Monday, December 19, 2011
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and all that comes with it. I was excited for this holiday season as this would be our second since starting the food allergy diagnosis "newbie no longer". And everything was going great for the beginning, and then she got a hold of the baked beans, that story was told in my last post. Since the baked bean incident- we have dealt with two more food allergy reactions and numerous invites to parties (hers not ours). With invitations come the B.Y.O. concept for her (food that is). No worries, none at all. Our local Wal-Mart and Kroger have come a long way in stocking food allergy options. So, it was no big deal when I go to Wal-Mart the day before her party to pick up a few supplies for food options. No big deal at all as I'm standing in the small section of her allergy-friendly options. No big deal at all as I'm continuously staring at zero availability for her food allergy options. Yep, that was me in the middle of the aisle with my hands on hips staring at the fact of zero cookies and zero baking supplies. As fellow customers passed by and stared at my continuing pissed off stance, one woman took one look at me and asked what my kiddo was allergic to. Yes, it was that obvious. I mean, how dare they? How dare they not have the ingredients I needed to make my last minute cookies. Who do they think they are by not allowing me to procrastinate like everyone else? Finally, I come to the conclusion that I would not be baking cookies for her party that afternoon. Instead, I would go to the cereal aisle and luckily grab the last box (yes, last box) of gluten free rice chex and put a new plan in action. Across the street is Kroger and they would surely have what I needed. Yeah, right. I left town and headed out to our farm in tears the entire drive. I called my husband on speaker phone and told him of the betrayal of the grocery stores. His suggestion? Just bake something else. Just bake something else? Did he forget that we had a date night scheduled? I want my date night, I want to not cook or worry about not cooking. I wanted a Margarita, darn it!! Well, forget him. I instead call a dear friend whose daughter is gluten intolerant and gets how exhausting and frustrating it can be. We laughed and made fun of our predicament. We talked about how tired of cooking we were, telling our beloved children to just get an orange or whatever was leftover in the fridge. There was not a mom of the week award awaiting me, for sure. I can't help it. I admit that there are days that I do not don my apron; cooking from scratch sun-up til sun-down. In fact, there are some days that I want to say "Screw It", I wanna order a pizza. Do I do it? Nope. Instead, this Holiday season I have made friends with Captain Morgan (maybe you've heard of him?) He likes my apple cider. I get over it, I move on and make another plan. I laugh about it, because do you know what the funny part is? Usually, the food I end up "throwing together" is better than what I was planning originally. Instead of my cookies, I used my Gluten Free Rice Chex and followed their ingredients for Muddy Buddies. I substituted Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (I have an emergency bag) and Trader Joe's Sunflower Seed Butter. My daughter took a huge container to her party/sleepover and the kiddos loved it! You know what that means? Total Mom Award Recovery!!! So you see, sometimes it just sucks wearing that cape; but I would never, ever change a thing! Merry Christmas!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I have to tell you... If you are looking for a great Dressing recipe, you should definitely try mine. It's a newbie to the recipe book, I tried it for Thanksgiving and it was a HIT! It was sooo much better than the baked squares that I've had in the past. Also, I came up with a yummy alternative to the typical turkey and dressing leftovers. I made our favorite waffle recipe (Paula Deen's substituting our flour and adding xantham gum) and added some chopped leftover smoked turkey (my brother-in-law's recipe) and dressing. The turkey and dressing baked into the waffles with that added texture from the waffle iron. It was made even better with the addition of leftover cranberry sauce added to our maple syrup and heated through. It was so good that I can easily see it becoming a family tradition for a Black Friday Brunch. I hope you'll consider trying it. As we started taking down the Thanksgiving Decorations to make room for the Christmas Decorations, I decided not to let a perfectly good pumpkin go to waste. While the kiddos took the seeds out, my husband began cutting the pumpkin into easier to handle chunks. We cleaned the seeds and roasted the seeds and flesh of the pumpkin in a 300 degree convection. When pumpkin flesh was fork tender; I added to the food processor and pureed until smooth. From this point- so many things can be done with pureed pumpkin. You can add stock to make a soup, add to your favorite muffin, cookie, or bread batter, or you can add to your favorite pasta dough recipe. If you're not sure, pour into your muffin tin and freeze; when frozen remove from muffin tin and place in freezer container for future use. I do this with soup; when I want my favorite soup I can place in mug and heat up. I refuse to let anything go to waste, and given our diet I always prepare food in bulk. Sometimes I get so frustrated with our freezers, we have three. Everytime I open our freezer, ziploc freezer bags and containers are everywhere and it can be difficult finding what I need at times. One of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to find an easier way to store everything. Any ideas would be appreciated... Happy Christmas to Everyone! I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season. If you are running short on christmas present ideas, I would suggest some homemade goodies. I enjoy sharing my homemade extract recipes with friends and family as special gifts. You can find my vanilla extract listed here. This year, as presents, I also made a Bourbon Vanilla Extract as well as Orange Extract. They are super easy to make and make great gifts.