Archive for July, 2012


Fried green tomatoes!!!

What a simple yummy summer treat, well, if you’re a southern gal or were brought up on southern cooking. Before i go any further I must  add that I do not even like red tomatoes. I dislike the texture in everything besides fresh salsa.  All of my marinara sauces, marinades, and dipping sauces have pureed tomatoes. And the red variety is not welcome in my salad. But take its green under-ripe counter part, fry it up and ……. all a can do is gobble them up! This is not a blog about health food. It is a blog which has parts about delicious foods while eating allergen free.

Yes, these tomatoes are fried.  I have taken a perfectly healthy tomato and fried it.

No, I did not use coconut oil I am much aware that coconut oil is the preferred health oil for frying but it is darned expensive.

Here is my advice if you can afford coconut oil go for it. buy it and live well but if not know that you are doing the best for you family,. The other changes and sacrifices you make in the end are worth so much more than the type of oil used in one recipe.

This recipe comes directly from my mom. And that recipe came from her mom. This recipe has been used for at least 3 generations and today my daughter, Pie, learned how to make fried green tomatoes so hopefully a fourth generation will enjoy this tasty and satisfying treat. I like my fried green tomatoes served with sliced zucchini and green peppers. Just slice ’em up and serve no cooking needed. add that too black-eyed peas and cornbread. OMG we just went to ultimate southern foods medley. LOL.

Today we just had zucchini, bell peppers and rice. We enjoy dipped our veggies in allergen free ranch dressing. ( The Boy prefered hot sauce) That recipe can be found here. Did I not mention that Heidi is awesome?

1 c all-purpose gluten-free flour I prefer Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix

1 c cornmeal

1/2 c non-dairy milk

4 green tomatoes

2 eggs

seasonings of your choice we use

2 tsp adobo

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp lemon pepper

1 tsp onion powder

Enough oil to fill a 12 in skillet to about 1/2 in

Heat oil to about 350 degree Farenheit

Slice your tomatoes into slices no thicker the 1/4 in.

Season your all cornmeal to your liking. place in a flat dish, I just use a paper plate. place your all-purpose gluten-free flour in a separate plate. Break the two eggs into a medium bowl and stir well with a fork. Think scrambled eggs. Then pour you milk into the eggs, stir again.

First dredge your sliced tomatoes in the flour. Then dip into milk-egg mixture. Next dredge in cornmeal. Set aside on a plate. Repeat until you plate is full to one layer. Place coated tomatoes, one at a time, into hot oil, fry on one side until golden brown then flip over. Let the other side brown. repeat until all tomatoes are browned. Allow to cool and drain on paper towels.

A small problem

Most people who know me would be very surprised to learn I have a real cursing problem.

I curse like a sailor.

I can curse you up one wall down the other.

And then  sprinkle a few on top for posterity.

I have not recently felt very bad about this. It was one of the few flaws I allowed myself to have and not seek immediate remedy for….until i realized how telling it was of much deeper sins and conflict with my nature as a christian.  Slowly it has become a revelation, how much repair I am in need of,  in my walk with Christ. I think I have been deliberately ignoring my spiritual self because I lack a  home church. My family has visited many houses of worship since I have been here but none did the Lord call my home. It seems, with out the frequent gathering with other christians I have allowed my self to wander.

Strangely enough the thing that put this problem in the forefront was a seemingly small one. I am ,and have always been, reluctant to discuss my faith with others. Not because of uncertainty or a lack of knowledge. Not because of doubt or lack of certainty in salvation but because I was raised not to speak of religion or politics with others. I was told while growing up “Never discuss religion or politics with friends…if you want to keep them.” Thisfallacy  has stuck with me. it has just enought truth to sound good a reasonable, yet is truly insidious in the way it destroys the Gospel. All 29 years it has been a silent companion making me feel as though I am doing something wrong by sharing the Gospel. Causing me to feel like a liar when speaking the truth. Feeling like an imposter. As though I am a child playing dress up. Do not confuse this with confusion about my salvation I remember clearly the day I chose salvation. I know where I will spend eternity. But. But. But. I believed a lie and allowed myself to drift.

