Friday, December 9, 2011

Egg Free Royal Icing

As usual, I have no time to make or post anything new, but I thought at the very least I could re-post my egg free royal icing recipe. I don't think I could live without it this time of year. I hope it comes in handy for others in need too. I hope you all are having a very, very wonderful holiday season!!! :)
And here's the recipe...

1 c Powdered sugar
1 T Ener-G egg replacer (dry)
1 t Cream of tartar
1/8 t Xanthan gum
2 T Water (approximately)

Blend all dry ingredients together. Add water slowly until desired consistency is reached. Less water will be strong enough to bind gingerbread houses, more water will be better for a piping bag.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mini Cherry Pies: Gluten Free and Vegan

I had not planned to post this, it was an afterthought really. The rest of the family is having cheesecake for dessert on Thanksgiving and Emily asked for cherry pie. I was already using my 9" pie pan for the cheesecake, so we made her two mini pies in small ramekins. Again, I wasn't going to mention the pies here, but when we finished making them I stepped back and looked at them...they were adorable! They were so beautiful I HAD to get a picture! Then of course I thought "I have a picture, I might as well post it". The picture doesn't do them justice though. Maybe the holidays are making me overly emotional, but these doggone things were so cute I almost cried!


1 batch of pie crust, mine is here
1 can of allergy safe cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press your pie crust evenly into the ramekins. If you have any leftover crust you can cut designs for the top. This was my first ever lattice top...maybe THAT'S why I was so proud!(?) Fill crusts to 1/2" below the top. Crimp or decorate the tops as desired. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet in case your filling boils over. Bake until tops are golden. My pies have all varied from 50 minutes to one hour. These ones baked for 55 minutes.

I hope you all have a truly beautiful Thankgiving full of family, friends, and fabulous foods!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Enjoy Life Mega Chunks and Banana Oatmeal Mega Chunk Cookies

I was so excited when I heard about Enjoy Life's new Mega Chunks, but then I couldn't find them in my local store. Then Enjoy Life contacted me and asked if I would like to review them and I said oh yes, yes! For the record, they also sent me a bag of their new chocolate granola to review. It tastes wonderful! I've always enjoyed the flavors of Enjoy Life granolas, but I have a problem with the texture. I am not a crunchy person, and they are definitely harder than oat based granolas. However, if you are the kind of person who loves snacking on corn nuts, like my mother, then you should definitely give it a try. Now back to the Mega Chunks. They are wonderful little chocolate chunks, about the size of half a Tootsie Roll, and have so much potential that I had a hard time deciding what to do with them first (besides eating them straight out of the bag, which we also did). Remember, they are free of all top 8 allergens, Kosher, and have no trans fats or artificial ingredients...not to mention delicious! Meanwhile, I had a brown banana calling my name and two girls in need of cookies, so was born the banana oatmeal chocolate chunk cookie. :)

1/2 c Gluten free oat flour
1/2 c Sorghum flour
1/8 c Potato starch
1/8 c Tapioca starch
1/4 t Xanthan gum
1/2 t Baking soda
1 t Salt
1 t Cinnamon
3/4 c Dairy free margarine (or Spectrum Shortening for soy free)
1 c Brown sugar
1 1/2 c Pureed bananas
1 t Gluten Free vanilla extract
3 c Gluten free rolled oats
About 20 -25 pieces of Enjoy Life Mega Chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Whisk together oat flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. Cream together margarine and brown sugar. Add vanilla and banana. Mix well, scraping sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all margarine is incorporated. Blend in the flour mix. Add oats, and stir for 1 more minute.
Drop cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet by large tablespoons (or using a small spring action ice cream scoop like I did). Press one Mega Chunk deep into the center of each cookie (they tend to rise back out a bit when baking).
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. The chocolate chunks take about an hour to harden back up, so if you are going to be stacking your cookies for storage, you may want to refrigerate them for a few minutes first.
These cookies were really delicious, and possibly bordering on healthy. I can't wait to try another recipe with this chocolate...maybe the blondie recipe on the back of the bag. Yum!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"The Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread" Gluten Free, Egg Free, and Dairy Free! by Laurie Sadowski

