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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nofu -Q



Yep, used some of the bbq sauce I posted the other day on slices of nofu. It worked very well. Well enough Abby would like this again, and soon!


Nofu

BBQ sauce.


1) I sliced my nofu as thin as I could without risking it breaking.

2) I pressed the slices between a cloth with a weighted plate on it. (removing as moisture as possible.) I left it for about 3-4 hours.

3) I then "dry fried" it. This is very simple. A large non-stick skillet on the lowest heat. Do not grease the pan. Lay the slices in the pan and every 20 minutes or so flip them. They will get dried and you know they are dry enough when they get dry enough to turn a shade darker around the edges, remove from heat.

4) place slices on a large plate. Cover the top of each slice with a generous amount of BBQ sauce. Cover and place in fridge for at least 2 hours to overnight. The dry frying will prevent the nofu from getting soggy.

5) In a well greased baking dish, place the slices of nofu with BBQ sauce facing down. Then spread BBQ sauce across the top to coat.

6) Bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes. You want the sauce to get bubbly, but not burn. I allow it to cool for a few and remove to a plate. If you leave them in the pan in the sauce they tend to stick as the sugar in the sauce has caramelized. I slice into "sticks" and jab them into some mash.

Easy. Tasty. With all the cooking and marinating, you will find no nofu flavor left. The slices are chewy not mushy with lovely caramelized sauce on them. Feel free to provide a small bowl of sauce for extra dipping.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BBQ Sauce- corn-free, gluten-free, tomato-free, soy-free, dairy free, nut and seed free, shellfish free.


This one of those things that I just never write down, but decided to write it down this time. In the "before elimination days" I would make this with diced peppers, onions, tomato sauce, tomato paste.. and simmer for hours. Then puree all the veggies. But, these days using Abby's no-tomato ketchup really speeds up the process. As we weeded out products with hidden corn my ingredients of choice have changed, but we are all still pleased with the final product. For best result, make this the day before. I find a day in the fridge really helps the flavors mellow and meld together.

BBQ Sauce-


1 Tablespoon grapeseed
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons dehydrated onion(or 1/4 cup fresh finely minced onion)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika(smoked paprika if you have a safe one)
1 dash ground allspice
1 dash ground cloves
1 cup no-tomato ketchup(recipe on my blog)(or regular safe for you ketchup)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
2 teaspoons coconut amino's
1/2 teaspoon English-style dried mustard(or fresh ground mustard seed)
1 bay leaf
Directions
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic(and onion if you used fresh)saute till softened. Add everything else to the garlic and oil. Stir occasionally and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and ready to use.


This is spicy and sweet. A dark Kansas City style sauce. Reduce cayenne for less spice. Increase brown sugar more sweetness. Increase ketchup for more mild sauce. I tend to taste as I add spices and then once it heats up and add or reduce the amount of spices depending on what I am using the sauce on. I find this keeps well in the fridge for a week or two or freezes very well.

If the little bits of onion and garlic are bothersome, you can puree or strain. We like them.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Peach Butter



One of the foods I have to make for Abby is jams or jellies or "butters.". There just aren't any out there that are safe for her allergies.

They tend to have citric acid(corny)or pectins(corny) or preservatives(allergic) or colors.. You get the point.


I was over at the Nourished Kitchen website and stumbled across a super easy recipe for peach butter. It turned out wonderfully! Below is my "Abby version" but I suggest taking a look at the original.


Peach Butter (inspired by this RECIPE at Nourished Kitchen)


4 large peaches(quartered, pitted but keep the skin!)
1/2 to 1 cup sugar depending on how ripe your peaches are (we added this)
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamon


Throw the quartered and pitted peaches into the Ninja(or other high powered blender) puree the peaches. Place pureed peaches,sugar, and all spices in a large pot(will spit a little so I like a deep pot to reduce splatter mess). Cook on low to medium low heat. Stir frequently. In about an hour it should be darkened, and thickened.

Throw back into the blended one last time to get it nice and smooth. Done!


Delicious, thinking I need to do a big batch of this and can some for later in the year.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Well, maybe it is Mast.

Abby had an appointment with an Allergist who has a good grasp on Mast Cell Disorders.


At this point we just don't get excited that we may find the Dr. that can handle all Abby's funky symptoms. Or we try not to..


Over the last couple weeks we have all gone back and forth on what we hoped to get out of this appointment. For what an appointment takes from Abby, it has to be worth it.


It was so worth it.


For the last year or two we have followed the Mast Cell Community. Talk about some well informed and helpful patients. In so many ways most of the issues that simply don't fit the Mito picture with Abby, "fit" in the Mast Community. Like Mito, Mast is very poorly understood. Also like Mito there are very few Specialists- only 2 in Texas, one is only for the most severe patients that have become cancerous. The one we saw works with the rest of the population and all of it's shades of grey.


More then Mast, this specialist was extremely well rounded in all the area's that have left questions when it comes to Abby.


Over the past couple years I have run into more and more patients who have a Mast cell disorder and Mito or Mast and EDS or and all three. There is research, though in it's infancy, that shows the impact from Mast Cells on Mitochondria.


This Dr. is willing to see if it is Mast for Abby. Diagnosis is some lab based and some response to medication based. At least for the mast cell activation syndromes.. Even if she doesn't have a Mast issue, and this might be just crazy wicked allergies- he is certain he can get her to the point she can take meds when they are necessary, and hopefully decrease reactions to food.


The weird issues with enamel, purple toenails/fingers for days ,toenails dying, hair loss, kidneys, - he immediately understood how they are an odd combo of symptoms,but potentially important clues to help figure Abby out better.

What we really appreciated is that he "got" the depletion, he "got" the potential Mast related issues, and " he "saw" what doesn't fit, and not only wants to know what caused it, but might be able to help Abby control some of the symptoms. He is a "see the big picture" Dr. Not just kidneys, not just Mito, not just orthopedics.. Besides our family Dr,he saw why we were pushing, why our "gut" says something else is happening that has been missed.

Though he gave us hope we can calm her body, he also made it clear not to expect a cure- we are okay with that... On the drive home we dreamed of taking Abby to even a dr. appointment without her stuck in bed for weeks to recover, or take her shopping for an hour now and then for the simple pleasure.. these small things for so many would make the world open up for Abby. These would be huge gifts for Abby.


Even though Abby and I are tired of flipping stones, I have to thank all my Mast Cell family friends for pushing me to take Abby to someone who understood, maybe life will get a little easier for Abby because all of you provided us with encouragement to keep searching, to trust our gut.

