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, January 23, 2015

Carrot Lentil Gingerbread Loaf-(gluten free, rice free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, nut and seed free)

It sounds awfully healthy doesn't it?

It tastes great. Reminds me of a dense heavy slice of zucchini bread.. I have used both carrots and sweet potato. The carrots create a drier loaf and a bit lighter, the sweet potato makes it heavier, moister. I am sure pumpkin would be terrific as well.

Lentils,carrots, coconut oil,buckwheat, blackstrap molasses,eggs, and homemade raisins offers a big bang of good nutrition in a very sweet slice.

Buckwheat is very heavy and tends to crumble. I usually mix it 50/50 with a gluten free all purpose blend. This time I opted to just blend in some potato starch and it worked very well. I am going to guess you could use tapioca starch instead. It is heavier then a traditional quick bread loaf but in a good way. Keeps well in the fridge and makes excellent toast. When toasted it reminds us of a slice of raisin bread.

I made a batch of our "fake butter" spread for this bread as well. 1/2 cup grapeseed oil, 1/2 melted coconut oil. A bit of salt, a dash of turmeric(for color) and a touch of honey or Lyle's for a tiny tiny bit of sweetness. You mix it together in the mixing bowl. Place in the fridge 30-45 minutes. You want it to have started to solidify, but not completely. I use the hand mixer and whip it until it blends and looks like a whipped butter.


1/4 cup split red lentils cooked until soft
1 cup well cooked pureed carrot or sweet potato or pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut oil(Tropical Traditions)
1/2 cup organic cane sugar(or honey or coconut sugar)
1/3 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut milk(homemade)
1 cup buckwheat flour(I grind my own from toasted buckwheat groats)
3/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
2 tsp ground ginger(I dehydrate and grind my own)
1/2 ground cloves (simply organic)
1/4 tsp salt(pink himalayan)
1/2 cup raisins(we make our own with organic grapes)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a blender, purée the lentils,carrot, coconut oil, sugar, molasses, eggs, and coconut milk. Pulse until well blended and smooth.
Add the buckwheat flour,potato starch, baking soda,psyllium husk powder, ginger, cloves, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the blender and pulse just a few times just until blended. Add raisins or figs and mix in by hand before scraping into a 9x5-inch loaf pan that has been greased.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Check about halfway and cover with tin if browning too much. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Shortcake and Peaches(gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut and seed free, corn free)

While I do love a more dense and biscuit like shortcake, I prefer angel food cake. BUT, that is more work then I always want to put into a dessert that should be quick, fresh and easy. Spongecake is a nice in between especially when I don't have to whip the egg whites separately and fold them in. This is a recipe I have used for making a jelly roll. I could have spread it out on a jelly roll pan and then just used a cookie cutter to cut rounds but I have some tiny little cake pans I had dragged home and thought they would work well, and then did. We have had 70 degree and sunny weather the last few days and it is making us hungry for Spring! Shortcake is just the perfect spring dessert.

Sometimes when Abby is having a more sensitive stomach then usual she avoids fat as much as possible. Since this cake only calls for eggs a little lighter and easier on her.

I used some peaches as those are Abby's only safe fruit right now, but you could use any fruit. I added some coconut cream for Sara's and it really turned out delicious. Abby was quite happy with just the sponge and peaches. Another bonus to this recipe is that no gums are needed. Simple and sweet.


3 large eggs
1 cup organic granulated sugar(Domino's or C&H organic sugar)
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract(homemade)
3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour(blend your own, no store bought blended is completely corn-free)
1 teaspoon baking powder(homemade)
1/4 teaspoon salt(pink himalayan)


Heat oven to 375°.

Grease 6 small round cake pans(3 inch).
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs for about 5 minutes, or until very thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar. Using low speed, slowly beat in water and vanilla extract. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt, beating just until batter is smooth and blended. Pour into pans, splitting equally among pans(no more then 1/2 full)
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coconut Cheese(gluten free, soy free, nut free, corn free, seed free, dairy free)

When you have to be nut free, soy free, corn free, dairy free, and seed free you realize that suddenly cheese is not an option.