Finally I can see that this  is a li,e meant to keep the keepers of the faith silent. It is a lie believed and based as all lies are, in fear. It is a lie in direct opposition to Our instructions from Christ. We are COMMANDED to spread the Good News. We are COMMANDED to lift our voices and proclaim God’s truths.  Here I am struggling with my many deep flaws. Searching for a home church. Hoping the church we visit this Sunday calls home.

Corn dogs are a food that just call to me at certain times…usually in the summer. Apparently they call to my family also because no matter how many are made, they eat them all. This recipe is a combo of 3 recipes and has a few options for flexibility. When making yummy corn dogs I recommend using a hot dog with a really mild flavor. I like Jennie-O turkey dogs. They are gluten-free and the flavor does not over power the sweet goodness of the corn batter coating. Another good dog to use are your “mystery meat” hot dogs like Bar-S brand.They have a mild flavor and will work well in a corn dog.  I have no idea what parts of what meats go into those hot dogs. I am frightened of the possibilities. It is better for all involved if the true ingredients remain a mystery. Beef hotdogs have a very strong and robust flavor which over powers the honey and sugar gradients of flavor in the coating. Definitely do not recommend them for corn dogs.

3/4 c cornmeal

3/4 c cornflour

3/4 c all-purpose gluten-free flour I prefer Jeanne’s gluten-free flour mix

1/2 tsp xantham gum (omit if using a gf flour which contains xantham gum)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c sugar

3 TBS honey

2 TBS oil

2 c non-dairy milk or 1 c non-dairy milk and 1 c plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt

2 eggs

2 packs hot dogs

corn dog or lollipop sticks

1 quart of oil heated to 385 degrees F

**this can be made egg free using soaked flax for eggs (1 TBS flaxseed=2TBS water per each egg) and increasing the baking powder to 1 TBS

Whisk dry ingredients together in a  medium bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients stir well. It is okay to have e few lumps kind of like a thick pancake batter.

At this point you have several different ways to get the batter onto the dogs. First put the stick through the corn dog. The stick needs to go at least half way through the dog for the best stability.

To coat them in batter you can

A) place the dogs in the bowl as is and twirl them around to coat.

B) put them in the bowl, spooning the batter over the dogs to get a thorough coating

C) pour the batter in to a tall cylindrical container (think a drinking glass) and dip the dogs in.

I prefer methods A or B because they result in few dishes. Coat the dogs one at a time and carefully place them in your hot oil. Fry until golden brown in color turning once to ensure even browning.

Take the remaining batter and, using a tablespoon, drop into hot oil for yummy corn puppies.

Sontyna

Kimmeshandra

Devervelon

Heidi, from Adventures of a gluten-free Mom, recently had a really fabulous guest post on dairy and egg free substitutions here. I love the list she provides. If you never read another allergen free substitutions list again you may be fulfilled but. I would like to add some tips and clarifications on the products in our kitchen that “save the day”. My home is gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, red dye#40,and  yellow dye free. We also consume very few preservatives. Since eggs are a common child hood allergen for myself and my middle child, I do not allow the baby to eat them. However, due to this study, i do bake with eggs. Anything that has been heated to 350 degrees or higher for more the 30 min she eats with no problem.

Trying to create meals that are delicious, nutritious and edifying for our family has been a wonderful journey so far. These are the things that make it work for me. Today I am covering Dairy substitutes

Soy-free Milk substitutes

Cartoned almond milk. We buy ours from Aldi for $2.50 per half-gallon. Cheap and yummy. This non dairy milk has a creamy, mild nutty, and somewhat sweet flavor.Almond milk works wonderfully in sweet baked treats, cofee, hot cocoa, and anything where the mildly nutty flavor will blend well. Yummy on cereal.

Cartoned unsweetened coconut milk. We buy ours for Trader Joe’s for $2.99 per half-gallon.  This non dairy milk has a bland but creamy flavor. It works very well in place of whole milk. It curddles well when making buttermilk. Can be used for almost anything you would use dairy milk. This is what we use to make Mashed Potatoes. For us this is the preferred product.