Allergies or reactions? Either and I think Abby has a Dr. who will help control some of it.

After 18 years of us chasing our tail with Abby, after so many bad appointments, or appointments where the Dr. had not seen anyone like Abby, or did not have the experience to to help... we feel hopeful that our efforts will help Abby control a few symptoms-

Abby is done. Wiped out beyond belief. She still had not recovered from the dental appointment and she was beyond puny last night. Was the appointment worth it? Abby said it most definitely was..

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ginger Molasses Crinkle Cookies(gluten free, cinnamon free, corn free, dairy free)


crisp, crunchy, but still some chewiness to these on the inside- If you aren't as interested in ginger as we are, reduce the ginger to 1 tablespoon.

Ingredients:

1 cup palm shortening(Spectrum)
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups white sugar, plus some for rolling
1/2 cup unsulfured blackstrap molasses(Plantation brand)
2 eggs
3 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1 3/4 teaspoons guar gum
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons allspice
2 Tablespoons ginger(have been drying and grinding our own lately- super easy!)
1 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon Mace
Directions:

In medium bowl, cream shortening,coconut oil, sugar, molasses, and eggs.
In large bowl combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Scoop out dough, and shape into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Roll into granulated sugar.
Arrange at least 3 inches apart on a baking sheet. (They spread while baking.).
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. ( Decrease Baking time for a chewy cookie; increasing baking time will make them crisper.).
Cool.

This makes a TON. I bake half. The other half I roll in sugar and freeze on a cookie sheet till froze through. Then place in freezer bag. Thaw for about 1 hour and bake. That way you can have a few fresh cookies at a time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Twinkies (Gluten free, corn free, dairy free, chemical and color free)



With all the talk about Twinkies back on the shelf, we felt compelled to make Twinkies safe for Abby, and these turned out delicious. No chemicals, colors, corn, gluten, dairy... and still delicious! This recipe is "heavier" like a moist pound cake.. next time I may try a sponge cake. The filling was delicious, but a little too sweet(is that possible?)

I ordered a Twinkie pan from Amazon.


Ingredients
1 3/4 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder(Hain)
1/2 teaspoon salt(pink himalayan)
1/2 cup palm shortening, softened(Spectrums)
1 cup sugar(domino's)
2 large eggs
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade)

Preheat oven 350

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the shortening and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Reduce the speed and add flour mixture alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla extract and mix until the batter just comes together -- don't over mix. Batter should be thick.

Fill your molds with batter and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cakes are a light golden color and a testing the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Filling:

4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar(domino's)
1/2 teaspoon salt(pink himalayan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade)
1/2 cup palm shortening(Spectrum)
1 cup powdered sugar.(homemade)

In double boiler(or pyrex set in pot of boiling water) combine egg whites and sugar. Mix and keep on heat until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and using hand mixer on high speed start whipping. This will take awhile, about 4-5 minutes. When stiff, add salt and vanilla extract. Mix till well mixed. Allow to sit until room temperature(you don't want to melt your palm shortening,but if you do, throw it in the fridge till chilled and whip again before spooning into piping bag). Add palm shortening and as much powdered sugar as you need to make a frosting like creme.

Use a piping bag with a long tip. Fill Twinkies on the bottom(flat side)usually in 3 different spots to ensure a good fill.

Unlike real Twinkies, these will not keep on your shelf! :-) Place in fridge and eat. Like most Gluten free desserts, best the first day, wrap tightly to keep for a couple days.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kraut and Fig Spice Cake with Nofu/Yogurt icing and Sweet Potato Ginger filling



I know sounds hideous doesn't it??

But, googling for ways to use my abundance of sauerkraut the other day, I kept running across recipes for kraut cakes. A lot of chocolate and spice cake versions.


Since chocolate was out,I went for the spice. You know we cannot resist oddball recipes, and I could not pass on the opportunity to make a sauerkraut cake! Plus, I should have done a fridge clean out last week and did not. I had candied ginger that needed using, I had sweet potatoes that if I did not use them today they would have rotted or I would have had to plant them! I suppose I could have spread it all out into a few meals, but why when I could try to cram it altogether?

After the dentist appointment Abby's gut really really slowed down. We expected it, but still was hopeful it would not happen this time. Some cooked kraut(she struggles with ferments, so hoping the draining,cooking reduced the histamine impact), sweet potatoes, coconut yogurt? Well certainly an elixir to get the most stubborn GI tract moving.


If you think about it, sour cream, yogurt,buttermilk and vinegar are often used in cakes. The acids help leaven, add moisture, as well increase the tenderness as well as a rich tang.

Don't knock till ya try it- this was just delicious and a great way to use up that last bit of soggy kraut you made that is sitting in the fridge. Of course, when you bake it you lose much of the value from fermenting, but you will gain a great cake! The only warning, as it bakes you will smell that cabbage, but ignore it- because you won't taste it at all!


Ingredients:
2 1/4 gluten free All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder(hains or homemade)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp guar gum(I skipped this, but I think it would improve the crumb)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar(domino's)
1 cup grapeseed Oil
1 1/2 cups Sauerkraut(homemade), drained, finely chopped
1 cup diced and stewed figs(Abby doesn't tolerate raisins,but if you do, feel free to use instead of figs)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
. Combine first 7 dry ingredients. Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until light. Gradually add oil, beating until smoothly blended.
2. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in sauerkraut and diced figs. Turn into greased 13" x 9" pan cake pan.(or two round 8inch pans for 30-40 minutes) Bake at 350ºF for 50 to 60 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool completely. Frost.

Sweet Potato filling;

1 cup coconut milk(homemade or canned, D arroy, TJ's, Thai kitchen, watch for additives NO boxed milk- ALL corny!)
1/4 cup maple syrup(grade B, more flavor)
1/4 cup brown sugar(domino's)
3 Tablespoons dried candied ginger(or 2 teaspoon's powdered ginger)***
dash of salt(pink himalayan)
2-3 tablespoons potato starch or other safe thickener(we have been buying potato starch at the Asian market)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, steamed & pureed ***(when you cook the sweet potato use the candied ginger or ginger powder while you steam or boil to infuse the sweet potato)
1 tsp nutmeg

In a heavy saucepan bring 3/4 cup of the coconut milk, maple syrup,brown sugar and the salt to a simmer on low heat.
While that is heating, in a separate bowl whisk together the remaining coconut milk and potato starch.
When the coconut milk on the stove has started simmering stir in the sweet potato puree. Bring to a simmer once more. Now turn down the heat to low and pour the milk and potato starch mixture(I did about half at a time,it thickened fast!) into the pot. Stir with a whisk until the pudding begins the thicken. Remove from heat, add nutmeg and continue to stir and thicken for another minute. It will thicken more in the refrigerator, but make sure the pudding is smooth. Pour the pudding into a bowl and place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to chill thoroughly. To prevent a skin from forming on the surface cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the pudding.

