Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jalapeno Jelly - Corn Free

My garden produced so many jalapenos this year, that I decided to give making jalapeno jelly a try.  I combined a recipe I found at Allrecipes with the Ball Recipe that comes in the pectin box. 

This jelly was fantastic!  I added it to my homemade BBQ sauce and it was delicious!


1 large green pepper
12 jalapeno peppers
1 Tbsp shortening
1/1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
4 oz Ball Realfruit Liquid Pectin(1-1/2 pouches of liquid pectin)
6 cup sugar


Combine the green bell pepper and 12 jalapenos in the food processor or blender.  Blend until finely chopped. 

Transfer the peppers to a large saucepan.   Stir in cider vinegar and shortening. Bring to a boil.  Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Stir in sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When mixture comes to a rolling boil (one that cannot be stirred down) stir in liquid pectin.  Boil for 4 more minutes.

Pour into sterilized jars leaving headroom.

Seal jars in a hot water bath. Refrigerate jelly after seal is broken.

I couldn't wait to try it, so it isn't quite set up in this picture.
Cook's Note:
Adding 1 Tbsp of shortening helps keep the foam down when it boils.  You can omit it if you would like.

Last time I inquired, the liquid Ball pectin was corn free.  Be sure to check ingredients before using if you are corn free.   Manufacturers change ingredients often.

Uses for Jalapeno Jelly:

* on cheese and crackers

*on fried oysters

* on a savory thumbprint cookie

*a glaze for grilled meats

* brush on grilled shrimp

* a spread for a Monte Crisco sandwich

*add to BBQ sauce

* brush on stone fruit and grill

*add to Italian Salad Dressing

* dipping sauce for fried foods

Allergy Apparel


It is time to gear up for the new school year and that oft times means leaving your darlings in the care of someone else.  If you have to send kids to daycare or preschool and are worried about care givers not being alert enough about food allergies,  I have a suggestion for you.....Allergy Apparel!
I found this company as I surfed the Internet and thought what a brilliant idea.  The clothes stand out and they are adorable!  
I think the reason there products click for me, is that I use this same method whenever I take my kids to big events -- amusement parks, museums, picking at the orchard.  We all wear the same brightly colored shirts.  We are easy to spot in a crowd and it makes it easier to find each other.  

The idea behind these shirts are the same to me.  They say "HEY LOOK AT ME - PAY ATTENTION!"  and gently reminds the teacher that your child has allergies, and please be mindful!

I spoke with the company and if you order, you can get free shipping with the promo code listed above. 

What first caught my attention was their awesome shirts!  I love the skull and cross bones logo!
What a way to get the teacher's attention!  If your child wears one of these shirts for the first week, boy are they gonna be remembered.  
If you don't see the allergy listed that you need for your shirt, AllergyApparel will customize the shirt for you. 

Want something more sedate or a combination of things your child can wear on different days?  Then check out their wide selection of allergy wristbands.

And their lunchboxes are the cutest things you ever did see!  They have an wide selection of prints and  styles - including a cooler style.  My favorite is the camouflage but the outer space theme runs a close second!

They carry more products that I haven't even tags, badges, various epi pen holders,  baking products and labels.

Don't forget to use the promo code on your order: Allergykids!

PS:  I don't get paid to advertise their products!  The opinions are my own. 
 I like to share resources that help us keep our allergy kids safe!

Dairy Free Sweet Potato Pie

I saw sweet potatoes at the supermarket the other day and that made me want a sweet potato pie.  I have my mother's original recipe, which I adore, but it calls for both milk, evaporated milk, and an egg.   I tried it just the way it was written (with gluten free, dairy free, and egg substitutes) and what a flop.  It ended up a swampy mess!  

I tried again using the crustless pumpkin pie that is on already on website and with a few tweaks, made sweet potato instead.   It turned out wonderful!  I was too lazy to make a crust, but you can easily make a gf crust and pour the pie filling in and bake.


2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes
(about 4 medium sized potatoes)

1-1/2 cups dairy free milk

2 Tbsp extra light virgin olive oil

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup GF all purspose flour

2 tsp gf baking powder

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp gf vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preparing the sweet potatoes:In a large pot, place sweet potatoes and cover with water.  Boil sweet potatoes until they are soft.  Remove potatoes from water and let cool.Remove skin from sweet potatoes and mash.
Preparing the filling:In a high speed blender place all your ingredients.  Blend until well mixed about 30 seconds or so.  Pour into a gf pie shell or into a greased pie dish.  Bake at 350˚F for 50 minutes.  

