WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Remember that Wonder( Mill ) Mix stand mixer I bought? Worse then I thought.

Well, I tried to sell it on craigslist- and no takers!

So when we moved I packed it up and brought it with us since I hated the thought of throwing away the money.

My oldest Sara wanted to make bread(she makes wheat) and I told she ought to try it.

Worked well enough for a soft sweet bread recipe. She used 2 times.

She decided to make the french bread today and noticed the plastic parts were wearing and dinged and found chips of plastic in her bread.

So, probably the worst purchase we have made and it hits the trash today. I will take some pictures before I trash it so anyone else with one can see where it will wear so they can carefully check their parts.

Stick to the Kitchen Aid folks!

Though I still stand by their WonderMill- it grinds everything with no problems at all.

(sorry, not the best pic but was so annoyed I just wanted to hurry up and toss it! )

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ginger - Streusel Sweet Potato Pie

Although usually by now I have moved on from the sweet potato pie I still had quite a few sweet potatoes laying around needing to be used. I figured another pie would be appreciated.

The streusel topping was great! Offered a nice crunch contrast to the smooth sweet potato. Ginger has endless benefits for our health and digestion so I am always thrilled to get another serving in one way or another.

Abby is only tolerating ginger and clove right now for "spice." Feel free to use other spices like a homemade mix of pumpkin pie spice or whichever spices you prefer or tolerate.

1 prepared unbaked and chilled gluten free pie crust
3 eggs
1 3/4 cup pureed organic sweet potato
1-1/2 cups full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup C&H organic cane sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar(homemade)
1/2 teaspoon salt(safe for you, we use pink himalayan)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour(homemade)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar(homemade)
1/2 cup coconut oil(Tropical Traditions)
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger(homemade or just use powdered ginger about 1-2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt(safe for you)

preheat oven to 350

1) In blender combine sweet potato, coconut milk,sugar,brown sugar, salt, eggs,and ginger and cloves.

2) pour into chilled crust and bake for 40 minutes.

3) while pie bakes mix streusel. combine flour,brown sugar and salt. Cut in coconut oil. Lastly mix in finely chopped(like coarse salt)ginger.

4) Gently sprinkle streusel onto pie and bake for 20-25 more minutes.

5) cool and chill.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Salade Russe: gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, chemical free..

Our version is basically "potato salad!" :-) Just about 80 degrees in Houston today 2 days before Christmas, a cold salad just seemed right today! Usually served with a meat(smoked chicken or smoked salmon I have seen pork and beef even!!) but we like it as a side. I also commonly see diced beets thrown into this salad which we would love but Abby triggers to beets. But, just add a cup of diced beets to this recipe and you will end up with a beautiful pink salad!

Homemade coconut yogurt, homemade mayo(with homemade fruit scrap vinegar, homemade mustard and TJ grapeseed oil)and homemade fridge pickles allow this one to be free of corn. Abby tolerates a few bites of homemade pickle without triggering but the pea's that she used to do so well with she now pulls out. Still, even then this a big favorite around here. I have a good size bunch of fresh dill coming up which just made this that much better. This feeds us for a couple days so I recommend cutting the recipe in half for single meal for 4.

3 boiled,peeled, diced and cooled organic potatoes
4 boiled, diced and cooled carrots(same size as the potato )
2 cooled diced hard boiled eggs.
1/4 cup diced homemade dill pickles
1 cup peas
1/2 cup homemade mayo
1/2 cup homemade coconut yogurt
2 Tablespoons fresh dill
salt to taste(safe for you )

Mix it all together and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours for the flavors to meld.

Serve as a side or with diced smoked chicken or smoked salmon for a meal.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pear -Ginger Pie: Gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, lemon free...

We are more about the cookies this time of year, but have been on a pie kick! :-) This one turned out great! I wish I had popped it under the broiler as the crumb was a bit soft, but I had no complaints.

Gluten free pie crust:

1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour(homemade,store blends aren't completely safe)
2 teaspoons Domino's organic cane sugar(you can reduce this, or remove for a savory pie)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(or ground chia, or psyllium husk powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt(I use pink himalayan)
6 tablespoons cold Palm Shortening(Tropical Traditions or Spectrum)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Braggs apple cider vinegar(the only recognized corn-free vinegar)
1-3 Tablespoons COLD water
Combine all dry ingredients.
Cut in cold shortening into dry ingredients.
Add egg, vinegar, and start with 1 tablespoon cold water. If you cannot get it to form into a ball add 1 additional tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together. Your gluten free pie dough will be softer and sticker then traditional wheat crust dough.

