Saturday, July 19, 2014

Corn Free Chocolate Pudding - no cook


I have tried unsuccessfully, so far, to come up with a cooked pudding that does not use corn starch.  Tapioca starch is too gummy and arrowroot does not like dairy.  I know a blend is the way to go, so I am branching out into blends of starches and maybe some wheat free flours.  I'll keep working on it.  But in the mean time, I loved this avocado based chocolate pudding that I first saw on Comfy Belly, years ago.  I used more sweetener to taste but that is up to your personal sweet tooth!  I can tell you that this pudding makes the most amazing chocolate mousse when you fold in some whipped cream.  Oh my goodness, decadence.  Try out this super rich and satisfying treat, it's got lots of healthful fat and vitamins in it.  ☺

Instant Chocolate Pudding
Makes 3 servings

2 medium avocados (about 2 cups worth)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup maple syrup (anywhere from ½ c +2 tbsp to ¾ c + 2 tbsp works)
1 tsp vanilla
Mini chocolate chips for garnish (or fresh berries!)

Optional: sweetened whipped cream to fold in to finished pudding for chocolate mousse.

Add avocado, cocoa, syrup and vanilla to a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Scrape and mix again until fully combined and creamy.  Scrape pudding into a bowl and chill for an hour.  Or less.  Garnish as desired or fold in whipped cream for an even more decadent treat!

I don't have a pretty picture of the mousse, it didn't last long enough to make it to a bowl or cup!  But here it is in process:


Adapted very closely from Comfy Belly.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Favorite Pancakes


It's the name of the recipe in the cookbook:  Favorite Pancakes.  And that's just what they are to us.  R calls them "hooray fluffy pancakes!"  The cookbook is for one or two person recipes so I almost always double or triple it unless I am making them just for the girls.  At one point, I lost the cookbook, which had been given to me by a family friend as a going off to college present.  Had to order another copy and fortunately used copies were available since it was published in the late 60s.  I still haven't found the first one, though I know it is in the house somewhere.  It's now promised to my Mom and Dad, who are empty nesters.  Though I'm happy to share the recipe, I must admit that I am posting it mostly for my own benefit.  I don't ever want to lose this pancake recipe again!  That lovely yellow color is from the duck eggs I used this time, but regular chicken eggs work just fine and are what I use most often.  I just happened to find out I am allergic to chicken eggs.  And chocolate.  And cane sugar, apples, citrus, potatoes, coconut, wheat, corn, soy, onions and garlic.  I refuse to give up onions and garlic.  My allergy antigens will just have to overcome that sensitivity more slowly than if I eliminated.  At least I can have spelt flour.  I keep reminding myself it's only a short term elimination geared toward resetting tolerances and healing.  One thing I learned about pancake batter only recently is that not only can you over mix, you can also under mix.  Bring the batter together more than you would for say a muffin batter.  A few lumps are okay, but combine it pretty well.  Then you will get those lovely diner edges and finish from the first pancake to the last.


Favorite Pancakes
adapted from Cooking for Two
serves 4

1 1/3 cups light spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp oil or melted butter
1 tbsp maple syrup

 Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Combine milk, eggs, oil and syrup; add to dry ingredients, stirring to fully moisten and leave a few lumps.  Bake on a hot, lightly greased griddle.  Makes 10-12 pancakes.

These pancakes freeze wonderfully and reheat in the toaster for school mornings!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Oregon Clam Chowder for Daddy



After a trip down to the coast where hubby and I got to do our once a year two days to ourselves, and a new tomato sensitivity diagnosis for S, I decided it was time to re-visit New England clam chowder.  We eat clam chowder just about every day when visiting Astoria, Seaside and Cannon Beach, and the delicious cups of soup particularly from the Pig 'n Pancake are still fresh in our minds. We have also been testing my youngest for food sensitivities the past couple weeks.  So far my poor girl will have to avoid wheat, soy, corn, eggs, tomato and yeast.  Next test will be rice and potatoes.  (Oh please let them be negative!)  Still, after only two weeks of avoiding those foods, her school performance and behavior has improved 200%.  We have been through this once before with R, who was originally sensitive to soy, corn, dairy, eggs, tomato, potato, rice and yeast.  We just traded wheat for dairy this time.  Fortunately they still allow spelt!  It's hard to lose the tomatoes though, since we love them in our soups and both girls eat them like apples.  So the other night I was looking to make soup and didn't want to fall back on chicken noodle.  The weather said chowder and I happened to have all the ingredients necessary.  This version turned out even better than my previous one and hubby gave it two thumbs up.  It is not super thick like the Pig's chowder, but it is nicely clammy, rich and creamy with great flavor.  If you don't happen to have bacon grease on hand, you can fry up a few slices to snack on or freeze and use that rendered grease, or just substitute butter.