This is our substitute. It is "cheese like". We use it instead of cream cheese in anything from a cheesecake to a white sauce for pasta.

When using it for a "spread" for crackers or bread we add a bit of salt and fresh herbs.

For desserts we use it as is in place of cream cheese. We have found that it is more convincing if you add a little lemon juice or tamarind to offer that "tang" we are accustomed to when eating a cream cheese based dessert.

You can just use coconut yogurt and strain it into a cheese. It tastes fine. We opted to add the chickpeas to increase the nutritional profile and give it a bit more body. While we love all things coconut one thing coconut is lacking is protein and adding chickpea's helps balance that out. When using it as a topping on a pizza or italian dishes the coconut yogurt on it's own melts away to nothing very quickly. By blending in some chickpeas(or nofu)it holds it shape a bit better. I like to mix italian herbs and salt into it for pizza and italian dishes.

1 cup homemade coconut yogurt
1/3 cup very well cooked chickpeas.

(If you use canned they will be too firm. You will need to cook them until they are starting to fall apart. I used dried and cook them in the pressure cooker until they start falling apart.)

1)Combine the yogurt and chickpeas in a blender and puree until very smooth.

2) I use a yogurt cheese box with the strainer(I bought mine on Amazon). I line the strainer with a piece of wet/damp cotton muslin and pour the yogurt/cheese blend into the muslin. (The strainer is not adequate with coconut yogurt,so the cloth is needed.)
3) I tie or twist the muslin shut. My box has a lid which I use.
4) I leave it at room temperature and every hour or two I will squeeze the muslin to help remove the whey.

5) After 8 hours I will place in the fridge overnight.

6) In the AM I will feel the muslim, if it is firm I know I have removed enough whey. If it is still soft I allow it to come to room temperature and squeeze some more whey out and then place back in the fridge.

7) I will pull/scrap the cheese off the muslin and press into a saran lined small container. I pack it firmly and cover tightly and place back in the fridge.
8) After a few hours it ready to use.

You can use many different methods to strain yogurt. They have something called "nut bags" or cheese bags which you place your yogurt in and suspend over a bowl to catch the whey. Same idea with a recycled piece of cotton fabric, lay it out(line a bowl is easiest), pour in your yogurt, gather the edges, tie it tightly and suspend over a bowl. I have hung it off a knob on a kitchen cabinet, or one of those banana hangers.
Don't toss your whey! You can use it for fermenting or add into another dish for some added flavor and probiotics.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jelly Filled "Muffin": Gluten free, corn free, soy free, dairy free and chemical and color free.

So if you refuse to make a homemade donut or swore off them for the New Year, what is a person to do? Fill a Muffin.

Abby has been after me for years to make some for her. She is yeast free now too so I keep telling her I have to draw the line somewhere and making donuts with her restrictions is the line! I was browsing pinterest at 4 am this morning and saw filled muffins. Perfect. Not a Donut!!! Abby got the peach filled and the rest of us got the raspberry filled. If you cannot have a donut anymore? This will hit the spot.


2 1/4 cup all purpose gf flour(make your own blend, no store bought blends are corn-free)
1 tablespoon baking powder(homemade)
1/2 teaspoon salt(very hard for the corn sensitive crowd,we have been using 1 brand of pink himalayan)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(still using NOW brand)
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar(Domino's)
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil(TJ's )
1 cup plain fullfat coconut milk(homemade)
2 large beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade to be corn-free)

Preheat oven to 350
1) Mix all dry ingredients
2) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just mixed.
3) fill muffin cup 3/4 full.
4) Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350

Allow to cool. Peel off paper if you used them.

Brush muffin with melted coconut oil, or grapeseed oil or water(move fast if you use water!)

Dip muffin in powder sugar. Pat the powdered sugar onto the muffin. Place on plate. Wait 5 minutes and roll in powdered sugar again.

Fill with your choice of jelly.