I am reviewing a new cookbook this week, The Allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread. It is available HERE on Amazon for only $11.54! If you are new to gluten free cooking this book will be a lifesaver. When I first started this allergen free endeaver, (oh gosh, has it been 10 years ago already?), I bought an allergy cookbookbook that had a comprehensive list of gluten free flours and their properties and I could not have ever come this far without it. The problem is that there are more flours available now than there were 10 years ago, so many of the new flours were not included in my first book. The allergy Free Cook Bakes Bread not only has an extensive list of flours, but also a wonderful guide to dairy replacements, and egg replacements! I really do believe this is a must-have book! Now, as I have been writing this my Chocolate Chip Scones from this book have been baking. In the time it took for me to take and upload a picture...they are gone! In other words, I would buy this book just for the information it provides, but as a bonus the recipes are amazing too! :) Included are recipes for quick breads, yeast breads, scones, tortillas, bagels, focaccia, and more. I want to thank Laurie Sadowski for sending me a copy of this book!!! I let Emily decide which recipe we should make first and review, and this was her choice:


1/2 c Sorghum flour
1/4 c Quinoa flour (we subbed with millet)
1/4 c Tapioca starch
2 T Sugar
1 1/4 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Baking soda
1/2 t Xanthan gum
1/8 t Sea salt
3 T Dairy free margarine
1/3 c Enjoy Life chocolate chips
5 T Soy milk (or other milk alternative)
1 T Cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together soy milk and vinegar. Set aside.
Put the sorghum flour, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a dry whisk until combined. Using a pastry cutter or two knives (or mashing with a whisk like I do), cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour 1/4 cup of the soy milk and vinegar mixture (vegan buttermilk, for which the recipe is also in this book) into the flour mixture to make a dough and stir until just moistened, add the rest if needed. Using floured hands, gather the dough into a cohesive ball and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Gently knead dough 2 or 3 times until it holds together. Pat into a 1/2" thick circle. (At this point I sprinkled a little sugar on top because we like sweet.) Using a floured knife cut the dough into 4 wedges, pulling them apart only slightly.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm. ( Ours were definitly served warm, the house smelled like chocolate chip cookies and the kids came running!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Lunch Box" Gluten Free Apple Pies

I thought these would make great little take-along pies for Emily's school lunches, that was the plan anyway.I guess I didn't really think it through, because we made them on Friday and the recipe only made five pies, so of course by Monday when I went to pack her lunch they were all gone. Oh well, at least I know they were good! By the way, if anyone knows the name for this type of pie (mini, with the filling enclosed in crust) please tell me. I know that they have a name which is escaping me and it's driving me crazy!

1/3 c plus 1 T Chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 c Rice flour
1/4 c Sorghum flour
1/4 c Potato starch
1/8 c Sweet rice flour
1/8 c Tapioca starch
1 1/2 t Dry Ener-G egg replacer
1/4 t Salt
2 t Sugar
2 to 3 T Ice water

In a large bowl with a wire whisk blend all dry ingredients. Cut in vegetable shortening until particles are the size of small peas (most recipes say to use a pastry cutter or two knives, I actually use my whisk in a potato masher sort of way, alternating between stirring and mashing until the desired consistancy is reached). Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry dough holds together when shaped into a ball with hands (1 to 2 teaspoons additional water can be added if necessary). Flatten into a rectangle and chill dough for at least an hour.

2 c Thinly siced apples (about 2 med. apples)
1/2 c Water
1 T Lemon juice
2 T Brown sugar
1/2 t Cinnamon
1 or 2 dashes of Nutmeg

Stir all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender-crisp and the liquid has reduced to a syrupy coating. let the apples cool before handling them.

I guess I should have taken pictures, but I think it's pretty easy to understand. Take the dough out and allow it to rest at room temperature for a few minutes. Roll it into a rectangle 40"x 20", using sweet rice flour for dusting if necessary. Cut into 10 rectangles, each 4"x 2".
Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
For each pie, lay one rectangle on the parchment paper. Then lay a mound of apple filling down the center, leaving acout 1/4" of crust open around the entire perimeter. Lay another rectangle of crust on top, lining up the edges, stretching a little if needed. If dough tears, it can be mended with a little pinching (if it won't stick, wet your fingers with a little water). Crimp all around the outside edges with a fork or crimping tool. Try to keep the thickness of the crimped edges about the same as the original thickness of the crust, in other words, around the edges the two layers should now be pressed to the same thickness as one layer would be. If you make it too thin the edges will burn.

TOPPING: (optional)
Brush tops of pies with a very thin mix of powdered sugar and water. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.

Preheat oven to 350. Cut slits or designs into the top of each pie. Bake approximately 50 minutes. I checked mine at 45 minutes and they were not done. I cooked them for 60 minutes and they were a little crunchier than I would have liked. So, I'm thinking 50 minutes is a good time, but I haven't tried it yet. When I get around to making these again I will come back and revise this part.