Nofu/yogurt Fake Cream Cheese Icing-(2 parts coconut yogurt plus 1 part chickpea tofu,blended and well drained till firm)

Ingredients
4 ounces palm shortening(spectrum)
4 ounces fake cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar(I use the ninja and mix some tapioca in with mine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade- potato vodka, grape vodka, coconut vodka- avoid grain based alcohol)

Directions
In a large bowl, beat together the palm shortening and fake cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract

garnish: I sprinkled a few crushed roasted chickpea's across ours.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

So the Dr. says a grim Prognosis, What do you Do?

I have noticed a trend in Mitochondrial Medicine. IF a parent or patient gets no Mito diagnosis, they keep searching, and looking for answers, but too often the minute a Specialist says, " your child has Mito, it is a grim prognosis" they believe it, they don't question and they don't get a second opinion- Why is that? Why book to see more Mito Specialists when the first or second don't find Mito, but if your first Specialist diagnoses Mito, they quit looking?


When patients are told by a Dr. they have cancer, what do they do? I suspect a huge percentage run for a second opinion, run for a third opinion. When a patient is told they have cancer and they cannot be cured- they run EVEN FASTER for a second and third opinion, Why is that?


I don't argue that Abby has a "Depletion" I understand and accept that it was found, but what I doubt is that there is no cure, what I doubt is that it could be the stem issue of all her issues. Until it is "proved" by second,third, forth opinions.. till it is proved by Abby getting much sicker- I don't believe it. After 18 years, I have seen many patients with Mito defy their 1st diagnosis, and many now that have found that though they have mito dysfunction, they found the primary or they found a way to manage the dysfunction and defy the original prognosis. I know many who have gone on to get second and third opinions to find out they did not have mito at all- but these patients are the minority.


In my mind I see Mito just like cancer- when you get the diagnosis, you have a TON of OPTIONS on how treat it, on how to move forward. If you would run for a second and third opinion with a grim cancer diagnosis, why wouldn't you run even harder with a Mito diagnosis?

Clearly part of the reason is there are so few Mito Specialists. Houston is a great example of a huge city and a woeful amount of Mitochondrial care or Specialists capable of handling the diversity of Mito patients- it is limited to the point every day more and more Houstonians and Texans have opted to travel for better and more appropriate care.


Another part of the problem is so many are diagnosed with Mito without a gene. Or have have mito findings in biopsy, but all the other labs are normal.. or the labs are wonky, but the biopsy is normal- the diagnostics for Mito are so unknown still, the only thing a Mito Dr can do is to use their experience to make an educated guess based on what they see in front of them. So, if a Mito Specialist see's mostly Leigh patients, odds are they are not experienced enough to spot MELAS or other forms of Mito- in the world of Mito Specialists- it takes a very good education, extraordinary intelligence, academic knowledge on top of experience seeing all the forms of Mito to truly be a great Mito Specialist, or the top of their field. We are learning about Mitochondria at lightening speed daily that the few Specialists we have are challenged to the max to not only diagnose and care for patients but to find the time to stay up on research. These Specialists are true hero's- I barely keep up with Abby, her food and our home so how they juggle a few hundred Abby's daily and continue to find the time to further their education- is awe inspiring to me.


I am not saying a patient doesn't have Mito that is diagnosed the first time out the gate, but I am surprised at how many will accept just 1 opinion about having Mito when you only have to go to the UMDF or MitoAction or google blogs to see there are so few absolutes. Everyday they are finding valuable new data about our mitochondria on how chemicals can cause dysfunction, on how mast cells can cause dysfunction, how diseases like diabetes cause mitochondrial dysfunction- it is clear that when the dust settles, we are going to find that many many primary disease processes can cause our mitochondria to not function properly. How many patients who believed that Mito was the key issue to the failure of their health or their child's health will find out in the next few years that Mito was NOT the primary, but just a symptom of something else?

Then once you have a diagnosis you have a zillion treatment options. Again, there are trends. I have noticed it is far more common to get a second opinion from a GI if the GI says No feeding tube then there is when a Dr. says YES- you need a feeding tube. Why is that?

Again, there are huge variables. The "Mito Protocol" is far from one size fits all. Secondary care is even sketchier..there are patients who have done worse when receiving the "popular" interventions, and some do better. Again, though even when things get worse, too few wonder, well maybe the treatment isn't helping and I should try something else. If I had believed that Mito was the ONLY cause of Abby's kidney issues her kidney's would be horribly damaged, but I didn't. I eliminated allergens and chemicals and her function is perfect and the only time her kidney's stress is when she takes chemicals(medications,vitamins,preservatives) by mouth or she eats allergens, or she gets over tired. We have found simple environmental changes(food, more rest,less exposure) have protected her kidneys far better then any of the more aggressive methods often recommended. It could be that depletion at work causing her kidneys to be hypersensitive, or maybe it is something else- fact is, we don't know. Since we don't know we don't throw in the towel. We are grateful we got a second opinion, it helped confirm that we do have some control over the damage without turning to medical intervention. It is more work, but what I worry about is the long term- not what makes sense today, or tomorrow. But then, I don't believe Mito will shorten her life- cup half full kind of person. What if 5 years from now they find out it is some micro bacteria they did not know about and cure it with a pill?(okay so I am reaching here, humor me) If I threw in the towel today and declared our efforts too much work and not normal, lived normally and just expected them fail, if they come out with a magic pill, it would be too late. Forever the optimist.

If a Radiologist recommended massive doses of chemo and radiation for breast cancer, I bet a lot of patients would get a second opinion..or if they recommend no treatment, you would likely seek a second opinion. Though we know sooooo much more about cancer, it is universally accepted among patients and Drs that there are many different ways to address the care and treatment of a cancer patient. Why not with Mito?



Frankly, I believe very little in absolutes and Mito at this point. I accept there was a depletion in Abby's biopsy. That is about all that is absolute though. Her prognosis is still unknown- there is no proof that it is primary besides 18 years of eliminating other diagnoses- and I know we still are NOT done eliminating other possible primaries. Maybe because of our very long journey, I have learned repeatedly that medicine often comes down to an educated guess. That medicine doesn't have all the answers. I have learned to appreciate the Drs. who admit they don't know it all, the ones who advocate to Abby and I that we shouldn't just close the door, or just accept. Our favorite Drs, the one's I think are the smartest are the ones who encourage us to seek second and third opinions. Their support to fight keep us working hard because sometimes interventions bring worse then no intervention at all.