Other things you will need:
Pastry bag and tip
Corn-free powdered sugar(make your own)
melted coconut oil, or grapeseed oil or water

I cooked some frozen peaches(about 1 1/2 cups) I had put up this summer in sugar. I then pureed until smooth. I poured the smooth puree back into the sauce and brought to a boil. I added aprox 1 tablespoon potato starch to 1/4 cup water and mixed well. While puree is at a boil I rapidly poured in the potato starch/water mix and stirred well. It will thicken quickly. If it is too thick add a bit more water, if too thin mix a bit more potato starch and water. You want it rather thick.

I heated the frozen raspberries and once hot I poured them through a sieve to remove the seeds. Placed back into the saucepan and added sugar to taste. I mixed 1/4 cup water to 1 Tablespoon potato starch. Once raspberries were at a boil I rapidly added the potato starch/water mix into the raspberry/sugar. It will thicken rapidly. If too thick a little more water, too thin mix a bit more potato starch and water.

I used a pastry bag with a tip to fill them. It isn't easy(as you can see by my messy muffins)but just work the tip around and slowly back out as you fill. I really need to buy a longer tip made specifically for filling.

Other filling options:
Some jelly or jam you already have on hand.
Some pudding already set and chilled.
Lemon curd or other fruit curd.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies- YES! We got peanuts back!!

A late Christmas present, Abby has tolerated peanuts well on the couple careful tries over the past couple weeks. Close to a miracle for an All American family who has missed peanut butter terribly! She could eat peanuts for quite a few years and then suddenly lost them but that is the way with food intolerances, digestive issues, mast disorders, Mito and so many other chronic disorders that impact food tolerances.

I found some raw,unsalted,unshelled peanuts. Roasted, shelled and ground into our own peanut butter. While we are incredibly excited about her tolerating peanuts again, the work involved in making the peanut butter in order to make sure they are safe will keep their use in moderation around here, probably a good thing. Not the easiest thing to digest, so we have been very happy they haven't caused any digestive issues, again in moderation. Peanuts do have great nutritional value so really a huge step forward to get them back.

When I thought about making cookies I thought about the flourless recipe, but I wasn't sure how my somewhat "crunchy" version of peanut butter would work. I opted for a gluten free version.

Peanut Butter Cookies:

1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter(roast your own and grind your own to avoid chemicals and corn if you don't add salt to your peanut butter add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to your cookie recipe)

1 cup packed light-brown sugar(Domino's organic cane mixed with a bit of blackstrap molasses)
1/2 cup Coconut oil(we use tropical traditions)
2 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour(Mix your own, no store bought blend is safe)
1 teaspoon baking powder(homemade)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(you could probably skip easily, or use psyllium husk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade)

Heat oven to 350

Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.

1) cream together the peanut butter, brown sugar, coconut oil,vanilla extract and eggs.

2) stir in the guar gum, flour,baking powder.

3) This dough is stiff and crumbly. So you will need to work with it to shape into walnut size balls.

4)roll the ball of dough in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet. Press down with a fork to make criss cross marks and flatten the cookie.

5)Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes.

6) Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Parent Guilt

Today a few Mom's took a huge issue with me posting about the dangers of Miralax. Or commenting that we have found safer ways without the risk.

It was as if they have been feeling guilty about dosing their babies with miralax and I was the straw that broke the camels back. Abby got terribly ill(still battling residual issues)and I would have been THRILLED to have prevented the damage had someone warned me sooner. So I share. If the Drs won't, then the parents should.

What if I KNEW a medicine that you were giving your child was on recall, or had new warnings slapped on the label, wouldn't you hate me if I opted not to tell you?

We all feel guilt when it comes to the choices we make for our children.

I think it is more so in the rapidly growing chronic health issue population.

I remember yelling at my girls a few times when they were little.. I will never forget or forgive myself for the hurt looks that spread across their faces. I feel guilty to this day.

We moved a lot and it was especially hard on Sara, I will always carry that guilt, though we thought we were doing the best we could at the time.

We trusted Drs about vaccines, antibiotics and other medications, and I will carry guilt over that.