Well, there you have it. Happy Snacking!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Human Rumination Syndrome

This isn't really a formal post. It has just occured to me that I need help and information, and I have this forum to put my plea out into the world wide web, and I have found myself with a few minutes to write. I posted a while back about my daughter Amanda and her diagnoses of Eosinophilic Esophagitis. We now think the EE is actually a reaction to the fact that she is constantly regurgitating. Every single day she gets up and has something to eat, then as soon as she is done eating, and continuously for the rest of the day, her food comes back up one small mouthful at a time. She simply swallows it back down and goes about her day, it is so constant that there really is no other option. Also, every time she eats, her stomach gets hard and swollen, but she showes no outward signs of having gas. We finally ended up at a GI who looked at her multitude of tests for her tummy troubles and said "I've been doing this for 15 years and I've never seen this before, I'm sorry, I don't know what to tell you". Huh??? We need answers!!! So, we went online and started Googling all of her symptoms, and WE found the answer. She has Human Rumination Syndrome. Unfortunately it is a "syndrome" and not a disease, so no pill or quick fix. We found a biofeedback breathing technique here that actually seems to help keep her food down but it's almost impossible to do as constantly as she needs to and still live a normal life, and when I tried to make an appointment with them they said they don't deal in her condition and refused us.
I doubt that any of my regular readers know anything about this condition, but again it is my hope that by putting this on the internet maybe someone out there who is just searching key words will see this and have some information, or input, or ANYTHING. It can't hurt to try. Right? I welcome any comments, thoughts, suggestions, and stories. Thank you!
For my regular readers, I really do plan to start posting more recipes again soon...I really do! :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins-Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Egg Free

Well, we have probably all noticed that I don't seem to have time to create new recipes anymore, but I do find myself drawing on other great bloggers recipes from time to time. My daughter was craving lemon poppy seed muffins recently and in searching for a gluten free version I discovered Nicole at Gluten Free On A Shoestring, and I am so glad I did! Here is the link to her recipe for GF muffins (which do contain dairy and eggs) . Nicole uses a flour blend called Better Batter which I am planning to try in the near future. I didn't have any flour blends on hand so I used one of my usual combos, but there are so many blends out there right now, and you can certainly substitute 2 cups of your favorite blend for the first 5 ingredients in my recipe (also leave out the xanthan gum if your blend already contains it). These muffins are incredible, even without eggs and dairy!

½ c Rice flour
½ c Sorghum flour
½ c Millet flour
¼ c Tapioca starch
¼ c Potato starch
1 t Xanthan gum
1 t Baking powder
1/2 t Baking soda
¼ t Salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 T Poppy seeds
½ c Dairy free margarine
¾ c Sugar
2 Eggs worth of egg replacer
1 c Soy yogurt (I used half lemon and half vanilla)
½ t Vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, place the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds, and mix to combine. These are the dry ingredients. You want the lemon zest and poppy seeds to be coated in dry ingredients so they don’t clump together in the batter. Set the bowl aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Add the egg replacer, soy yogurt, vanilla extract, and lemon juice, beating well to combine after each addition. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and beat well until the batter becomes thicker and a bit more elastic.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups of the muffin tin. Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

We also drizzled a little icing over ours, made from powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil and Gluten Free Vegan Almond Cookies

I have decided in this post to do a review and a recipe at the same time. I was sent a jar of Kelapo Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil, and I have been having so much fun with it that I didn't know where to start. Coconut oil has many health benefits which you can read about by following the link below. The most relevant health benefit here, however, is that it is a dairy free, soy free baking alternative! Now I know some people don't like the taste of coconut. In the almond cookie recipe below you really can't taste it. For those of us who DO like coconut, I have to tell you, I tried spreading it on toast like the company suggests and it was amazing! The first thing you taste is coconut, then after a few seconds I swear it tastes and feels like butter on your tongue. Tonight we are going to try melting it and pouring it over popcorn. Oh yes, and I've been cooking my stir fry and root veggie casserole in it too, this really is wonderful stuff! Thank you to Jen over at the Kelapo company for introducing me to a wonderful new baking alternative! I would also like to mention that this product is organic and fair trade certified. I am having trouble with my integrated links, so please follow the link below to find out everything you want to know about Kelapo Coconut Oil
On to the recipe...I'll keep this short, but I have to mention why I made these. When I was a little girl my Grandma would occasionally bring home a little pink bakery box with fresh baked Chinese almond cookies inside. They were so amazing! I recently felt an overwhelming desire to share this with my kids, so I altered a recipe to be gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and soy free. Guess what...they didn't even like them! Silly kids!!! Anyway, despite what the kids may say I think these are incredible. I ate the whole batch! :)

