Saturday, December 12, 2009


We're going to the city today to pick up presents as well as our usual foods. I intend to get more of certain things than usual so that I can bake up a storm. Despite my last post, I have started to enjoy baking again (slowly but surely). As I become familiar with the different flours and such, it becomes easier and less of a science experiment, as I once described it.
Anyway, all that to say: look forward to some Christmas recipes coming soon! :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

My hatred of Baking

If you have come to visit me today in hopes of a new recipe, I fear I will be turning you away empty-handed. This is not a food post but a musing. This is me exploring my inner being to shed light on a subject I find most distressing: my hatred of baking. You can thank Shauna over at Gluten-Free Girl for pushing this to the forefront of my mind by asking "Why do you love baking?"
How incredibly odd, I bet you say, for a food blogger to say they hate baking! After all, it's what they have chosen to write about in their spare time, is it not? I suppose there are food bloggers who concentrate on meals but I believe food is meant to feed more than our bodies. A good steak can only take you so far. Let's all just admit it: it's the baking which feeds our soul. Only baking wraps it's fluffy, sweet warmth around our jagged edges and fills our empty places with memories bought with the scent of vanilla.
I used to know people who hated baking. They baffled me. "How could you hate baking?!" I would cry in despair. In my mind, it is akin to sacrilege. I was the friend who put on an apron and whipped up cookies at 3am because the fancy struck me and a few years before our food allergy and intolerance diagnoses the chances I was using a cookbook while doing so plummeted. I knew what I wanted and no one else had it quite exactly so. Of course, I had my favourites still, don't get me wrong. No one can ever replace my Gran's vinnetarta nor my mom's Black Devil's food cake.
Which is exactly why I now hate baking. I feel out of my depth. Even 20 months into this journey, baking without gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts is far from instinctive for me and I feel I'm losing my knowledge of baking with gluten- though I suppose the latter doesn't matter a whole lot. I can't see myself viewing these foods quite the same ever again.
Then there's the loss of continuity. I had intended to hand down "family favourites" from the past three generations to my children. Baking connected me to my family, my ancestors, and gave me a sense of where I came from. Looking at our family favourites, you could see an evolution of sorts- a pulse- as old favourites came back into favour in successive generations. My gran's favourites were oft-repeated in my generation and my mom's favourites in my children's generation. I can only guess that my children's children may favour my gran's favourites once more and, in a way, she will continue on in the recipes she bequeathed to us.
Only now, she won't. Her recipes are put to rest in my family. My brothers' children may continue to cherish them but that will not be the case for us. The closest we may get is an adaptation, a taste-alike- a fraud. And my soul bleeds.
It's been just over three years since my grandmother passed. On December 8th of this year, she would have been ninety years old. She died on my grandfather's birthday, fifty years after he did. Our family sang happy birthday as we sprinkled her ashes onto his grave. And then we went home and ate the recipes she gave to us. Recipes which she tweaked and trialled and perfected in her own mind, to suit her palate.
Well, that's the crux of it then. The loss of "normal" baking was my last real connection to my gran. Rather than viewing it this way, I need to embrace what she taught me. I need to live with the spirit she had in the kitchen which my mother swears she handed down to me. I need to find joy in the process again- the experimentation. I had come to this conclusion already but the why of how I came to be where I am had escaped me until now.
Perhaps the scent of vanilla, and the adventurous spirit of my gran, will be enough to soothe my soul.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Convenience foods

Since we started this journey 20 months ago (has it really been that long? Wow.), I have had to redefine a few things in my life. One of these is "convenience food". I'm not sure how many of you see breakfast cereal as a convenience food, but it is in this house. Breakfast cereal is a luxury. Same with pre-made bread and cookies. Incredibly expensive luxuries. Sometimes it's hard to believe that these products really are very new to our society. For many of us, it's only 2 generations ago that these products would not have existed. Some fewer, some more.
There are some other things which are obviously convenience foods which are further down the list but still incredibly nice to have on hand. Take Shake'n'Bake, for example. Seems like such a simple thing, right? Just some flour, salt and herbs mixed up. However, when you're dealing with kids and allergies, nothing is EVER simple.
I bring to you my recipe for fried (or oven fried) chicken breading. I also use it to make our chicken fingers.

Jacqueline's Chicken Breading:
2 cups white rice flour
1 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon thyme

Place the first 3 ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Place all of the other ingredients in a blender or coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. Add the spice mixture to the flour mixture and whisk again. Stores well for up to 3 months.