I have to admit, as we tried different things the Drs. had recommended over the years, I had some doubts. But I "ignored" it. I made the choice to "trust" the Dr. completely. I should have gone home and read up on the treatment, or asked questions. That is what I feel guilt over. Not that we tried the treatment, but that we did so without doing our own research, we did it because the "Dr said so". When they told me that it was "impossible" that food could be increasing her health issues, I was GLAD to accept that.. because if I did not? I WAS RESPONSIBLE.

Today, we are seeing a lot more parents who are asking the questions. We are also seeing some scary situations of CPS being called because the Dr. disagreed with the parent, be that they, the parent did not want a treatment for their child or that they wanted a second opinion.

When your child is sick, you WANT some Dr. to trust. To have faith in.. to take care of all the medical worries like whether something is safe or not.. but that isn't possible any more, because we know better.

Miralax is a great example. While odds are there will be far fewer who get sick from it like Abby, the fact is it isn't as safe as they say. Drs. have disbelieved it could cause side effects because the sales rep or conference they went says so. If a parent brings in a decent article describing the concerns over PEG in medications more often then not the Dr. will blow them off and tell them to quit googling.

If I had quit googling Abby would be very sick today, maybe not alive.
If I had not questioned, read, and listened to the experiences of other parents Abby might be dead today, despite seeing many, many Drs. who are good Drs. by all accounts.

Treating constipation for "many, not all" cases can be done without chemicals. But see, that involves getting children to eat something different then fries and nuggets. Or that entails some time and maybe therapy to develop better bathroom habits. Maybe reducing stress, increasing fluids.. I did not want to hear that... I was busy, terrified and who wants to take those "pleasurable" foods from their poor sick child? You know what? I did and I am glad I did. Clean food, and foods that work for keeping bowels healthy can be tasty, but you have to make the effort. That is work. ISn't that our job though?

The lines at Starbucks, McDonalds,taco bell, pizza delivery- they would not be multiplying if folks were eating for their bowels.

If you do need interventions there are still better options then miralax- maybe not as easy to hide, or mix or get into your child.. but just maybe worth asking about. Prevent as much parent guilt as you can, you cannot avoid all but ask the tough questions and be prepared to do the work- your child is worth it.

Miralax- Not tested for Pediatric Use

The New York Times: Scrutiny for Laxatives as a Childhood Remedy


“Every pediatric GI physician, I would guarantee you, has told a family this is a safe product,” said Dr. Kent C. Williams, a gastroenterologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Now, he worries, “it may not be true.”

Also, shared on the Today Show

From my previous posts:

The FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) shows over 7,000 adult and child adverse event reports that include at least one PEG 3350 product, including a number of deaths. The number of reports rose from 2,257 in 2012, when the FDA Citizen petition was filed. In 2009, the FDA Drug Safety Oversight Board acknowledged neuropsychiatric, metabolic, gastrointestinal, and kidney events in children who took PEG 3350 laxatives, but felt that “no action was required” at that time:

“The Drug Safety Oversight Board discussed reports of metabolic acidosis, metabolic acidosis with increased anion gap, and neuropsychiatric adverse events in children using polyethylene glycol (PEG) products. Metabolic acidosis is a disturbance in the body's acid-base balance and causes too much acid in the blood. In some situations, metabolic acidosis can be a mild, chronic condition; however, it may lead to shock or death in severe cases. Neuropsychiatric adverse events may include seizures, tremors, tics, headache, anxiety, lethargy, sedation, aggression, rages, obsessive-compulsive behaviors including repetitive chewing and sucking, paranoia and mood swings.” “It is unknown if prolonged duration in solution would change the chemical properties of PEG-3350, and what the actual content of ethylene glycol or diethylene glycol or other low molecular weight PEG would be under such conditions.”

Or how about some antifreeze with that?