I believe in the placebo effect for inducing improvements and I am starting to believe in the placebo effect can also cause negative and progressive symptoms. If you think you are dying, you probably aren't going to fight as hard. I do believe that the depletion is causing issues for Abby, but I don't believe it is the primary issue. Then I have gotten a few opinions.. the only thing that is universally agreed upon right now is something is wrong. We are finding lots of things, but so very few absolutes. Again and again I read stories of patients who beat the odds, who heal from falling from 20 story buildings, who's cancer goes away, who learn to walk again.. The cool thing is, with Mito there aren't a lot of "odds" yet, they don't know enough to predict the odds- puts Abby in a very good place. No absolutes, no prognosis.. That cancer center commercial where the patient says the Dr told her he did not find an expiration date anywhere on her- We relate to that- Abby's future hasn't and cannot be predicted.

So when you get a grim prognosis/diagnosis, do you get a second opinion? Or accept that just one Specialist got it right?




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

3 down a zillion to go...

First three of Abby's teeth have been repaired. No immediate reaction, but delayed of course. Achy, limp, lovely black toenails,fingernails and lips(oxygen fine, just dysautonomia) fading in and out, bone pain.. swollen up by the time I went to bed.based on the edema I am betting her kidneys are going to be pissed off for a few days. but no airway reaction, no rash..

I am hurriedly drinking my coffee this morning, I fully expect she will be a red hot mess today, but she was so happy that the Dentist did such a lovely job fixing the first three, she said it is worth it.


One of the teeth we all felt certain was doomed to a root canal, did not need it. Talk about lucky! Much of the damage is around the gum lines so unfortunately her gums were pretty raw and bleeding. Before I went to bed they looked much better.


The dentist was able to restore the 3 to look so perfect and pearly white, just like Abby's teeth used to be! We are so grateful.


She goes again next month for 3 more.. and so forth until they are all fixed.


Next week is our road trip for the new Allergist- so hoping she bounces fast from this! Finger crossed.






Monday, July 15, 2013

Kashk- What the heck is that?



Popular in many Middle East Countries. There are many different names(also search for tarhana) and many different preparations.

It was originally a frugal way to preserve whey, yogurts, milks. High protein, dried and high flavor(coconut yogurt doesn't offer much protein but Teff grain has value). Kashk keeps for months when prepared properly.


Here is the catch- it is fermented. Also a traditionally dairy and wheat based recipe.


I am hooked on all things fermented right now. Honestly, I feel a little selfish on this, not something made specifically for Abby for once, but for the gut health and taste buds of the rest of us!


I am always hopeful that one of these new things I ferment will be something that Abby will either tolerate, or maybe down the line will tolerate. I am hopeful with Kashk, as it is fermented, dried, and then cooked - which up's the odds that though it won't have the bacterial bonus, it will be tolerated and will provide one more valuable flavor to add to her diet.


It is described as strong, musky, like potent blue cheese- who wouldn't want to try it? I am driven by finding anything with "cheese" flavors or textures- and I really appreciate something that is dried and shelf stable at least for awhile. So much of what I cook for Abby is fresh, needs a lot of prep. Clean, tasty and ready to use is a huge bonus!


Of course how do I get around the dairy/goat milk or yogurt and traditional wheat? Easy. Coconut yogurt and teff grain. Maybe easy! We will have to see how this turns out. The directions in Sandor Katz's book; Wild Fermentation(if you don't own this book and want to ferment- you have to buy it! Best book ever!) indicates a 9 day ferment. So it will be awhile before I know whether this going to work dairy,soy, and gluten free. Plus, that means 8-9 days of yet one more container on my counter.. my kitchen is starting to look like a horror movie science lab. :-)


Already I am imagining the powder added to gluten free crackers to make "cheese tangy" flavors.. Soups, salad dressings.. if it works that is!

1 cup coconut yogurt(homemade and thick)
1/2 cup teff grain (I buy from teffco.com)

1/2 teaspoon salt.

Daily stir/knead. The teff absorbed some of the moisture last night, but it is still more a "stir" texture then a knead.
at 8-9 days days knead in the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread thinly and dry. As it dries(I plan on using the dehydrator and not the sun) break the pieces smaller to encourage drying. Once completely dry, run it through the blender/grinder/food processor to make a powder like substance.

What could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lacto fermented? Cultured ? Pickled? Fermented? Chickpea Nofu/Tofu- yes you can!




No soy, no dairy, no goat, no meat..


We all miss Cheese! The fake cheese made with rice at the grocery store is all corn contaminated.


I have had some good luck blending coconut yogurt and nofu and straining it- makes a nice fake cream cheese.. but the flavor is nice, just not that wonderful aged cheese flavor we miss. That creamy, crumbly, bouncy, stringy- all the million ways that cheese texture comes in.. we miss them all!

Nutritional yeast is all corn contaminated.


I ran across a blog post where they pickled their tofu. I went ahead and made "fake feta" nofu(chickpea tofu) and not bad at all! but again missing that creamy and rich flavor.

A little over a week ago, I decided why not? I strained some of the whey from some coconut yogurt, cubed some nofu and added a salt/water brine. Today, I checked it and I had to taste it! The aroma was rich.. It reminded me of a warm sourdough starter- a tangy richness that is hard to describe..


I am new to fermenting. I am phobic of bacteria, viruses. For years I scrubbed, I steamed and I bleached. We never ate leftovers, and now all the research indicates all those antibiotics, all those chemicals probably hurried along some of Abby's digestive issues. That we need a few bugs in our food, at least the "right" bugs. :-)

So far she handles coconut yogurt. A bit of coconut aminos now and then, and Braggs ACV mixed into a lot of different foods.

Why not fermented nofu?


Nofu Lacto ferment Cheese

I used 2 teaspoons salt per 1 cup water.

It was about 1/3 cup of cubed nofu.(think extra firm tofu)

a couple tablespoons of whey.

seal it up. After 5-7 days check the top- scoop off any yeast or funk(as long as it is white- if it is colored I tend to pitch it out- I am new and my rule for now is white funk(usually yeast that is harmless) is okay funk, colored funk not good!)

between 7 and 9 days it should smell like sourdough starter. I decided mine was ready to taste at 9 days- it was divine! Texture was like mozzarella cheese a bit like Jack.. a bit of tangy borrowed from feta.. a combo of great cheese like flavors!