Let cool completely before slicing.  I like to refrigerate mine before cutting.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gluten Free Blackberry Crumb Bars

Crumble bars are a great way to use fresh berries that are in season.  I love the cakey sandwich effect!  A dollop of dairy free vanilla ice cream on top and you are in heaven!

1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp mace
2Tbsp flax meal + 6 Tbsp hot water
(stir together and let sit 10 minutes before using)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Berry Filling:
4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1 Tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and mace.

Cut in shortening until it looks like coarse crumbs.

Stir in flax egg and extract.

In another large bowl, gently toss your berries with sugar and arrowroot starch.

Spray a 13inch X 9inch pan with cooking spray.
 Press about two-thirds of your dough into the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle your berries over the crust.

Sprinkle the rest of your crumble over top your berries.

Bake at 375˚F for 35-45 minutes or until it is golden brown.
Let cool completely.  
Cut into bars.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Gluten Free Bakery-- The Happy Tart

For those of you that live in the Washington D.C. area there is a new Gluten Free Bakery in town that is a must!
The Happy Tart !
They make the most wonderful breads and pastries!
All their foods are gluten free and they do have dairy free and corn free items.
Check out some of their labels that I have included in the pictures below.

 This bakery makes beautiful cakes that you can special order.  They will work with you if you have other allergy requirements.
 Here is a sample of some of their gorgeous Gluten Free Cakes:

Their pastries are equally as beautiful and delicious.  
I love their chocolate crinkle cookie, and their charlottes are fantastic, oooh and their coconut cupcakes are divine..... and by the way I am gaining weight!

And of course they do sell bread. 
 Awesome breads that don't have rice flour!  Very hard to find!
They have pizza crusts, baguette chips, brioche, traditional french loaves that come in a variety of flavors, including rosemary, pecan, fennel raisin, olive and plain.  We love the rosemary, pecan, olive and plain!   Be sure to call ahead and order your loaves.  If you just walk in often times they are sold out.  

If you want to pay them a visit here is their info:
2307 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Va 22301

This place is a real gem and their prices rival anything you find in the grocery stores.  The beauty here is that their's baked fresh and there aren't any preservatives!

I buy their bread in bulk and it freezes nicely.  I have kept mine for about a month and it thaws and microwaves beautifully.  You can also toast it if you don't want to microwave it.  
Good Stuff!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Spiral Hot Dogs!

Okay this is a FUN post!
  I saw a  CHOW Video on why you should spiral hot dogs.  
Beyond their cool appearance, these hot dogs really are awesome! 

The spiraling process allows for more surface area equaling more caramelization.  
It is super YUM!

All it takes is a skewer that you run through the hot dog.  
Cut the hot dog continuously on an angle with your knife.  
Slip the hot dog off the skewer 
and it is ready to grill!

My kids took a double take at these dogs, voiced how strange they looked, devoured them, and clamored that we need to always spiral our hot dogs.  

Give it a try, it is wonderful!
You can spiral wide or narrow!

Gluten Free Spice Cookies

I found this recipe at King Arthur Flour called Take 10 Super Cookies.  It was named Take 10 because ten of the ingredients are considered by caner researchers to help prevent breast cancer!  
Those ten ingredients are canola oil, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, carrots, cranberries, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, almonds, whole wheat flour, and oats.

I modified this recipe to be gluten free, dairy free, and egg free.  My cookies would only be Take 4 because of our allergies, but they are really good!  And if you can't have oatmeal like several of my kids, use Quinoa Flakes instead.

1/3 cup extra light virgin olive oil
(canola oil for the Take 10)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract,gf
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp  maple syrup
 ( or boiled cider according to original recipe)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded coconut or favorite dried fruit 
(dried cranberries for the Take 10)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 cup Quinoa Flakes  or rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine oil, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, vanilla, pumpkin, and maple syrup until well blended.

Stir in carrots, coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts, flour, and quinoa flakes or oats. 
 Make sure that they are well combined.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  
Cook for about 12 minutes.  
Let cool on the cookie sheet to set before transferring.