In addition to the ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol children may be exposed to through the degradation of PEG 3350, the FDA has tested 8 lots of polyethylene glycol 3350 and found ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol contaminants in the product itself:

“To better understand the level of polyethylene glycol impurities in PEG, the FDA Chemistry and Manufacturing group evaluated PEG 3350. This analysis of eight lots of PEG 3350 confirmed the presence of small amounts of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol in all lots tested. Based upon the recommended daily adult dose of 17 mg daily dose PEG 3350, the maximum daily exposure of ethylene glycol would be 0.005 mg/kg/day for a 60 kg patient, or 0.015 mg/kg/day for a 20 kg pediatric patient (approx 5 years of age). Other low molecular weight PEGs were not included in this analysis. However, it is not known if any of these LMW species are absorbed and if so to what extent. Understanding the human absorption profile of LMW species is the first step needed in trying to understand the possible contribution of PEG 3350 use to the development of adverse events in children using this product chronically.”

So when your Dr. says something he prescribes is "perfectly safe" is it really?

The big question is, why so many pill popping, Miralax dependent toddlers out there? That is the big question.

Go to any Walmart, Walgreen's,Costco you will see they now sell massive gallon jug like bottles of this stuff.

Ask yourself, why aren't you able to poop?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Corn-Free Cooking Contest: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card

I am doing a little contest on my corn-free cooking page on Facebook. 1 recipe will be picked as the winner(by me!) and receive a $50.00 Amazon gift card.

Read about and enter at; Corn-Free Cooking. on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wrapping up 2014

It has been a good year.

Abby's world moves very, very slow. It is the small things that truly count around here.

With the positive news on her kidneys, I think it has truly renewed our vigor to keep moving forward seeking answers and better yet, solutions.

Like everyone else we have a lot of goals for 2015 and if we manage even 1 or 2? We will come out ahead.

For 2015 we are working on "operation exercise'. Now, before you start visualizing marathons, speed walking,and the gym ,I need to explain we define "exercise" much differently around here. Abby did receive a treadmill to kick things off. Part of Abby's daily ritual's include a lot of pacing around the house, and we are always curious exactly how much walking she is accomplishing, so if she does her pacing on a treadmill she and I can figure that out. We have already run into a few issues. With Abby she has a lot less tone in her upper body and even at her healthiest when she walks she has never really swung/moved her arms while doing it. As a baby/toddler she was never able to catch herself with her arms when she tumbled or fell.No crawling or pulling herself up. For years we would have to place her on her feet before she hit the ground walking. I remember finding her patiently sitting in a hallway or her room waiting for someone to set her on her feet. As she got older it seemed to not be an issue, but with the treadmill it clearly is an issue. On the treadmill that means she has to hang on while she walks. Now, if you have used a treadmill you know that when you walk at a slower pace and hang on you end up using a different set of muscles and might actually fatigue more quickly then a nice pace while arms are free and moving. Abby is brilliant at developing compensation methods and the treadmill has exposed a glaring one. So, one of our goals is to figure out "how" to get those arms to join in while she walks. Sounds simple enough, but I suspect after a lifetime of learning to walk and balance exceptionally well without them, it is going to be a big challenge! Going for therapy isn't an option. She rarely leaves the house and there is simply no telling when she will have a day where she feels well enough to even get dressed. Thankfully, there are some great resources online that ought to get us pointed in the right direction without risking a major flare/reaction/germs.

Exercise also includes the hula hoop. You know how they say that each person has a special gift? Well the hula is Abby's. Like a duck to water, when she steps into that hula it is like magic. It defies gravity. She can talk, walk and keep that shiny pink loop defying gravity without a wrinkle in her brow or a drop of sweat. When she pulls it out, she has our attention! Best entertainment ever and I still have no idea how she does it! :-) So those loosey goosey joints and poor muscle tone have provided a gift. It is pure magic. So, we need to try to figure out how to get that hula to provide more of a workout for her upper body. Her worst muscle tone issues are her torso, shoulders,arms,neck.

Starting to wonder if some youtube lessons in belly dancing would be beneficial- why not?

Folding laundry. Reaching to put glasses on the shelf. Picking up dog toys(my poodles make 2 year olds look tidy!). We consider all of these very good forms of exercise for Abby on good days. Extending her arms and using her upper body are definitely area's that she struggles with as far as endurance.