The only bad thing- it won't melt, but I can fix that! I will blend till smooth with some coconut yogurt cheese- I cannot wait!

Hoping Abby will tolerate this- closest thing to cheese I have made yet!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SpectraCell- Maybe, just maybe some Answers.

Abby has been tested for B12 and other B deficiencies many many times.. like a zillion. Always either normal or low normal.


Spectracell results are in VERY VERY Deficient in B12, B6, Pantothenate and folate.


This is a HUGE HUGE finding.


So why is she so "normal" on regular labs vs Spectracell?

It is what they test. Apparently she gets enough B in her diet that her blood serum reflects a healthy amount.

Yet, when testing "whether her body is getting it where it needs to go" she is not.


The rest of us have ordered our Spectracell Tests.


A friend shared this youtube video- I recommend anyone with A chronic illness watch it ASAP.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvEizypoyO0&feature=youtu.be


Now, the question is, how to get her level's up since clearly she gets plenty but her body is not able to use it, and WHY can her body not use it.

B12 deficiency can cause symptoms that are seen in Lyme,Mito, Chronic fatigue, autism,anxiety, depression. Check out the brain MRI's in the youtube video- it reminds me a lot of some of the changes seen in Mito Patients-

B6, Folate, Pantothenate all cause symptoms that can cause symptoms that mimic Mito, autism, chronic fatigue...


So, if you are having symptoms but your blood serum testing(normal lab testing) keeps coming back normal? I strongly recommend making sure your B12 and other B's are are actually where they need to be-

Spectracell.com. Most insurance companies cover this test- this is not an "alternative" test, this is recognized as sound and widely accept if not widely known.

Will this make Abby better? I don't know. I suspect she will feel better. Damage from B12 is permanent, or can be.


Another interesting find- her D levels are always very low.. in the Spectracell testing? Just fine. So her body is making enough even though her blood serum doesn't show it.. We have been using vitamin D oil as a body lotion on her.. either that works or she never had low low D to begin with...

Where this leads? Who knows. But, I suspect this is the path I kept hoping would pop up and call out to us to follow.

Will update.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No Recipes or Rants today..

For once, I cannot think of a thing to rant about, and I haven't created any new take on food to share.


Abby is finally bouncing back from her last flare. She simply had too many appointments outside the house. She can handle 1 appt a week two weeks in a row, but that third? That threw her over the edge. Now we know. On a positive, last year, I don't she could have handled 2 in a row last year, so progress in any amount I will take!


We haven't introduced any new foods recently, but when she is flared introducing any new food is a "recipe" for failure. Maybe in August we will try a few new foods.



Of course just as we get her back on track, more appointments on the horizon.. unavoidable. The dental work she so sorely needs begins next week- we are all in a state of panic. Considering even a car ride in her PJ's tuckers her out, dental work is a recipe for disaster no matter how carefully it is done. Sigh. We try to be ready for the inevitable crash, but what Abby and I have learned, there is no way to prepare. When you feel reasonably in control of your body before an appointment but then come home from an appointment and for the week's after even your bladder no longer answers to you,you struggle to standup, you struggle to eat even... I understand why she avoids leaving the house. I simply cannot imagine paying such a high price as your body falling apart for weeks for 1 simple hour out of the house.. no wonder she is so content to be home. I would not be as brave as Abby if I had to face feeling like my body was dying for just an hour out of the house- she has courage!

Then the next week an appointment with a new Allergist. This we do with much trepidation. Over the years the Specialists who have cared the most and done the best by Abby are the Allergists. But because of our vast experiences in that world, I kind of know what to expect on "average".. So, when we picked this particular Allergist we picked him specifically because we found out he has a background in Mast disorders. Certainly not a specialist in the field, but just that he is familiar makes us hopeful. Of course we are trying very hard not to expect too much! I tend to hope that each new Dr. Abby see's will be the "Dr. House" who can finally give us some answers that help all of us get a grip on what,when,where... We hope that he can help sort- intolerances,allergies,cross reactions, triggers,and what is just her gut saying No-thanks! If the only thing he can help Abby with is figuring out why she tolerates no meds(even compounded) we will feel the visit was worth his time and Abby's. Abby's energy is not to be wasted. Heck, she won't even leave the house unless she MUST- the misery,fatigue,pain, hibernation that comes after each outing is simply not worth it to her. So when I book an appointment especially with someone new- it makes me incredibly anxious that I may have picked wrong and I will have wasted her precious energy - fingers crossed.

Other then that, we are just enjoying the summer. No school buses rolling by every 2 hours, no crazy traffic of Mom's lining up 2x a day to drop off and pick up.. the sound of happy children who feel so free without school and all of it's confines echoing through the neighborhood.. Even though mine are well past school aged, I hold summer dear! Such freedom and based on the good vibes coming from the neighborhood and community all the things I loved and my girls loved about summer are a constant.

The big news around here is a new washer and dryer. "New".. I actually bought something new. In 25 years this is the first "new" washer and dryer I have bought. Partially because it was on sale for 100 bucks off each piece, then 50 dollar rebate on each piece and then Derek got an additional 10 percent Veteran's discount on top of that.. it was honestly as cheap as some of the used sets I have been watching in the classified ads.. Unheard of..but joyful! I feel like a kid- imagine,something as basic as a washer and dryer making us all giddy!! My poor old dryer squeals so loudly that the other day I actually heard it through the walls of the laundry room and then through the garage to the yard! I have listened to the squeal for a couple months(okay going on 6 months,it is a fighter!).. at first I figured the old dryer would eventually settle down.. Then as it got louder and louder we cracked jokes that it was "screaming" to have us put it down and buy a new one..I have begun doing laundry at weird hours since it squeals so loudly now that we cannot hear ourselves think let alone talk or watch a show... Now I almost respect that old dryer.. despite clearly being in agony(based on the noise and not drying the clothes well) that old miserable dryer just keeps trying. Almost seems wrong not to figure out how to encourage it to keep fighting! :-) We have already spent money repairing it once and since I paid just 100 bucks on it to begin with spending that much each year to repair seems wasteful. I am sure after my initial joy with the new set, I will probably miss that old set that despite being bought very used it has faithfully washed and dried more clothes and towels then I ever expected it to.. Never goes off balance.. no annoying beeping, just a nice steady constant...I really have been home too much if I am already mourning a near dead appliance! LOL


I do have a few new idea's for food- my latest kick is trying to ferment tofu.. we will see how that pan's out. I did make a batch of tofu(well nofu)fake feta.. the flavor is spot on, but the texture is still very "nofu.".. I need to tinker with that... We are all waiting for fresh peaches, still Abby's favorite. I dragged home some new interesting spices and foods from my latest Asian store visit- that could be entertaining!