Oregon Coast Clam Chowder
serves 6

2 tsp bacon grease
½ onion, chopped
½ onion, finely diced
6 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
5 stalks celery, finely diced
fresh ground black pepper
6 tbsp spelt flour or all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
½ tsp sea salt

3 cans (6.5 oz each) chopped clams in their juice (if you're on the coast and it's clam season, use fresh clams!)
2 bottles (8 oz each) clam juice
3 medium potatoes, cubed (yukon or russet work fine)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
½ tsp dried dillweed

Melt the bacon grease in a saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the first half an onion, chopped, until tender.  Remove and set aside.  Now melt the butter in the same pan.  Add the second half an onion, finely diced, garlic, celery and a good grind of pepper, about ¼ tsp.  Cook and stir for about 7 minutes until the celery is tender and the onion is translucent.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute.  Add the chicken broth, salt and milk.  Bring to a boil.  Cook for a minute or so until thickened.  If you prefer a thicker chowder, try increasing the flour to a full ½ cup to get a very thick cream soup base.

While the celery and onion mixture is cooking, pour the clam juice in another pot and simmer with the potatoes for about 10-15 minutes, gently stirring on occasion to prevent sticking.  If there isn't enough liquid to cover the potatoes, add the juice from the clams as well.  When the celery mixture is thickened, add the potatoes and clam juice, and the reserved onions.  Add the milk, cream, and dillweed and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.  Stir in the clams and cook until heated through.

 Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Red and Green Enchiladas with Homemade Flour Tortillas


The other day I was lamenting the fact that I could not find the one single brand of spelt tortilla I had ever seen in stores that did not have allergens in it for R.  That means in particular, no corn, corn derivatives or soy.  So I went back through my Pinterest boards, remembering that I had pinned a promising flour tortilla recipe within the last few months.  I found it and tried it out.  And it was a total winner!  They are called Best Ever Homemade Flour Tortillas and they did not disappoint.  I made mine with white spelt flour and coconut oil.  (That's refined oil with no coconut flavor.)  It took about ¼ cup plus two tbsp extra flour to get the dough to the proper smooth state, not too sticky.  That's the nature of spelt.  That dough is deliciously soft!  I love the Café Sucré Farine blog and highly recommend checking it out.  Here is how my tortillas turned out:


They were mostly around seven inches.  I did flatten them with a tortilla press the first time instead of my hands.  Then they pull back into a nice round patty of about four inches.  After resting, they roll out thin very easily.  I used half the batch for tonight's enchiladas, the rest I froze for later.

The other cool find I had was an enchilada sauce that was also allergen friendly.  A brand called Frontera that so far, I have only seen at Whole Paycheck.  I got one red and one green to try and decided to do both at once tonight.  Hubby liked the green best but liked the red as well.  The girls chose red and didn't try the green, but since they cleaned their plates and each ate an entire enchilada, I am assuming it was very good for them.  They have never eaten the tortilla out of an enchilada type casserole or dish when I used store bought, only picked out the filling.  One more super win for the homemade tortillas.  As a matter of fact, S ate the tortilla first and then the filling after some prompting.  Once she tasted it though, she cleaned her plate too.  We are all happily stuffed tonight.  The sauce is lightly spicy but not too much for my girls.  Hubby could have put some green tabasco on the green side but was happy without as well.  You can always use pepper jack cheese and hot salsa if you like it hotter.  I dressed up a bechamel to make it just a touch cheesy and add to the enchilada sauce.  When asked if this was a make again dish, hubs said, "Yes, definitely - preferably on a Friday when we can have leftovers for lunch on the weekend."  Everyone was "starving" tonight and dinner disappeared so fast I only got one quick phone photo of the finished dish!


(Next day, 6 year old S is begging for leftover enchiladas for her dinner.  One of each.  Well, one half of each, she is only 6!)

Two-tone Enchiladas
serves 6

8 7" flour tortillas, homemade recommended

Filling:
1 lb grassfed ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4oz can diced green chilies
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder or southwest seasoning
pinch turmeric (optional)

Sauce:
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp turmeric (optional)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup salsa
2 8oz pouches enchilada sauce, green or red or both

Topping:
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup shredded jack cheese
small can sliced olives

Saute the ground beef and onions in a large pan until the beef is browned and the onions are tender.  Mix in the beans, chilies, salt, cumin, chili powder and turmeric.  Set aside, off the heat.  