Roll out between 2 sheets of parchment paper (wax paper is NOT corn-free)that are sprinkled with gluten free flour.
Once you have the pie crust in the pie pan chill it while you prepare filling and crumb topping.


5-6 large firm pears peels and sliced
1 tablespoon tamarind puree(or 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice if safe for you.)
1 tablespoon freshly grated peeled ginger(juice and all!)
1/2 cup C&H Organic cane Sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose gluten free flour

In bowl combine tamarind,sugar, and ginger. Add pears and toss to coat well. Last sprinkle with the flour and toss well to coat. Place pear slices as flatly as possible into chilled crust(scrap any of the good sugar/ginger/tamarind out of the bowl and back on the pears too).

Crumb Topping:

3/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup C&H organic cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or safe for you salt)
a dash of ground clove(or safe for you spice like cinnamon, or allspice or nutmeg)
5 Tablespoons coconut oil.

Combine all the ingredients except coconut oil into a bowl. Then cut coconut oil into flour blend until fine crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the pears and gently pat down. (I piled my pears pretty high knowing they would cook down so it started out looking slightly mounded)

Place pie on cookie sheet and place in oven at 425 for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes until browned and filling is bubbling.

Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Spritz Cookies: gluten free, dairy free, corn free, nut free,

Let the Christmas Cookie baking begin!!

I haven't made spritz cookies in many years. Mostly because it seemed all I could ever find was a plastic cookie press and no matter how I tried they seemed to break. My cookies always pressed out weird and I just gave up. Last year when I hit a thrift store I spotted an all metal cookie press(sawsa brand old vintage good one) and for a couple bucks I dragged it home. I found it this weekend and decided I would try my hand at a safe version for Abby. I have to say it was easier then years past and not sure if I am just getting more patient or using coconut oil made the process easier! These really are delicious and provide that lovely rich, and delicate and crisp cookie you want when you think spritz cookie.

When I was playing with the dough I tried it without the water, and the dough was just too stiff. Once I added some water and softened the dough it was much easier to work with and did not seem to harm the texture of the cookie in the end. You want a soft dough, not a batter. I did freeze my cookies for a few before baking to prevent spreading. I should have tried one without chilling but too many times in the past when baking with gluten free and coconut oil I find they spread without chilling first so I just did it "right" the first time.

2/3 cup C&H organic cane sugar

3/4 cup Tropical Traditions Coconut oil

1 egg

2 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or whatever salt is safe for you)

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour

1 Tablespoon water

Preheat ove 400

1)In bowl cream sugar,coconut oil, egg,vanilla and salt.

2) blend flour into cream mixture.

3) add water. You want a dough that is soft but not a batter.

4)pack your cookie press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet.

5)Chill in freezer for about 5-10 minutes.

6)Bake chilled cookies for 9-10 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet.

* You can sprinkle a little sugar on the cookies before baking.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Abby's Easy Blondies: Gluten free, corn free, soy free, dairy free and nut free..

Abby created these one night when she couldn't sleep. Usually she doesn't have the energy for much cooking, but she was out of snacks(we try to make sure there is always some sort of prepared carb accessible every couple hours)and decided to try to find something quick- well, she out did herself and I quickly asked her for the recipe to make for her again, and again and again! :-)

These really are the perfect blondie. That thin layer of crisp across the top. Chewy and moist but not too dense. The edges are chewier and crunchier for those who prefer them and the center is just the perfect bite.

Best of all, easy and cheap to make. No lengthy list of ingredients!

I am thinking I really need to consult more frequently with her when creating new dishes for her, she really nailed these!

With the holidays here sometimes we need to be able to throw something together fast! These with a cup of coffee are perfect. If you have some homemade ice cream in the freezer you could make a brownie sunday with some homemade caramel? These are just no fail anyway you serve them.

Abby's Easy Blondies:

1 1/2 cup homemade packed brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil(softened)

2 eggs

2 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350

Line 8 x 8 square baking pan with parchment paper.

1) In mixing bowl combine sugar,oil,eggs and vanilla- mix until well blended.

2) Add flour, baking soda, and salt to sugar mixture and mix until just blended.(Batter will be thick!)

3) Spread batter into the lined pan.

4) Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve hot or let cool.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Stuffing! Gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, yeast free, chemical and color free..