Then on the bad days? Pulling back her covers on her bed. Brushing her teeth. Climbing into bed. Letting me wash her hair- are all heavy duty forms of exercise for her when she is at her worst. All things most of us do without even thinking.

So, this year we will track what she is able to do on good days, and on bad days. See if we can add a few new tricks in that might help her strengthen her body up some.

As far as Project Elimination? Well, this last few months have been brutal. Abby lost sooo many of her foods. She is down to just peaches for a fruit(I did put some up in the freezer this past year thankfully). She still can do most root veggies but not much green. We lost "spicy" and she lost her red peppers and all peppers. Carob which was iffy is an official fail. On a positive she has hung on to her grains, and most proteins so not all was lost. This year we will have to try to reintroduce some of these foods, she has to have some of them in order to improve/maintain her nutritional gains. I am leaning heavily on herbs(fresh and even dried herbs have a shockingly good nutritional profile)for now and hoping as winter ends(in Houston come Feb spring will be setting in)and spring starts we can either find more "new" to her foods or try some of the ones we lost this past year. Overall, compared to many she still has quite a spread of foods which helps prevent me from panicking.

As far as her array of oddball issues? Toenails are looking pretty good right now. Her feet look pretty good in general. The weird rashes seem to come and go (the hickey like ones). Our best guess would be heparin release from Mast cells, since nothing more alarming has turned up in blood work. This past month or so she has had a few issues with patches of numbness on her legs, neck and face. They seem to be resolving on their own which means I am not going to fret about it. Hoping it was just her spine pinching something(we have a lot of spine issues in my family). Over the past couple years we have noted she gets what we call a "pet hive" on her face. Just 1 hive and it comes up in the same spot every time. Usually just this time of year. Oddest thing. This year it changed locations. Last year on her cheek, this year on her temple. It seems to come and go at random and come spring/summer it will disappear. Her hair while isn't thickening much hasn't got any thinner and actually did a little growing, another positive. She has had growing issues with her bladder and we are watching closely wondering at what point we should opt to see if we can find more answers. Since she tolerates no medicines or supplements we find going to the Dr. to simply confirm there is a problem and no way to treat it is a epic waste of her energy, our pocketbook and the Drs. time. Not too mention at least 1 out of 2 Drs. don't believe she reacts to everything and tend to get either pushy or argue. Somehow about half of Drs. usually just assume patients are clueless, dramatic, lazy,and insist on torturing Abby to prove to them that yes, when she says she reacts to EVERYTHING she isn't kidding. Not worth the risk unless we know her life is in definitive danger. Speaking of definitive danger, her oxygen desats are becoming fewer and fewer. Since the SubQ fiasco it has been an issue. Definitely still experiencing drops, but not as bad. Before she ran a nice steady 98 or better most of the time, now we are happy with 96 or better. She and I talked about seeing a specialist when she was dropping into the low 80's and occasional high 70 but again, her body has opted to self correct- good. She does keep an eye on it though. Sometimes when we think something has resolved, it hasn't.

Hopefully this year we will find more definitive answers to "why" she reacts to medicines and vitamins/supplements. Even better if we can find a way to get around it. On one hand, over the past couple years I have been shocked to learn that the medicine we take to fix a problem can often cause another set of equally troubling health problems. On the other hand, sometimes you just have to take one. Considering the various health issues she deals with,the fact that Abby has managed for years now without any medicines is remarkable. Our biggest worry is if she were to get a major infection- what would we do? If we can get past that this year I think both Abby and I would feel relieved.

My gut still says the Mitochondrial Depletion is a secondary issue as are the kidneys. Maybe this will be the year we figure out the Primary!

I have a good feeling about 2015! If we move forward even a little bit this year? It will be another successful year.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie (gluten free, dairy free, corn-free, soy free, nut free)

In the past I have used more of a pudding filling but this time tried a pastry cream base- Much better! This will be the official go to recipe from now on. It is a favorite of both Derek and Abby.

Coconut Cream Pie:

1 baked gluten free pie crust.