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour.  Cook and stir for a minute until foaming.  Take off the heat and slowly add milk, stirring or whisking constantly until smooth.  Return to heat and cook until mixture boils and thickens slightly.  Add in the salt, pepper and turmeric.  Remove from heat and stir in the ½ cup cheese until melted.  Then stir in the salsa.  If using one kind of enchilada sauce, combine it all with the cheese sauce.  If using both red and green, divide the cheese sauce in two and add separately to the sauces.  Stir 1 cup of the sauce back into the filling, ½ cup each of red and green sauce.  Spread ½ cup of sauce over the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish, ¼ cup each of red and green on each half of the pan.  Warm the tortillas slightly to roll easier, and divide the filling evenly among them.  Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.


Once the enchiladas are all lined up in the pan, top with the remaining sauce, one color on each half.  Mix the cheddar and jack cheeses together and sprinkle over the top of the sauce.  Then spread the olives evenly over as well.  Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375ºF for 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until done to your liking.  Let sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if you want to be fancy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Challah



Here is another catch up recipe that is very appropriate since Easter is only about a week away.  Sweet and That's It is where you can find great step by step pictures on how to make it.  And it was originally posted by one of the BBB right here in 2008.  It's funny that I've never made challah before, because we love egg bread.  I'm sure I've made something similar.  The girls loved this version, not as sweet or rich as some challahs I've seen, but so soft and spongy that they went through half a loaf in one sitting.  The recipe makes two loaves so I decided to do one in the traditional braid and one in a loaf pan.  They both turned out beautiful and I'll definitely make them again.  Might try a more enriched version next to see which we prefer.  I think this one will keep better.  If we have any leftovers, and that is a big IF, I understand that this makes the most marvelous french toast.  An egg bread for an eggy bread.  Perfect.  Since I used spelt flour for my loaf, I did not beat the batter for minutes at a time.  I added by portions as it was worked in and only kneaded until the dough was smooth and elastic.  Just a few minutes for spelt.  And while this is traditionally a fancy braided bread, it made a great sandwich style loaf as well.


Challah
makes 2 loaves

5½-6½ cups flour (I used light spelt, kamut and potato flour)
3 tbsp sugar
1½ tsp sea salt
1 pkg active dry yeast (I used 2 tsp instant yeast)
½ cup butter, softened (I used half butter, half greek yogurt)
pinch of powdered saffron (I used threads)
1 cup warm water
4 eggs, room temperature, divided
1 tsp cold water
poppy seeds for topping

Combine 1¼ cup of flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.  Mix in the softened butter (and yogurt if using).  Stir the saffron into the warm water until it dissolves and wait for it to cool down a bit (100-110°F).  Add the saffron water slowly to the flour mixture and blend thoroughly.  Beat for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer (or in the stand mixer) at medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally.  (I did this part in the bread machine.)  Separate the yolk and white of one egg. Reserve the yolk for the egg wash.  Blend the egg white and the other 3 eggs into the batter.  Stir ½ cup flour into the batter and beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Blend in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured board for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic.  Cover the dough and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place until double in bulk (about one hour).

To shape the dough, flour a pastry board or cloth lightly and set the dough on it.  Divide dough in half and cover one piece.  You can either do a 6 strand braid as I did, (google for directions), or do a stacked regular 3 strand braid.  Use 2/3 dough for the base and 1/3 for the top.  Tuck the ends under for a nice finish.  Repeat braiding with second piece of dough.  Place the loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Mix the reserved egg yolk with the 1 tsp cold water and brush the top of the loaves with the mixture.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds and let rise covered with plastic wrap or a towel until almost double, in a warm draft free place (about 1 hour).  Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400°F.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until done.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


Back to the Future, Buddies

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chocolate Chip Butternut Spice Muffins


I made these to use up a squash that had been sitting around for a couple months.  (Love winter squash that last that way.)  I wasn't expecting too much.  I will be getting butternut squash more often now.  These are so tasty and moist that I can't eat just one at a time, I must have two.  At least the standard muffin tin size still makes it less than a costco muffin.  I heated one up for 6 year old S this morning.  She raised her eyebrows skeptically and slightly wrinkled her nose.  (They don't look like much.)  She said, "It looks okay...  It smells good...  Mmmmmm, it's delicious!"  I love her little dramatic pauses.  I haven't gotten R's reaction to them yet, she has one in her lunch box today and had the same skeptical reaction when I told her about it.  We'll find out shortly if they fly with her as well.  Well, they got an emphatic GOOD! with eyes wide open and a big smile.  And a request for more.