Fingers crossed- that Abby's body cuts her some slack, and doesn't crash for once after this dental work- odds are, she will, but you never know, we just keep hoping that she can avoid the crash!





Monday, July 8, 2013

Article on why CORN is BAD for our Guts- Corn Oil Usage Increases Villous Atrophy

Posted on the Gluten Free Society Website-






Corn Oil Usage Increases Villous Atrophy

A number of research studies have shown that corn gluten can create inflammatory damage to those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Past articles on Gluten Free Society have addressed this issue thoroughly.
Corn Oil Linked To Villous Atrophy
A study published in the medical journal, Pediatric Research, investigated different dietary fats and their influence on gut damage and inflammation. The findings revealed that corn oil increased villous atrophy, and also caused an increased production of inflammatory chemicals. One of the mechanisms suspected as the cause is the high level of omega 6 fatty acids found in corn oils.
Source: Pediatr Res. 1997 Dec;42(6):835-9.
The Gluten Free Warrior’s Comment
Most packaged gluten free products contain heavy quantities of corn. Aside from the corn gluten itself posing a threat to health, this study identifies that the high levels of omega 6 fatty acids in corn oil contribute to increased levels of inflammation.
Corn oil is a major ingredient used in restaurants. It is commonly mixed with genetically modified soy oil, and together the two toxic compounds are typically referred to as vegetable oil. Despite the fact that neither corn or soy are vegetables (corn = grain & soy = legume). Add to this the fact that most corn in the U.S. is genetically modified. Bt toxin and Round Up are both chemicals found in GMO corn that have been shown to cause gastrointestinal changes, and increased food allergy reactions. Mold toxins in corn have also been shown to cause severe health issues. The diagram below illustrates many of the detrimental health impacts of corn:

Do yourself a favor – if you are trying to heal, cut out the corn if you haven’t already.
Always looking out for you,
Dr. Osborne – AKA The Gluten Free Warrior
P.S.
If you found the article helpful, please forward it to someone you love and click the “like” button above.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blackberry Rhubarb Brownies(gluten-free, chocolate free, soy free, corn-free, nut and seed free)



I had leftover blackberries in the freezer but only about 1 cup. I also had about 1 cup of frozen rhubarb. For those who have multiple allergies and especially corn and chemical allergies it is shockingly hard to find safe berries and fruit. When we do, I put every single bit to good use. When I found the abandoned berries and rhubarb buried deep in the freezer it was clear they were on the edge of freezer burn. So I threw them in the dehydrator. It took longer then I expected to really really dry them, I think about 12 hours. But they were rock hard and dry dry.. they had shrunk to what looked like slivers of rhubarb and coarse ground salt for the size of the blackberries. What to do with them? I decided to grind them in the ninja single serve. To my surprise they ground to a lovely fine powder. I mixed a couple teaspoons of super fine sugar(grind the sugar in the ninja or coffee grinder to get super fine). I was thinking I could make a powdered drink mix out of it.. add it to lemonade? It tasted wonderful. It reminded me of the those candies- I think they were called lick a stick?
Lately we have really been missing brownies. Abby is clearly allergic to chocolate. I have been wondering what "powdered" ingredient I could add to a favorite brownie recipe to replace the cocoa powder... why not the blackberry/rhubarp powder? I have to admit, these were not bad at all! Actually really delicious. Tangy, sweet, and tart and perfect for a great and easy summer dessert. Next time I do think I will double the recipe, we prefer a thicker brownie- I will turn the temperature down a bit.. but, hands down- these are a keeper. Better then that, all those bits of berries and fruits will be now in my dehydrator being dried past the point of dry and then ground into delicious powders - for baking, cold drinks. candy... I think I have a new favorite ingredient!



Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil(tropical traditions)melted
1/4 cup palm shortening(Spectrum)melted
1 cup sugar (Domino's)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade to be corn free,use safe potato vodka,grape vodka or coconut vodka)
2 eggs
1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dehydrated and finely ground rhubarb and blackberries
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (Hains or homemade)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

2 Stir together shortening,coconut oil, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together gf flour,powdered rhubarb and blackberry, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

3 Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

I made a frosting of lemon peel,fresh lemon juice, homemade powdered sugar, and palm shortening. Sprinkled some of the dehydrated and powdered berry and rhubarb powder across the top.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Just a Few Pics...


Fresh ground chicken burger grilled. On a homemade gluten free hamburger bun that I used dehydrated onion on instead of sesame seeds. Homemade mustard with a bit of horseradish for bite, egg free mayo seasoned with garlic and fresh rosemary, No-tomato roasted red pepper. Abby had one minus the tomato, but the pic was pretty with the tomato grown in our beds.


Trying my hand at fermenting/culturing chickpea Nofu(tofu.)


Savoy Cabbage Kimchi- found korean red pepper powder at the asian market and decided to use the savoy cabbage sitting my fridge instead of Nappa ready to eat Sunday..


a closer pic of the egg-free mayo. Found the recipe in the Living Without magazine and had to try it. Their recipe called for arrowroot or cornstarch but I use potato starch. Their recipe called for 1 1/2 teaspoon of the starch, I used to 3-4 heaping teaspoons and it was still kind of runny. Then because of so much raw starch it was a bit 'gritty, starchy". Decided to "hide" it by adding fresh minced garlic and fresh rosemary. It tastes great and certainly reminds me of mayo, but unless I can figure out how to cook the starch first I won't make it again unless we are forced to give up eggs. However, I think this jar will make a lovely sauce for noodles- a coconut cream sauce and this I can use for flavor and thickener! :-) Never waste.

Some homemade cherry preserves on top of our "fake cream cheese." Which is 1 part chickpea tofu well blended with 2 parts coconut yogurt and then strained for 2 days(in fridge after first 4 hours)- not exactly, but for pizza we herb it and it works great as a cream cheese replacement in desserts. Of course on a gluten free,dairy free, soy free, corn-free, egg-free graham cracker.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tube or Accessory?

Before you start screaming.. there are some very clear cut patients who clearly need a tube for survival. However, there is also a growing population of patients especially pediatric who aren't so clear cut. Especially in the last year I have had folks ask me, well if she really had Mito wouldn't she have a tube? A stereotype has been born. Though I can understand the basis, there are far more children sporting tubes in their bellies then ever before..