Canned coconut milk. My favorite brand Arroy-D I find at my local asian foods store. It costs us $1.49 per can. The runner-up is A Taste of Thai, which can be found at most grocers in the asian foods aisle, it is an excellent milk and due to convenience factor would be my favorite but the price is $2.39 per can. Since we shop at the Asian food store regularly I will save my .80 cents per can. Why use canned coconut milk when I already have cartoned milk on the list? Well cartoned works for almost anything.  But for the things it doesn’t like making yogurt, making condensed soup, making egg nog, can be used in place of whipping cream for whipped cream, and a host of other recipe’s that call for a thicker milk either evaporated of condensed canned  (full fat is the only one this versatile so use it sparingly) coconut milk fits the bill.

Butter substitutions

The only tasty substitution I have found is Earth Balance. This wonderfully inventive company has two soy free spreads. Soy Free Buttery Spread and Coconut spread! Whoo Hoo. I have not used the coconut spread thus far but since this company makes very tasty products one can only imagine it’s yumminess. I use the soy free spread for anything calling for butter that is cooked for less than 30 minutes and as a yummy topping.

Cheese substitutions

Here are several delicious options just remember for the cashew cheese,it can not be used in place of dairy cream cheese for baking. Trust me on this, I have tried. While your end product will be moist and have a wonderful flavor, it will not have the desired texture.

shredded cheese use Daiya. The cheddar shreds have  true mild cheddar flavor, they MELT. OMG! A vegan, non dairy, soy free cheese that melts!!!!! These people are geniuses. Daiya takes a little longer than dairy cheese to melt so be patient. I’ve baked gluten-free pizza, Burger mac and cheese casserole, tacos, etc. They are only okay tasting when cold so I use them almost exclusively when warm.

Cream cheese.  Cover 1lb of cashews with 1 or 2 inches of water. Soak overnight. Drain. at this point you are going to run the through the blender at high-speed until creamy. I do not yet own a Blendtec blender, so i do this step in batches.  Blend cashews on high-speed with 1 TBS of lemon juice and enough water the make creamy. Cashew cream cheese is very versatile you cam use it to make a ricotta replacement for lasagna, to make cheese cake, as a yummy dip, and sooooo much more. Your imagination is the limit on this one.

Then you have the need for Velveeta right? Well here you go. The wonderful minds over at Sweet Roots have come up with this lovely Coconut milk cheese. I sometimes use gelatine in place of agar agar, it just depends which I have on the shelf. Again I buy my agar agar at my wonderful asian foods store. Chicken quesadillas? Grilled cheese sandwiches? All summer long.

This is a really simple recipe. It has revived the Joy of casseroles in  my home and the ease of freezer meals. Typically I spend 4-5 hours on the weekend cooking the next week’s worth of meal. Yep a full seven days worth at a time. I freeze them and then as the week goes along we have  plenty of “convenience” foods. With condensed soup my kiddos have casseroles about twice a week. You to can now make delicious non-dairy cheese and broccoli casserole with condensed soup.

Condensed Soup

1 can coconut milk

4 TBS Gluten-Free all-purpose flour

4 TBS Non-dairy butter

2 tsp Adobo with pepper (optional)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (optional)

or other seasonings to your taste preferences.

1. Melt non-dairy butter in a 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat.

2. Stir in flour. Stir until smooth.

3. Pour in coconut milk. Stir, stir , stir. After a few minutes mixture will blend together and begin to thicken.

4. Once thickened, add your seasonings while stirring continuously.  Cook a few more minutes then remove from heat.

Use in place of condensed soup.

To make cream of celery soup, finely dice 1/2 a stalk of celery saute with 1 tsp of minced garlic and 1/2 tsp onion powder in olive oil. allow to simmer on low heat until celery is soft and beginning to brown. Add celery mix to step 1.