This was originally a pumpkin recipe, but the butternut squash is so mild flavored that this is a year round little spice muffin.  Almost a cupcake.  Slap some cream cheese frosting on there and it would qualify.  This batch made a baker's dozen muffins for me with the extra going in a custard cup.  The inside of these muffins is chock full of chocolate chips, but if you want to be fancy, you can sprinkle some on top of the batter to look extra pretty.

Chocolate Chip Butternut Spice Muffins
makes 1 dozen standard muffins plus one

2 large eggs
¼ cup coconut oil
245g (about 1 cup) cooked butternut squash, pureed
¼ cup milk
2/3 cup evaporated cane sugar
1¾ light spelt flour
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp ground allspice
½ cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Blend the eggs, coconut oil, squash, milk and sugar together in a blender or food processor.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, soda, spices and chocolate chips until thoroughly blended.  Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and mix by spoon or whisk, just until combined and all the flour is moist.

Scoop the batter into the tins using a muffin scoop or large spoon.  The wells should be about ¾ full.  Baker for about 20 minutes or until light golden on top and done.  Cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan to cool on a rack.  Delicious warm or room temperature.

Especially delicious warm and melty chocolatey with a glass of milk!

Inspired by Vitamix.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Catching up - 5-Grain Bread with Walnuts

 

Time for another catch up bake-along, making old recipes from the BBB that I didn't get to do the first time around.  Today, a nice, nutty five grain loaf.  Well actually, seven grains for me.  The original recipe came from My Kitchen In Half Cups, and the chance to bake it again came from Sweet and That's It.  I admit I was tempted to leave out a main ingredient, the walnuts.  Not because I don't like them, but I wasn't sure about the girls and I needed to use this for sandwich bread.  But I remembered they like Dave's Killer Bread and that is nutty, so decided to go ahead.  I did double the sugar for the heaviness of the grains and for sandwich bread flavor, though I used coconut sugar so it wasn't double the sweetness.  Just a rich caramel note and a touch of sweet.  Perfect for my needs.  The dough actually turned out to be pretty forgiving too, given the grains I used.  My timing ran into an hour long appointment and I had to pop the loaves in the fridge and hope they wouldn't over proof before I got back!  The results were nicely risen, enough oven spring, and a firm but moist crumb that was not dense as I had feared it might be.  It makes divine toast and dandy sandwiches.  Now I raised my eyebrows at the amount of salt, and the dough tasted a bit salty, but the bread is fine.  However I did use celtic sea salt, which doesn't have the harsh pure sodium chloride saltiness of table salt.  I would use less of that or kosher salt if using either of those. 

5 Grain Bread with Walnuts
makes two 9x5-inch loaves (I used 8x4 pans)

1¼ cups (125 g) walnuts, roughly chopped
3¼ tsp instant yeast or 3¾ tsp active dry soaked in ¼ cup lukewarm water
3 cups (720 ml) water, room temperature (I reduced by ¼ cup as well as omitting the ¼ cup yeast water soak for active dry version)
3¾ cups (500 g) unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 3 cups spelt and ¾ cup kamut)
1¼ cups (125 g) oat flour or finely ground rolled oats (I used ground sprouted oats)
1 cup + 2 tbsp (125 g) rye flour (I used the last of my dark rye and a bit of emmer)
1 cup less 1 tbsp (125 g) whole-wheat flour (I used sprouted wheat flour)
¾ cup (125 g) brown rice flour
1 tbsp sugar (2 tbsp coconut sugar)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp (20 g) salt (celtic sea salt)

Carefully toast the walnuts in the oven or stovetop.  Don't let them burn.  (I skipped this because my walnuts were sprouted/crispy.)  Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Reserve a third in another bowl.  Add the water to the mixing bowl and combine to get a sticky dough.  Rest for 20 minutes.  Add in the walnuts to disperse evenly and knead in the remaining portion of dry ingredients until the dough is firm and elastic and no longer sticky.  (I mixed mine with a mixer and let it remain just slightly sticky.)  Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Divide the dough in two and shape into loaves.  Place in two greased loaf pans and let rise until doubled again, 45-60 minutes.  Slash the tops as desired and bake in a preheated 400ºF oven for 40-45 minutes.  This is a heavier bread and will need to be completely baked to avoid a gummy interior.  Interior temperature should be around 200-205º.  (I baked mine 40 minutes and then removed from the pans and baked another 5 minutes.)  Cool completely on a rack when done.  Slice only when completely cool. 


These loaves slice very nicely so you can get a thin slice but still have a very hearty sandwich.  I am a toast lover though, so I will probably make some tuna melts soon!  Comfort food!

Oh yes, awesome tuna meltage.


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Back to the Future, Buddies
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