1 c Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil (please see link above)

3/4 c Sugar

1 Eggs worth of Ener G Egg replacer

1 t Gluten free almond extract

1 c Almond flour

3/4 c Brown rice flour

3/4 c Sorghum flour

1/8 c Potato starch

1/8 c Tapioca starch

1/2 t Xanthan gum

1 t Baking powder

1/4 t Salt

24 Whole blanched almonds

Optional: 2 parts corn syrup to 1 part water to be used as an "egg wash"

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine Kelapo Coconut Oil and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg replacer and almond extract; beat until well mixed. Add flours, starches, baking powder and salt. Beat until well mixed. If dough is too dry and crumbly, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it JUST comes together. If you add too much water your cookies will be like marzipan in the middle (believe me- I know).

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten to about ½ an inch thick. Press an almond into the center of each cookie.

Optional: If you want to mimic the look of egg wash, mix 2 parts corn syrup with 1 part water in small bowl, then brush tops of cookies with the mixture before baking.

Bake for 15 minutes or until just set. Cool completely.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peach Cobbler, Gluten Free and Vegan

This is my Aunt Jamie's beloved peach cobbler recipe from my childhood (with a few alterations of course). The last time I spoke to her she said "it's called Poor Man's Cobbler", and I said "no, it's called Aunt Jamie's Cobbler, it says so right here in my cookbook." :)
I have been playing with different flour blends and am still perfecting it, but I have found it's better to go very light on the starches. I hope this cobbler makes you feel as happy on the inside as it does me!

1/2 c Margarine
1 c Sugar
1 c Soy milk
1 c Gluten free flour blend
1 t Salt
1 1/2 t Baking powder
1 Pinch of baking soda
1/2 t Cinnamon
1 Quart canned peaches (or other desired fruit)- drained

Preheat oven to 350. Put the margarine into a medium sized casserole dish and place it in the preheating oven to melt.

Mix together the sugar, soy milk, flour blend, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Once the margarine is melted, remove dish from the oven and pour in half of the batter. Pour in the peaches, then pour the remaining batter over that.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until dough rises up to cover the peaches and is golden brown. (Depending on what your specific gluten free flour blend is, it may not turn golden brown, but it will look dry on top and will be fluffed up over the peaches).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eosinophilic Esophagitis and More Food Allergies

I know I haven't posted for a while, life has been busy, but as you can see we have new developments. I have always said that my oldest daughter, Amanda, has the fewest allergies...funny thing is, we had never had her tested.

So, lets start at the beginning. For over a year now, my 17 year old has been having tummy troubles, but she didn't tell me until about 5 months ago when it started getting really bad. Every single day she would get up and have something to eat, then as soon as she was done eating, and continuously for the rest of the day, her food would come back up one small mouthful at a time. She would simply swallow it back down and go about her day, it was so constant that there really was no other option. The doctors started ordering one test after another. Of course they all wanted to call it GERD, but there is no acid coming up, just food. One of the tests showed some bile pooling in her stomach, but the doctors didn't seem too worried about that. The biopsy showed EE, her eosinophilic count was over 60. Then we did the allergy test. The results... peanuts (which they weren't even supposed to test her for because of a family history of anaphylaxis), wheat, barley, dairy, soy, and beef. She cut all of these things out of her diet and for the first day she had no regurgitation. We were so excited, this was actually working!!! Every day following, however, her symptoms have returned. We have not yet figured out why. So this is where we are at in our journey. It's her journey really since she is an amazing young adult now, but of course I will always be here to love her and support her in any way I can. She has started a blog journaling her condition and the foods that she eats every day. She and her boyfriend eat out a lot and I've been really impressed so far with the options they have found and with the helpfulness of their servers at the restaurants. Her blog is . I may be biased, but I thinks she is an amazing writer and I am so very proud of her! I'm also very proud of how well she has been handling this whole thing. She inspires me :)

So, that's where we are now. I hope to be posting a peach cobbler recipe soon. Maybe, with this new inspiration, I will find the time and energy to start posting recipes more frequently again. Love and allergen free hugs to you all!