Medical intervention, or Prevention? Medical Necessity? Or Quality of Life?(this one is a hot topic!)What it seems to come down to is that it is up to the patient and their GI Dr. right now. I think it also depends on the disease process. I have met some seriously seriously ill patients in the Mast population(chronic and at times life threatening diseases)whose Drs. would never prescribe tube feeding..who survive on less then 4 foods for years. I have met a lot of allergy patients who are skeletal and have fewer the 2,3 or 4 foods, but no tubes recommended- I know plenty with gastroparesis from many different diseases, again tubes are the very last resort. Same story in many chronic illnesses populations. Seems like we have hit a new time when it is up in the air and based often on the Drs. individual theories and guess work on disease progression- Times are changing. Thankfully, there are still GI Drs. out there that support the choices we have made with Abby and our use it or lose it belief. It is also wonderful that Drs. seem to be creating individual protocols for each patient, if a tube works better for a particular child and is preferred by their family is it hurting anything? I don't know. I don't know if our use it or lose belief may hurt Abby in the long run, 18 years on the clock and so far so good but it is all up in the air for now. Maybe 5 years from now, tubes will be a thing of the past and the debate with it- we can all agree that would be great! :-)
This is the link I forward when I have been asked about tubes and why they see so many Mito kid's plugged in.

Failure to Thrive:

Here is the Government definition: (Via Medline Plus)

Failure to thrive refers to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly lower than that of other children of similar age and gender.


Causes
It is important to determine whether failure to thrive results from medical problems or factors in the environment, such as abuse or neglect.

There are many medical causes of failure to thrive. These include:

Chromosome problems such as Down syndrome and Turner syndrome
Organ problems
Thyroid hormone deficiency, growth hormone deficiency, or other hormone deficiencies
Damage to the brain or central nervous system, which may cause feeding difficulties in an infant
Heart or lung problems, which can affect how nutrients move through the body
Anemia or other blood disorders
Gastrointestinal problems that make it hard to absorbe nurtients or cause the body to have a lack of digestive enzymes
Long-term gastroenteritis and gastroesophageal reflux (usually temporary)
Cerebral palsy
Long-term (chronic) infections
Metabolic disorders

Complications of pregnancy and low birth weight
Other factors that may lead to failure to thrive:

Emotional deprivation as a result of parental withdrawal, rejection, or hostility
Poverty
Problems with child-caregiver relationship
Parents do not understand the appropriate diet needs for their the child
Exposure to infections, parasites, or toxins
Poor eating habits, such as eating in front of the television and not having formal meal times
Many times the cause cannot be determined.

Symptoms
Children that fail to thrive seem to be much smaller or shorter than other children the same age. Teenagers may not appear to have the usual changes that occur at puberty. However, it's important to remember that the way children grow and develop varies quite a bit. See: Normal growth and development

Symptoms of failure to thrive include:

Height, weight, and head circumference do not match standard growth charts.
Weight is lower than 3rd percentile (as outlined in standard growth charts) or 20% below the ideal weight for their height.
Growth may have slowed or stopped after a previously established growth curve.
In general, the child's rate of change in weight and height may be more important than the actual growth measurements.

Children who fail to thrive may have the following delayed or slow to develop:

Physical skills such as rolling over, sitting, standing and walking
Mental and social skills
Secondary sexual characteristics (delayed in adolescents)
Babies who fail to gain weight or develop often have a lack of interest in feeding or a problem receiving the proper amount of nutrition. This is called "poor feeding."

Other symptoms that may be seen in a child that fails to thrive include:

Constipation
Excessive crying
Excessive sleepiness (lethargy)
Irritability
Exams and Tests
The doctor will perform a physical exam and check the child's height, weight, and body shape. You will be asked questions about the child's medical and family history.

A special test called the Denver Developmental Screening Test will be used to show any delays in development. A growth chart outlining all types of growth since birth is created.

The following tests may be done:

Complete blood count (CBC)
Electrolyte balance
Hemoglobin electrophoresis to check for conditions such as sickle cell disease
Hormone studies, including thyroid function tests
X-rays to determine bone age
Urinalysis
Treatment
Treatment depends on the cause of the delayed growth and development. Delayed growth due to nutritional factors can be helped by showing the parents how to provide a well-balanced diet.

Do not give your child dietary supplements such as Boost or Ensure without talking to your health care provider first.

Other treatment depends on the severity of the condition. The following may be recommended:

Increase the number of calories and amount of fluid the infant receives
Correct any vitamin or mineral deficiencies
Identify and treat any other medical conditions
The child may need to stay in the hospital for a little while.

Treatment may also involve improving the family relationships and living conditions. Sometimes, the parent's attitudes and behavior may contribute to a child's failure to thrive.

Outlook (Prognosis)
Normal growth and development may be affected if a child fails to thrive for a long time.

Normal growth and development may continue if the child has failed to thrive for a short time, and the cause is determined and treated.

Possible Complications
Permanent mental, emotional, or physical delays can occur.


So this clearly states that weight though considered is not as important as overall development. This explains the "healthy" look many have..

I am not certain what nutritional testing is done during this process. I know that Spectracell actually can tell the Dr. the level of nutrition and micro nutrition at the cellular level, I wonder if this is used to help decide? Might be helpful to tell whether a child is just petite or is lacking necessary nutrition. It might also help monitor whether they are able to actually absorb much from their formula's,I know plenty of patients that don't seem to thrive on it either.. growth is not the only indicator for nutrition. There have been wide spread studies indicating that many obese patients are actually malnourished.. lack of nutrition can affect a child's cognitive development and future success academically.

I think this is a candle being burnt from both ends for many. May the answers come quickly,and tubes become an intervention of the past.

Strawberry Preserves - No Pectin



In the corn free(as well as clean, real foods which doesn't include citric acid(synthetic and grown on corn!), chemicals or colors) world many of us have found that any of the Pectins we have found to make our own jams,jellies, and preserves are too corn contaminated to tolerate.

Through trial and error many of us have learned to make fruit butters or to be content with a more "runny" end result, still tastes great and better yet, no corn.


I found an old canning book it is called; Quick and Delicious Canning, Pickling and Preserving. Written by Johna Blinn.

Finding this book is like finding gold, from brining recipes and tips to jellies, it is packed with many useful tips and tricks.

Best of all some tips for no pectin recipes.