My favorite gf pie crust recipe:(single crust)

1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon sugar(C&H or Domino's organic cane sugar)
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(still using NOW brand)
1/2 teaspoon salt(pink himalayan)
6 tablespoons cold palm shortening(tropical traditions)
1 large egg
2-3 Tablespoons cold water(less or more depending on your flour blend)

Mix dry ingredients. Cut shortening into flour blend. Add egg and enough water to form a ball.

Roll crust out between two sheets of parchment paper. (if the dough seems sticky, sprinkle the parchment with gf flour and roll the ball before covering with second sheet and rolling out.)

Peel the top parchment and flip into pie pan, carefully peel parchment off. Flute edges and prick bottom with fork.

Place in freezer for about 10 minutes until well chilled.

Bake at 350 until lightly brown about 15 minutes.

Cool before filling.


1/2 cup organic(domino's or C&H) sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons all purpose gluten free flour
1 1/2 cups fullfat coconut milk(homemade or safe for you canned)
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (Tropical Traditions.To sweeten- a bit of oil and hot water and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Mix well. done!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade)

For filling:
Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and gf flour in medium bowl.

Bring coconut milk and sweetened coconut to simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.

Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking the whole time. Return to the saucepan and cook and stir the whole time until cream thickens and boils about 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Mix in vanilla extract. Transfer cream to bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface to prevent formation of skin. Chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Once chilled place filling in crust.

Before serving top with coconut whipped cream and some toasted coconut.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

A good Christmas Eve for us, no one is sick this year! Abby could be better, but NOT sick!

Lots of baking to do today, pies are our favorite holiday dessert so later today will get busy. We do prime rib roast and yorkshire pudding for dinner but Abby doesn't tolerate prime rib roast, so I make a gf yorkshire or two without beef fat and she eats chicken. Works out just fine.

This year is definitely a better year for our family. We all feel stronger and optimistic.

Something wonderful about a New Year coming, a chance to scrub last year and start fresh.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It is all about the Pan -Irish Soda Bread (Gluten free, yeast free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, corn free)

With Gf bread I find it is often about the pan we chose.

I found this red loaf pan(picture of pan at bottom of post) at Ikea last year. It is longer, more narrow and taller then a standard loaf pan and works terrific for yeast-free,gluten free bread. Works great for gluten free french bread too.

The narrow forces the bread to go up, and comes in handy since with gf it is usually a softer dough and it tends to spread vs gaining height.

There are some pans specifically made for gf baking, but if you keep your eye's open, you would be surprised by all the pans available that would work as well and are usually cheaper.

This recipe I have done many variations on and we are quite happy being yeast free with it. It stays moist and flexible and tastes delicious. Once stale I cube and dehydrate for croutons or stuffing or grind the dried cubes for bread crumbs.

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups gluten-free flour blend
2 Tablespoons sugar(coconut or organic cane sugar,I use Domino's or C&H)
2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon guar gum(you could probably skip and increase psyllium)
1 1/2 Tablespoon Psyllium husk powder
1 teaspoon salt(pink himalayan)
2 egg (I use eggs but suspect an egg sub would work)
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil(melted coconut would work I think)
2 cup buttermilk or milk of choice (1 use 3/4 cup coconut yogurt mixed with 1 1/4 cup water use whatever is safe for you)
1 Tablespoon braggs apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease loaf pan.

2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Add egg,buttermilk(in my case yogurt +water),oil and mix to form a soft, sticky dough.(you may need a bit more flour or a bit more milk depending on your flour blend with my flour blend I tend to need about 3-4 tablespoons more milk)It is not quite a dough but thicker then a thick batter.

4. Add vinegar last and quickly mix in.

5. Place in greased pan. Wet hands with water and smooth top to look like a loaf(higher in the middle). Use a wet knife and cut a deep cross into the top. Dust with gf flour.

6) allow to sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. This allows the baking soda-vinegar to provide a bit of lift before hitting the heat of the oven.

7) Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

8) allow to cool, slice and store in airtight container.

*** I also cut this recipe in half and bake in a 6 inch round pan or in a couple of the mini loaf pans.

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