Here is the basic stuffing recipe we are fond of using. This year I will make two batches of this, one with the pepper,onion and celery for Derek and 1 without those for Abby! :-)

Feel free to use dried herbs, but I do try to use fresh when I can. I find that a heavy hand on the herbs,onion and celery are what makes this stuffing. While Irish soda bread "works" it can be a bit tricky as a little too much broth makes mush, too little and it is too crunchy! So we focus on packing it full of flavor!

I usually free hand adding herbs to taste so these measurements are just my "best estimate".

If you are lucky enough to be able to use butter, then by all means use it! Butter offers the best flavor.

If you increase the egg's to 2 and also use 1/4 cup coconut yogurt mixed into the broth and egg, you will end up with more of a "savory bread pudding" which Abby absolutely loves, but not the same as "stuffing."

Feel free to add in whatever it is your family likes and tolerates. I know folks add everything from apples or cranberries to mushrooms. We stick to the basic for Abby.

1/2 cup grapeseed oil(or coconut oil or palm shortening) plus more for baking dish
1/2 pound Irish Soda bread cubed (about 5 cups I use this to avoid yeast)(Use whatever bread is safe for you!)
1 1/2 cups chopped organic yellow onions
1/2 cups sliced/diced organic celery
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons pink himalayan salt(or safe for you)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350, grease baking dish.

1)You need to dry your cubed bread. I set the oven to 225 and stir them now and then on cookie sheets. Takes about an hour. You can do this the day before and just keep them airtight on the counter overnight.

2)saute the onions and celery until soft(save any excess oil with them the fats are great for stuffing!). You can also do this the day before and keep in the fridge.

3)In small bowl combine salt,pepper, herbs.

4) In another bowl beat egg and chicken broth together(You should have chicken broth already made in the freezer for this)

5) In large bowl toss bread cubes with herbs and salt mix. Then mix in broth and egg mix. Place into greased baking dish.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. If top gets too brown during baking, cover with foil. I usually check mine at the 30 minute point.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cream of Mushroom for Cooking(gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, )

(You can sub celery for the mushrooms if the mushrooms are an issue.)

We make this for cooking in casseroles or stuffing and is necessary for Thanksgiving green bean casserole. I freeze it in 1 cup portions in the freezer. If you actually want to eat it as a soup, you will want to thicken it slightly with some gluten free flour or potato starch. Without sherry it isn't quite the same, but safe beats the "same" every time around here. We just aren't fans of cream of mushroom on it's own, so this recipe works well as an ingredient. Easy,fast and freezes well- perfect.

4 cups sliced organic fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped shallot(or onion)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or coconut oil(to saute mushrooms and shallots)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup homemade coconut yogurt(or you could use full fat coconut milk if preferred.)

In pot combine sliced mushrooms,shallots,grapeseed oil, and thyme and saute until shallots and mushrooms are tender.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.

In blender add yogurt,salt and mushrooms/shallots combination.

Puree until smooth(or chunky if you prefer.)Separate in portions to freeze.

Friday, November 6, 2015

No New Funky Symptoms

For the first time in a few years Abby has gone over 4 months without a "new" and "weird" symptom!

Granted, she has had her normal flares.. and the normal gamut of symptoms.. BUT nothing new in months, is worth celebrating around here!

The well water continues to be a huge gift. While she will still react if it is too warm(or too cold) for her, at least she can shower without throwing up or fainting or being ill for 2 weeks after the fact. They still exhaust her and energy wise it takes her a couple days to recover enough from a shower to ready up for another, but a huge improvement in her quality of life to even be able to shower!

We use the well water for cooking now- and no problems!

Unfortunately, we really have not gained any new foods for her yet. Though it has just been 4 months and the hay fever season has been a big one not to mention living rural among the fields and tree's. We have gone back and tried a few and no improvement on her tolerance so we are just going to give her body some more time.

Our bodies are programed to heal. Granted, not all damage can be undone, but we have faith that we can at least keep her this stable.. and will always be hopeful that she will gain other positives with the right tweaks to her environment. Just that she can shower now and then and new funky symptoms has made it very clear to us that environment is everything.