1) 1/4 of the fruit you are making into jam/jelly should be short of being ripe. A fruit or berry that is not completely ripe has a higher pectin level naturally. Honestly, with all the sugar in a jam, a bit of tart from unripe fruit or berries is a positive and adds a depth of flavor we normally have to add lemon juice to achieve.

2) cooking longer- the longer you cook it like with fruit butters the thicker.




Here is the recipe for Strawberry Preserves
- follow it exactly and the results are lovely. The berries are left whole until the very last step. It is thick, sweet and well, perfect. Easy too! Abby is still not able to tolerate strawberries but the rest of us will enjoy this batch. I will be using some of these methods with fruits and berries that Abby does well with in the future.


4 cups hulled strawberries

(leave them whole and a few less then ripe ones will only help,remember berries and fruit that are not as ripe have more natural pectin)

3 cups sugar





1) Add sugar to berries in a 4-quart pan, let stand 10-15 minutes.

2) Bring berries to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved; cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes.

3) Let berries stand overnight in syrup.

4) Next morning, bring mixture to a boil; cook 1 minute.

5) Cover preserves; let stand 2 minutes then stir

6) Pour preserves into hot, clean jars; seal immediately. ( or unsealed containers in fridge for immediate use.)


On step 5 when it said I could stir, my berries broke apart into large pieces with ease. Preserves will have larger pieces of whole fruit or berries, but breaking them down a bit with some stirring offers a nice texture.

The Fast Cookie( gluten free, dairy free, nut and seed free, corn-free)


I was chatting with someone on my allergy group today(she had posted the most beautiful picture of a salmon dish I have ever seen!) and it ended up with us chatting and wondering if there is a good sugar cookie recipe that could be made with grapeseed oil. Don't ask how we went from salmon to cookies! LOL So of course I had to try it. This recipe can be doubled. But, what I really really liked about this recipe is the easiness. It took no time at all to mix, pat,cut and bake and it was cleaned up and done with before we knew it. These would be great with icing, glaze, crumbled into ice cream and a ton of other recipes where you are looking for something fast.

1 egg
1/3 c grapeseed oil(trader joe's is being used successfully by many in the corn allergy population)
1 tsp vanilla(homemade using potato or coconut or grape vodka)
1/3 c sugar
1 c gluten free flour
1 tsp baking powder(Hain's)
1 dash salt


1 Beat egg with fork and mix in remaining ingredients.
2 Drop by spoon on ungreased cookie sheet.Stamp each cookie with a glass that has oil on bottom of it and dipped in sugar each time. Bake at 400 until slightly golden around the edages.(about 8 minutes)

NOTE: Or pat on board sprinkled with sugar and cut with cookie cutter. transfer to cookie sheet with spatula. We preferred the texture when I patted the dough flat and cut out the rounds. In the picture above you can see both the ones flattened with a glass and the ones I cut.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Quotes

To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.
Irving Wallace




Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned. ~Mark Twain





I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill






The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ~Alvin Toffler





We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself. ~Lloyd Alexander






“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

- Einstein





“In the hour of adversity, be not without hope; for crystal rain falls from black clouds.”
Nizami (1141-1203






“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein





“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.”
Lao Tzu





“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase. ”
Martin Luther King, Jr.





“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”
Frank Lloyd Wright




“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.”
G.B. [Gladys Bertha] Stern





“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Thomas Edison

Monday, July 1, 2013

Some tech talk on Sugar ...follow up to why Sugar is NOT Evil.

I have enjoyed reading Andrew Kim's Blog- this post in particular hit home for us and I wanted to share it. Allergies, diet, and sugar are HUGE in our house and I found this post to back up some of our now proven "mom theories" with Abby.

Andrew Kim Blog(Click to Read Full Post)






A few cut and copied teasers from his post:


I’ve written about stress and the reasons for keeping it as low as possible. Refer back to those for context for this post. But briefly, the stress hormones—cortisol, adrenalin, noradrenalin, growth hormone, glucagon, and some others—are all catabolic and estrogenic. When they persist in the blood too long or excessively, irreversible degenerative processes are set in motion that affect all aspects and all levels of the body.

First and foremost, a deficiency of glucose—in the cell and blood—potently activates the stress metabolism, operating centrally by way of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. At the same time, the stress metabolism decreases the output of thyroid hormones: Indeed, it’s been repeatedly observed that thyroid hormone output and adrenal cortex activity share an inverse relationship.



n the heart, a deficiency of ATP depresses left ventricular functioning, as there is less energy available for robust contractions and complete relaxations. The impaired contraction also increases the ventricular blood volume so as to impose an increase in pressure on the left side of the heart. Less blood is pumped for every beat of the heart as a result (reduced stroke volume). Moreover, the increased resistance to flow in the blood vessels due to the deficiency of energy (or oxygen) adds further to the stress on the heart. Anything that increases the oxidative metabolism of glucose (of which there are some agents currently in the pipeline) appears to increase the heart’s viability and the chances of survival in patients with heart failure and arrhythmia.



He also goes into some discussion on histamines in this post as well(benadryl +acne)- not only is this post a must read, his entire blog makes sense when talking about Abby's health issues.

Sugar is NOT evil, but very restrictive diets and diets that are not balanced, could be..

Jam Ribbon Cookies(dairy free, nut-free, gluten free, corn-free )

This is very similar to a thumbprint cookie, except faster to make. This is great with any jam. If you want to use caramel for a filling bake for 20 minutes or till lightly browned and then once removed from oven and cooled to room temp, then fill with caramel. Cut when Caramel is set.

1 cup palm shortening, softened(spectrum)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(homemade only for corn allergies)
2-1/4 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder(hains or homemade)
1/4 teaspoon salt(pink himalayan)
1/2 cup raspberry jam(homemade safest for corn allergies- most pectins are corny, most store bought have citric acid which is corny previously posted recipe for raspberry jam with the zinger cake recipe)
GLAZE:
1 cup confectioners' sugar(corn free/homemade )
2 tablespoons plain yogurt or "milk"(we use homemade coconut yogurt,but any safe milk or yogurt will work fine)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions
In a large bowl, cream Palm shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Divide dough into four portions; shape each into a 10-in. x 2-1/2-in. log. Place a couple inches apart on greased,parchment or foil-lined baking sheets. Make a 1/2-in. depression down the center of each log(I used the handle of a wooden spoon). Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
Fill depressions with jam. Bake aprox 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes. cut into about 1 inch slices.(these break easier when hot to careful!) allow to cool.
In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cookies.

NOTE: I cut this recipe in half, if you cut in half go ahead and use a whole egg, don't try to split it. Should work fine with egg replacer.

 
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