Monday, February 6, 2012

Recipe to Keep Improving

I have been married now for almost 15 years, well our anniversary is now in April, and we are still going strong.  Yes, we have been through the same tough times everyone goes throughSome times I think we go through tougher times more than others do, but I know that is not realistic.  We have been without many things that some people believe are necessities, and we have been without things that others view that they cannot live without.  I sometimes believe that we live just about like they did during the great depression, coming up with all kinds of ways to do things with out having to go to the store, or buy some thing new.  Cooking on the wood stove, because we don't have propane, or heating up pots of water for baths.  Well, how did people used to live over 100 years ago without electricity and propane?  How many people could do this today?

Well, we are trying to get things ready to move to a new state where we have work, because steady work is hard to come by here, where we are at.  In the midst of trying to organize and pack everything, I have come across a recipe that I had remembered about, but couldn't find.  Well, it is so good that I thought it would be wonderful to share with you.  It is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, etc, well you got the point.  It is free of all things that many are allergic to.  I have been working at this recipe for 15 years and plan to continue, because it is something that takes years to perfect.

I hope you can enjoy this as much as I have and plan on continuing to enjoy.

A Recipe For a Happy Marriage

Take two happy people and separate them from their parents.  Add the following ingredients in generous proportions.

Mix together, then thoroughly sift in daily life.  Strain out jealousy, arrogance, selfishness, provocation and accounting of wrongs.  Bake in the trials and tribulations of life for 50 years, then celebrate when golden.

May everyone get as much enjoyment out of this recipe as I have so far and strive to be able to celebrate when golden.  I know I am planning on it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gluten Free Fried Chicken Tenders

Here is a recipe that my kids devour and ask if I could cook it every night.  It is gluten free and totally delicious.  Since I don't take my kids to Kentucky Fried Chicken, (there is nothing but corn on the cob I can eat there)  my kids begged for the longest time for me to make homemade fried chicken.  We don't eat it that often because it is fried, but when I do, I have to make a big batch because the kids gobble it up faster that a hungry dog. 
This week I made it and as my oldest daughter helped she was asking how I came up with the recipe for it to be gluten free.  I started thinking a long time ago about how I could cook something with cornmeal and it not taste to corny.  So I started experimenting with a combination of flours until I came up with this one.  It fries normal, and you can't taste a difference in the fried product.  
I have 4 kids that are growing, one of them being a teenage boy, so I double this recipe for my family, but you can adjust it for your family.  
Gluten Free Fried Chicken Tenders

1 1/2 cup corn meal
1 cup gluten free flour mix (see previous recipe for this)
1 tsp powdered onion
1 tsp powdered garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry
4 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp water
10-15 chicken tenders, depending on size
Oil in cooking pan

Thoroughly mix first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl.  In another bowl, beet eggs and water.  Heat oil in a medium to large pan over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Drop a pinch of flour in oil to see if it bubbles.  When oil is hot enough, start dipping the tenders in the egg mixture, making sure that the tender is thoroughly coated.  Then dip in flour mixture, making sure it is thoroughly covered.  Carefully place in oil.  Fry for 4-5 minutes, and then flip over and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes until flour mixture is turning a golden brown.  Put on a plate coated with a paper towel to help collect any oil that drains off of the fried chicken.
This serves about 4-5, depending on the size of the tenders.

I also at one point in my adult life was re-reading the grapes of wrath and developed a gluten free form of fried mush with the left over flour and eggs that I some times have,  if I run out of chicken tenders first. This recipe is not exactly like in the book, but it is a gluten free form that helps prevent wasting any of the expensive flour.

I will mix the leftover flour with the eggs.  If it is too thick, I just add some water to make it the consistency of pancake dough.  I then drop it off in small portions in the already hot oil to fry for 3-5 minutes on each side.  It makes for a delicious breakfast fasty when I am in a rush in the mornings.  Just re-heat and go!  My kids like it, too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Time with kids!

As a working mother of 4, I do not get much time alone, nor much time to spend on the computer typing.  My  days are very busy combining, kids, work, household chores, their school work, and everything else that life throws at you.  If you let it, time steals the most precious moments away from you.

So, the time I spend with my kids has always been important to me.  I try to find the time in this busy life to always do something small with, or for them.  Usually it is play time, but this past weekend I took the time to make something for my youngest daughter that she had been asking for.  

She recently fell in love with bags of navy beans and lentils and everytime I'd bring some home from shopping, she'd find the bag while I am putting groceries away and would carry it around the house saying it was her baby.  So, I asked her if she wanted me to make a baby with the beans for her, and her face lit up.  She then asked every day if I had made one yet.  Well, I don't sew that often, so coming up with ideas of how to actually so this was not that easy for me.