To use for baked chicken:
Place 1 cup in a bag along with up to 8 pieces of chicken and shake well. Remove chicken from bag, place on a pan and bake at 180C (375 F) for 45 minutes or until juices run clear. Mmm mmm.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kitchen Disasters and Simple Food

I'm sorry I'm late in posting this. In case you hadn't noticed, I've been trying to post on the Monday of each new week. However, I really don't plan out what I'm going to write about from week to week and perhaps I should. The reason I don't do that (and there IS a reason) is because I, my dear readers, am a disaster waiting to happen.
I know that other people have accidents. They make mistakes sometimes, perhaps even often. I, however, am the Queen of Disasters. I don't know if I just don't think sometimes or what, but sometimes I am inclined to believe I am cursed.
Take this week, for instance. I was planning to post a few recipes based on turkey leftovers. I won't get into details, but due to a series of disasters (one involving a turkey taken out of the oven without the cook being informed), we actually ended up not having turkey at all this year. At first, I thought we might manage some turkey soup at least, but nope- I managed to burn turkey broth not once, but twice. It was just not meant to be. (And I feel it's necessary to mention here that I really truly don't normally burn things.)
Instead, I am bringing you one of my favourite last-minute-disaster-ruined-my-planned-meal recipes and I promise (hope, at least) to do better by you next week.

Garlic Oregano Pork Chops

4 pork chops
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 tablespoons leaf oregano (dried)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Place pork chops on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and half of the granulated garlic, followed by half of the oregano. Turn over and repeat. Drizzle with olive oil and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes, turning once.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Death and Community

The last few years have been pretty difficult here. Our family has lost quite a few members. Most recently, my husband's uncle passed away completely unexpectedly. Not long before this, I lost an uncle as well. Again, completely unexpectedly.
I'm not certain what the norm is here in the US, but where I grew up in Canada, when someone passes away, the family usually holds a memorial tea after the funeral. It's a time for friends, family and the entire community to get together, sharing food and memories of the loved one. I somehow don't believe that's the tradition here in the US, point being that I'm not even aware of a single church or community which owns a "hall" for such events, although I suppose church basements are also fairly commonly used.
Anyway, there are such tiny things that come with these community events commemorating life and living. Things like: who makes the best squares? Who makes the best buns? Who do we know that owns one of these things?
Usually these questions don't come until after the fact. No, usually the squares, buns, lunch meats and other snacks for the tea come pouring in a day or two prior to the actual tea from friends and family alike and are a topic of conversation during the tea. "Mmm. This is a really great matrimonial bar. Who made this?" This reinforces the sense of community, the unity of the whole, even as one member is going to places we cannot presently follow. The maker of the great matrimonial bar or the wonderful buns is sought out and asked for their recipe and, of course, they have to tell you "It's not my recipe. I got it from (insert deceased community members name here)."
I can't do that. None of my recipes are from deceased members of my community. No member of my family has ventured into the realm of baking and cooking I'm in. I have lost some small part of myself to these changes in our diet and much to moving countries. But my husband understands when I go into the kitchen when someone has passed and start making matrimonial bars even if no one else does.
I know this is an incredibly somber post for the week of Thanksgiving. Most everyone else is posting about pumpkin pies, turkey, stuffing and how grateful they are for things in their life. I was thinking about doing that, coming up with some fantastic Thanksgiving Day recipe to post, but that's just not where I am right now. We've just lost two family members. It's time for some matrimonial bar. Time to remember and be grateful for the most basic of things: living.

Jacqueline's Matrimonial Bar
2 cups dates, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
3/4 cup Jacqueline's gluten free flour mix
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, place the ingredients for the filling. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes. You want the dates to lose all sense of being dates and become more like a jam. Once this consistency has been reached, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.
Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour mix, brown sugar and salt. In a small pot, melt the shortening then pour this over the contents of the bowl, mixing well. Pat about half of this mixture into a 9" square cake pan then spoon the date mixture over top of this, smoothing out nicely. Sprinkle the date mixture with the remaining oat mixture and place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool and cut into squares. Makes 36.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Corn-free Visitors!