Pancakes.                             but on days with perfect timing you can have these
Who doesn’t love them?  I searched and searched for a great gluten free pancake recipe and none were right. The best I had reccomended was Pamela’s Pancake Mix but i refuse to buy an expensive mix for something I know I can do better. So here are the fruits of my tinkering. I used D.I.Y. Better batter for my gluten-free all-purpose flour. Nicole from www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com has some  amazing recipes. You can buy Better Batter. But my preferred flour mix is Jeanne’s Gluten Free flour Mix. This works cup for cup in any baking recipe not containing yeast. I Love Jeanne.  She is the reason I am a gluten-free cook. Read her site. Love her. She is awesome. When using DIY better batter you do not add xantham gum. If using Jeanne’s Mix ad 1/4 tsp of xantham gum or sub for guar gum if coping with a corn allergy.
On to Pancakes!
Ingredients
1 c gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS baking powder
1 TBS cinnamon ( optional)
1 c non dairy milk
2 TBS oil
2 large eggs.
 Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
In a seperate bowl whisk together wet ingredients. Once well mixed pour wet into dry ingredients and whisk together. You want the gluten free pancake batter thicker than regular pancake batter. This is good. Leave the batter a little lumpy. It is very important not to mix the wet and dry ingredients until you are ready to begin baking.
To cook, pour/ spoon 4-5 in wide pancakes onto skillet heated to medium heat.
still wet but starting to bubble
Cook until tops bubble.
starting to get a little dry on the top
Flip using spatula.
they were bubbly and kind of dry then you flip 'em
Continue cooking until edges brown and curl.
thick fluffy gluten free pancakes
These pancakes are light, fluffy, soft, and freezable!!! Yummy
but on days with perfect timing you can have these

Tanjanika

Immonica

Rewanna

So This is it.

The straw that broke the camel’s back and spurred me on to starting a blog. What’s so special about this recipe? How could it be so unique? Hey Lady don’t you have 3 kids and a full-time job? Don’t you bake every meal from scratch to the point of milling some of your own flours? When, how and why? Just why?

I’ll tell you. It took 6 tries to get the recipe correct. SIX. Most of the batches just failed to rise properly and so were still edible, one batch was flat and salty so utterly inedible. The learning curve for becoming a gluten ans soy free family has been steep. Yet, the only difficult thing i tried has been a light flaky gluten, dairy,soy, and egg free biscuit. Most of the recipes abounding on the internet call for the biscuits to be baked at much to high a temp for a satisfactory biscuit. Some of those recipe’s say “flaky” but what they really mean is fluffy. For crying out loud I found drop biscuits labeled as “flaky” it’s absurd. After 5 failures i was ready to throw in the towel. so i stepped away for a few weeks and came back to it. I found a somewhat satisfactory fluffy biscuit recipe and was set to simply make drop biscuits but  Taking a queue from my tenacious 13 month old, I refused to give up. And one more revision later theses are the results.  Perfection!

Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. If using store-bought I recommend Better batter  or Authentic Foods  .

I prefer to mix my own using the following Jeanne’s gluten free flour mix.

For Non-Dairy Buttermilk use 2 TBS of Lemon juice in a measuring glass the fill the rest glass up to the 2 cup mark with you choice of non-dairy milk. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to allow curdling. My preference in unsweetend coconut milk.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose GF flour

2 TBS Baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp xantham gum ( If using better batter omit)

1/3 cup shortening ( I use spectrum palm shortening)

1/4 cup frozen non-dairy butter

2 cups + 2 TBS Non- Dairy Buttermilk

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk Dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk them well you want to make sure xantham gum and baking powder are well blended.  Cut frozen butter into 1/4th in cubes. add shortening and butter to flour bowl. Cut in using pastry cutter, two knives, or a fork.  you want to have big chunks of butter. Chunks are good. They will melt during baking creating pockets of air and thus your flakey layers. Slowly pour in 2 cups buttermilk. Until dough holds together and is sticky. You may need to add the 2 TBS of buttermilk at this point to get it all to hold together and be  sticky.

To prepare your rolling surface cover it a sheet of plastic wrap about 15 in long. Scoop the dough out onto your plastic wrap. Shape the dough into a rough rectangle. Place another 15 in sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough. Roll it out into a 1/2 in thickness. Flour a 2 1/2 in cookie cutter in your gluten-free flour. Use it to cut your biscuits. place biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Once all biscuits are on baking sheet freeze sheet for 5-10 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350. Flip biscuits over and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes for a total of 20 min baking time.  Makes appx 18-20 biscuits

To make these dairy free and soy free I use Earth Balance Soy free spread .

For a soy free shortening I use Spectrum Plam oil shortening. I have not used teh butter flavor.

This can be baked with guar gum instead of xantham gum but guar gum must be increased by 50% for baking.

Alright the biscuit recipe on Facebook convinced me I need to start a Blog. So here I am sharing my random musings, allergy free recipe’s, What Not to Name the Baby, and generally being a Flying Mommy. By that I mean Flying by the seat of my pants. I am really making up this stuff as I go along so come along with me.