She is still catching every cold that comes near her. Her energy level hasn't really improved. She is incredibly sensitive. She has been trying to go outside for a few minutes now and then but often ends up with hives, nausea and muscle pain though now and then she can step outside and be okay for a few minutes. So, that too can wait a little longer. She has her good days where she can be on her feet longer, and then still the bad days where just getting out of her bed is a challenge. We do notice that when she reacts it happens faster now.. on a positive it makes it much easier to pinpoint what caused the kidneys, stomach,heart etc symptoms, but bothersome that it seems the reactions are more defined and worse.. On the other hand, with the new environment she seems to be recovering a little quicker.. or at least that is how the past 4 months have played out. I have learned never to assume things won't change with her.

Our chickens are growing so fast! Another couple months and they will be laying for her. Of course she cannot go near them for long, they cause her to react! Feathers! But she has always been reactive to feathers and fur so no surprise.. I admit, they get to my allergies as well but manageable! Plus, they are amazing little birds. Who knew? They all have names now and while we still plan to get "broilers or fryers" down the road I know it is going to be hard.. they have so much personality. I am just grateful this first bunch are all for laying, knowing I am not going to be eating this first flock is a huge relief for all of us! We are so excited! The fall garden has produced green beans, bok choy, italian parsley, rosemary for her and a few others for the rest of us. The carrots are growing like weeds now that it has cooled down some so soon there will be plenty of those for her. We hope this spring we will have a much, much larger garden(working on beds and fencing now)and hoping to add a few beehives if no other critters.

We noted signs of feral hogs in the back fields a couple weeks back but haven't noticed anything new since the heavy rain- we are hoping they have moved on. We continue to see the deer now and then but they keep a distance, which is good! Our biggest grief has been the fire ants- without chemicals there is very little we can do but to watch carefully where we walk. With winter coming we will get a break for awhile though.

So, overall? The Move was worth the grief. :-) Hoping for a great winter this year!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fig Newtons(gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy free, citrus free)

These are in Abby's top five of all time favorites.

We were just talking about how when she was younger(and was able to eat a lot of different foods) she was always disappointed if I bought a box of these.. Now however, she see's them as absolute luxury! :-) How things change!

These are a little bit of work, but after you have made them a few times, much easier.

I am pretty sure I have posted versions of these before, but as I have made them over the years I keep modifying to make them better.(and easier!!)

Fig Newtons:

Cookie dough:
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions or Spectrum Palm Shortening
1/4 cup Domino's organic cane sugar
1/4 cup homemade Brown sugar, packed(cane sugar plus plantation blackstrap molasses)
1 Large egg
1 teaspoon homemade Vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon water(if needed)
1 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 tsp guar gum(since these need to be shaped I would hesitate to remove the guar gum,though psyllium husk powder should work)
1/2 teaspoon Salt(safe for you, salt is tricky for the corn-free crowd. )
1/2 teaspoon homemade Baking powder

1 1/2 cup of Made In Nature Dried mission figs
1/3 cup tamarind puree
3 Tablespoons Domino's organic cane sugar
Pinch Salt(safe for you)

1) Start with the filling.

2) remove stems and cut(at least quarters)the dried figs. Cover in boiling water and set aside to rehydrate and soften.

3)Make your tamarind puree. I cut about 1/4 cup of tamarind fruit from a block of pressed tamarind and cover with boiling water to soften. Then push tamarind through fine mesh to remove any bits of seed/shell.

4)Once figs are hydrated drain. Place drained figs, tamarind, dash of salt,and sugar in blender or food processor. Pulse until a jam like texture- it will be thick. If too thick to puree you can add a teaspoon or so of water as needed to smooth it out.

5)Make the dough!

6)In bowl cream sugars and shortening. Add egg,vanilla and beat until smooth. Now add flour, guar gum,salt, baking powder. The dough should hold together and hold it's shape but soft. If it is too crumbly add the reserved Tablespoon or less of water.

7)Split dough into 2 or 3 equal portions(we like bigger and thicker so we split into two sections).

8) Roll dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper- aprox 4 inches by 12 inches(give or take.)you can trim the edges for a tidier fit. Remove top parchment but leave dough on bottom piece of parchment.

9) Down the center of each piece of rolled dough spoon fig filling. There should be enough dough on either side of the filling to wrap over the filling down the middle.

10) using the parchment, flip one side of the dough over the filling. Then gently flip the other side of the dough so the dough slightly overlaps over the filling. It should now look like a long tube of dough filled with fig filling.

11) Place roll on cookie sheet and place in the fridge until firm, or into the freezer to hurry things up.(about 10-15 minutes in the freezer)

12) Slice fig newton sized sections and place each cookie on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place back in the freezer. (just until oven is hot)

13) Preheat oven to 375

14) Bake for 12-14 minutes- just until the edges turn golden- don't over bake!