One morning, I thought, well I could just fill and sew some old socks together and crochet a dress for that, draw a face and maybe she would like it.  Later that day, when she was occupied in the other room, I started to sew it together.  Before I had the dress made and the face painted, she came in, picked up the sewn sock and started carrying it around like a baby.  I then asked her when I was done with the dress to bring it back, and said, "if you go in the other room for a minute, I will have a surprise for you."  When she came back, I gave her the new homemade doll and she won't put it down now.  She loves it so much and now my son wants me to make a bear for him.  (out of brown socks, of course)

I knew kids were easy to please, and sometimes the smaller, the better!!!  And their being pleased can be even more pleasing for the parent when you take the time to watch them and learn from them as well.  Kids have so much to teach all the adults in the world!!!!

I plan to  post a picture of the "Sock babies, or bears or frogs", what ever the are called, when I finish making them all, (cuz I have more that one request right now) so keep an eye out for them soon.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Being Gluten Free is not always Easy

Being gluten free is not always easy.  Have you ever noticed that you go to a restaurant to eat out and there is nothing you can eat?  This is always frustrating.  I have been to places were there are foods available, but the waiter doesn't appreciate the fact that my food must be prepared differently.  One time, I ordered a salad with out croutons, explaining that I can not eat them.  (The salad was all I could eat.)  My salad came back 15 minutes later with croutons, and I asked for a new one.  The waiter took the salad to the back, took off the croutons and brought me the same salad back.  Needless to say, he did not get a good tip that night and I still had to wait an additional 15 minutes for a new salad. Frustrating!

I drive buses for a living and when I know I am going out of town on a trip, I try to plan ahead and bake some goodies for just in case we stop somewhere I can't eat.  I love to take my quick breads and/or muffins, because breakfast always seems to be the hardest meal to find GF in a restaurant.  I am now adding one of my favorite, the one I get so many comments about how people can not believe it is gluten free.

Try it out and let me know how you like it.

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups gluten free flour (See previous post for the flour that I use)
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz) solid packed pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water

Pre-heat oven to 350*.  Combine all the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil and water.  Whisk until combined thoroughly. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Pour into three greased 8X4X2 inch pans.  
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.  

Enjoy and then share, if there is any left. 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Enjoy Baking Gluten Free Foods

Enjoy Baking Gluten Free Foods

Good Morning.  I have been checking out blogs all morning. And have noticed that many are just as frustrated as I am when it comes to baking foods that taste good and "normal."  I have been Gluten Free for 8 years now, and have gone through all the frustrations of experiencing good and bad foods, and on a very limited income. I have 4 children, and they love to eat my baked goods.

I also love to eat and bake, so when I found out I needed to be gluten free, I became disappointed when the pre-mixed bags and boxes of things  that either tasted like cardboard, fell apart when heated, or was way too expensive for me to afford.  I spent 3-4 years trying to come up with a recipe that I could afford, that my kids would like and that I could eat.  

I tried all kinds of mixes, playing with the combination of flours that I found on the ingredient list of foods I liked.  Most of the flour mixes would either bake flat, taste hard and chewy or like cardboard.  Some mixes used garbanzo flour and that would make my sweeter breads and pancakes taste like beans.  Then I started using tapioca flour, as I noticed some of the better tasting foods included this in the ingredient list.

My mix is simple, not too expensive, and quick to make.  It is also Dairy and Egg free, for those who are avoiding these foods as well.  Use this flour mix, cup for cup in all of your baking needs and also in graves or sauces that are your favorite.  

I usually purchase the flour at a local Natural Grocery store in bulk, It is a little cheaper that way.  I spend about $75 on the combination of flours, and the mix lasts me for about 2 months of regular, weekly baking for my whole family and occasionally for my friends.

I hope you can use and enjoy this mix in all of your baking and cooking needs.

   Gluten Free Flour Mix     

6 cups of White Rice flour
3 cups of Tapioca flour
10 tsp  of Xanthan gum

In a large bowl, mix the above ingredients thoroughly.  Use cup for cup in all of your favorite recipes, sauces and gravies. Store in an air tight container.  Enjoy and surprise your friends and family with your new cooking experience!  They will not be able to taste the difference!

Look forward to my further recipes that I will be posting at a later date.  All my recipes, will include this basic mix of gluten free flour.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Story of becoming gluten free.

I am a mother of 4 and have been gluten free for 8 years.  I was unusually sick for several years.  During my 3rd pregnancy, I was getting sicker, so I inquired of my doctor if he could help me solve my health issues.  He prescribed a few medications of which I had allergic reactions to.  During this time, I had read in a Reader's Digest Magazine of a woman with the exact same symptoms during her third pregnancy as well.  She, upon doing her own research, asked her Doctor to test her for Celiac Disease.  She was told by him that her problems were just because she was allergic to being pregnant, and that the symptoms would go away after the baby was born.  When I approached my Doctor and asked him to test me for Celiac Disease, he basically told me the same thing.  After 2 months of insisting with him, he finally had me tested for Celiac Disease and the test came back positive.  I then started the long journey of finding foods I could eat, without them being tasteless,  chewy and cardboard texture.  I have since discovered how to bake and cook foods that my kids and family can enjoy and not realize they are eating gluten free.  I have made complete meals for company that are gluten free, and they don't realize that they are eating gluten free until I tell them at the end of the meal.  Then they praise me for being able to make it taste "normal".  I would love to share my secrets with you.