoiling before I get to them.  I am happy to report, my lemonade making is easier without all the squeezing, and extra clean up!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup



Free of: Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Corn


I had a hunkering today for butternut squash soup.  I haven't had it since I lived in Belgium.  When I had it there, there paired the butternut with apples and a nice gnosh of fresh creme.  It was heavenly. I went on the hunt for a recipe that had good reviews and found one at the Food Network website.  I really liked the recipe.  It wasn't exactly like I remembered it, mainly because of the lack of cream (dairy allergies), but it was yummy none the less.  I like to eat it hot and sprinkle lots of homemade croutons on top.  It hit the spot.  The recipe I used was Butternut Squash and Apple Soup .  I did read the views for tips, and I used chicken stock in place of the water for more flavor.   I froze individual portions, and they reheat well without any ice crystals or breaking down of the soup.

Just a note if you make this soup, it is a thick soup.  You can thin it out if you have texture issues.

Chicken Nuggets



Free of:  Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn, Egg

Every now and then I try to make fast food at home.  This is my version of chicken nuggets.  I serve them up with a side of homemade french fries.

3 cups Erewhon Brown Rice Cereal
1 tsp Italian Salad Dressing Mix
Salt and Pepper (optional)
Parsely (optional)
6 (about 3 lbs.) chicken breasts cut up into 1-inch chunks
Oil for frying

Place cereal and salad dressing in a blender.  Blend until its a fine powder. ( You can pulse instead, if you like your coating chunky. )  Place your coating in a bowl.  Add salt, pepper, and parsley to your taste, and mix until well combined.    Dredge chicken pieces in the rice coating until all sides are well coated.  Deep fry in oil for 3-5 minutes, making sure that they are cooked through.  Be sure that when you are frying the chicken not to overcrowd the pan or fryer.  I deep fry my nuggets at 325 degrees.  Serve hot, with your favorite dipping sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce
I use equal parts Dijon Honey Mustard and honey. (For example 4 Tbsp of each).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Corn Free Pectin


I found this new pectin for jelly making at MOM"S Grocery Store.  It is called Pomona's Universal Pectin.  This pectin comes from a low methoxyl citrus pectin, used in conjunction with calcium.  It has no sugar or preservatives, and keeps indefinitely if you store it in a cool dry place.  Here is a direct quote from Pomona's about there pectin:

  WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF POMONA'S UNIVERSAL PECTIN AND HOW IS IT MANUFACTURED? 
     Pomona's Universal Pectin is MADE IN DENMARK. It is extracted from the peel and pulp of lemon, lime and orange after the juice and oil have been pressed out.
     The pectin is extracted using hot, acidified water and then precipitated out of solution with alcohol. Some amide groups are then introduced into the pectin molecule during the process of de-esterification (a process by which the pectin is changed from high-methoxyl to low-methoxyl). High-methoxyl pectin requires a sugar concentration above 55% to gel whereas low-methoxyl pectin gels in the presence of calcium ions.
     





    I made some jam this weekend using this pectin.    I think it turned out well for my first time with the calcium ( something you don't add with regular pectin).  The trick with this pectin was adding enough calcium until it jelled.  Since, I wasn't all that sure what the 'jell was', this was the part that was trial and error.  The instructions said to add 4-12 tsp of calcium, adding one tsp of at a time.    With that kind of range, and not exactly knowing when I had enough jell, I had varied results.  My first few jars, were more loose with the 7 tsp of calcium, but when I tried adding 10 tsp, it really set up just like regular pectin.
     This is a product worth trying if you prefer making jelly with pectin but are allergic to corn.  And just as they advertise on their box, it really was more economical.  I used half the amount of sugar than my Ball recipe, and it made two batches with just one box of pectin.  The recipe instructions say that you can also double and triple the recipe.  This pectin is great if you can't or don't want lots of sugar.   The box also states that you can use it in aspic, jello, sorbet, yogurt, and jelled pies.


   My personal recipe for strawberry jam and using this pectin is as follows:     


    For every two cups of mashed strawberries,  I use 4 cups of sugar ( I know that is a lot!).   I use 3/4 cup of water with two teaspoons of pectin, and 10 - 12 teaspoons of the calcium water.    The calcium packet and pectin packets are in the Pomona's box.  
    Mash the 2 cups of berries, stir in the 4 cups of sugar.  Let sit for ten minutes.   Meanwhile mix up the pectin and calcium water.  Place your berries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add in the pectin and calcium water.  Start at around 8 teaspoons and stir.  Let boil for one minute.  Turn down the heat to a slow boil.  Continue to add the calcium water until your desired thickness.  I like mine thick so I use 10-12 teaspoons.  
     Place in your jars.  Let cool.  I store mine in my freezer.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GF Belgium Waffles



Free of : Gluten, Corn, Soy, Dairy, Egg

     A waffle recipe is something that most people have in their recipe box.  I am no exception.  I have not developed my own recipe, but I have found one that all but two of my kids enjoy.  My goal is to find one that every one enjoys, but for now this is the one that I use to make Belgian Waffles.   I have made alterations to this recipe because of dairy, and egg allergies.  The original recipe can be found http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/breakfast/r/GFBeliganWaffle.htm  by Teri Gruss.  Sorry, they won't allow me to reprint it.


   My alterations to the above recipe:
  •        instead of 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of oil
  •        instead of 2 eggs, the equivalent of 2 Ener-G egg replacer (3tsp egg powder +4 Tbsp warm water); add the eggs in after the yeast has finished getting bubbly. 
  •        instead of 2 cups of Gluten Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread Mix, I used my favorite All Purpose Flour Mix Recipe from Fourchickens.blogspot.com.  

 This recipe is one that you keep at room temperature overnight.  I have done the over night thing, but more often, I make my batter at lunch time and serve it up for dinner four hours later.  I mix it up in a 16 cup batter bowl, because this recipe does expand beyond an 8 cup mixing bowl.  


Jeanne's from Four Chickens All Purpose Flour Mix

This is a recipe from one of the blogs that I frequent often.  Thanks to Jeanne for her permission to reprint it! 


Jeanne's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum or (guar gum if you have a corn allergy)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What do you take when you are allergic to common medicine ingredients?

    Okay, what do you do when you find out that your kid is allergic to the commonest of medicines---such as Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, Bayer, and Benadyrl.  Well, I can tell you my reaction when I got the news.  I  bit my lip and wondered what else could go wrong, allergy wise, in our family.  What I was going to do when he got his next headache, or needed a fever reducer?  Ack! 
     I am happy to say that our trusty doctor had some homeopathics that he could take!   I just keep learning new things all the time!  So, I wanted to share what we have used successfully, without reactions,  just in case anyone else out there dares to be allergic to any of the aforementioned over the counter drugs.
  • Gelsemium Sempervirens - headaches, flu like symptoms, and sore throats (Replaces Tylenol).
  • Arsenicum Album - nausea, vomitting, and dirrahea.
  • Arnica - sprains or bruises.
  • Belladonna - Sore throats, redness and swelling from an injury.  I have also used for teething, and earaches.
  • Chamomilla - for fusiness, teething, and general not feeling well (illness).
  • Nux Vomica - nausea