15) Ideally these are best if you seal in an airtight container while still very warm, it helps the dough mimic the original better- however, Abby claims they are perfect as soon as they are cool enough to chew.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gluten Free Freezer Roux! (corn free, dairy free, soy free)

When we first moved to the Gulf Coast in Texas, one of the first foods we learned to appreciated was gumbo. We are close enough to Louisiana that most along the coast are huge fans of gumbo, but it has to be authentic. Over the years as Abby lost foods we could adapt but once corn and gluten free I wondered if I could even call it a gumbo any longer minus what seemed like everything! These days Abby really cannot have gumbo any longer, but she can have this roux. I have found various combo's of veggies and chicken with rice are pretty tasty when mixed with roux.

It seems every family has a different recipe and so far we have found them all delicious! But the one thing that is key to all good gumbo's is the ROUX!!!

It isn't "real" gumbo or even good gumbo if you use the the packaged stuff and even worse is that all the package stuff is packed full of corn, or wheat, MSG and heaven knows what else!

It is very simple to make a roux- flour plus fat and cook and stir and cook and stir.. really it is that simple but it is time consuming!

When I have an extra hour on hand(a favorite book I am reading etc) I found I can stir and read and then freeze the roux! This has made gumbo making on another day a lot easier, and less time consuming.

1 cup Grapeseed Oil(TJ's)(or safe lard or other safe fat that will tolerate the heat threshold)
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour

Pour oil into thick bottomed pot. Slow sift in flour while stirring with whisk on high. When combined and smooth reduce temp to medium/low and keep stirring, and stirring (50-60 minutes!!!) until your roux is a deep brown. Some prefer a more milk chocolate color while others take it to a deep dark chocolate. The Northerner in me prefers a milk chocolate color.

Allow to cool to room temperature and then freeze.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Coconut Chew Bars:(gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, corn free, )

My Mom was a great cook and when she passed away she gave me her favorite recipes. One that I requested was called Coconut Chew Bars. She did not make them often but over the years I often thought about them and kept meaning to make them. Now years after she passed I finally got around to making a batch. The trick was converting to "Abby safe" ingredients. We are quite pleased with how they turned out. The one major difference(to my memory)was the glaze. The original called for lemon and orange juice so I swapped for tamarind. Mine turned out some what gooey because I opted to add extra tamarind(good source of various vitamins/minerals) for extra tang so the glaze did not set up well. On a positive, we really like gooey goodness around here so we are quite pleased with the conversion. The original filling also called for chopped walnuts which I substituted roasted chickpeas for- the chickpeas were an improvement! I was never a fan of walnuts! :-) But if you can have nuts you could use any chopped nut instead of the roasted chickpea. The flour was a direct substitution so you could just use the same amount of wheat if it is something you can eat.

If I were making these to share I would stick to the 3 tablespoons of tamarind- but if you aren't trying to impress anyone? Go for more tamarind!

3/4 cup Tropical Traditions palm shortening
3/4 cup homemade powdered sugar(caution with store bought versions.)
1 1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour(homemade, none of the store bought are considered safe)
dash of salt(safe for you)

2 eggs
1 cup homemade packed brown sugar(organic domino's plus Plantation organic blackstap molasses)
2 Tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon homemade baking powder(1 part tapioca starch,1 part baking soda and 2 parts cream of tartar)
1/2 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract.
1/2 cup homemade roasted chickpea's
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions coconut flakes


1 1/2 cup homemade powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
3 Tablespoons Tamarind puree(we buy the block of fruit and make our own puree)

1) Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x13 with parchment paper(you can cut the recipe in half and use a 8 x 8 pan)

2) CRUST: In bowl combine powdered sugar, flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Press firmly into base of your pan.
A)Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

3) While crust is baking, in bowl combine eggs,flour,baking powder,brown sugar, vanilla. Mix until well combined. Lastly, stir in coconut and chickpeas.

4)While crust is still hot, pour filling over the crust.

5)Bake for 20 more minutes.

6) While it bakes prepare your glaze. Combine powdered sugar,tamarind and coconut oil. I ended up using a few extra tablespoons of tamarind which was a wonderful flavor, but the glaze did not set so they ended up kind of messy!

7) When still hot cover in tamarind glaze.

8) Allow to cool completely(consider chilling) before cutting.

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