I had a spectacular weekend! Two of my girls and their families came to visit me. (On a side note, I didn't even get pictures of them!) It's been a very busy weekend and all of my plans fell to nothing when the car broke down the day they were to arrive. I was supposed to finish my grocery shopping that afternoon, and it just didn't happen. So, the weekend was spent with very little food in the house. (How embarrassing. :o)
On Saturday, trying to figure out what I was going to feed those I could feed, I threw this tomato sauce together:

Italian Panic Pork Sausage Tomato Sauce
3 pounds ground pork
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fennel
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 onion, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
6 cloves garlic, pressed
7 Roma tomatoes, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1-6oz can tomato paste
6 oz water
1.5 lbs rice pasta

First, panic, realizing there's nothing in your house that doesn't contain corn. Calm down and take stock of what you have in the house that's real food and therefore not likely to contain corn. Then put a pot of water on to boil.
Measure herbs and spices into a small bowl. Remove 2-1.5 pound packages of ground pork from the freezer. Apologize for it being frozen (much less conventional feed-lot pork). Throw it in the pot, along with the spices. Dice an onion and throw it in the pot. Scrape thawed pork off the frozen stuff and mix as best you can. Look in the fridge to see what else you can throw in the pot and find a yellow pepper. Dice it and throw it in the pot. Read the ingredients on the back of a can of tomatoes. Realize citric acid is corn and panic again. Scrape thawed pork off the frozen stuff and mix again. Remember that you have tomatoes in the fridge. Take them out, wash and cut them. Take 6 cloves garlic from your container of pre-cleaned garlic (omg :o) and put them in the garlic press, pressing them directly into the pot. Take some time to make sure the meat is browned and the onion and garlic are sufficiently softened then add the tomatoes and mushrooms. At this point, your water should be boiling, so throw in the pasta to cook. Let the tomatoes cook up/boil down a little and realize there isn't enough of them to make this a good sauce. Panic (again) for a second and run downstairs to get a can of tomato paste, praying that it doesn't contain citric acid. Breathe a sigh of relief when it doesn't and run back upstairs to open it and throw it in the pot followed by a can full of water. Mix well and taste. Wonder what is missing and throw in 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Taste again then allow to simmer to blend flavours for about 15 minutes, draining and rinsing pasta as it's ready. Serve sauce over pasta and breathe a sigh of relief that you somehow managed to pull it off and make a note to decrease the amount of red pepper flakes so that children might actually eat it without burning their faces off*. Write a blog post about it, hoping your guests will find it humourous.

*I have already adjusted the recipe for this. ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dairy-free "creamsicles"

I haven't had a creamsicle in a LONG time. Even before going dairy free, they were off-limits because they contained food colouring. Now, thanks to the recipe I found here (seriously cool site, check it out), we can enjoy creamsicles again.
I didn't find the recipe thick enough for my preferences, so I poured the mixture into popsicle moulds and froze it for a couple of hours. Lovely!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Food Stamp Challenge

If you had to, could you live only off the amount allotted to you by the government for food?
I realize this isn't exactly a Canadian post since it deals with American food stamps. In Canada, the equivalent would be social assistance but even then there's the catch that (most) Canadians don't pay for health care so whatever money they receive doesn't need to be stretched to accommodate that additional expense.
This blogger has assigned herself the challenge of living on a food stamp budget for the month. The catch? It needs to be only whole foods, in the style of Nourishing Traditions.
Then there's this blogger who's an inspiration in and of herself. She feeds 13 on a $800 budget.
It would be doubly interesting to me to see someone do it with allergies. Can it be done? I want to say yes but I'm just not sure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chocolate Rice pudding

I don't mean rice pudding with grains of rice. I mean creamy, custard-like pudding. I have been going crazy for this stuff! I have missed pudding so much and so has my oldest son. My middle son doesn't care since he never had pudding anyway, but is he ever in his glory as well!
Here you go!

Jacqueline's Everything free chocolate pudding
Makes 4-1/2 cup servings

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon oil
1 oz unsweetened dairy free chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup vanilla rice milk
1 cup plain rice milk (I ran out of vanilla)
3 tablespoons glutenous/sweet rice flour

In a small pot, melt the chocolate into the oil and mix in sugar until dissolved. Add the vanilla to the rice milks then add all but 1/2 cup rice milk to the chocolate mixture very slowly. Whisk the rice flour into the 1/2 cup rice milk then whisk into the chocolate milk mixture and bring to a boil. Allow to thicken, simmering and whisking to keep lumps from forming. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour into serving bowls, cover and chill about 2 hours.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunflower Seed Butter

No time for anything fancy. Here's what I did.

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
4-6 tablespoons canola oil (would probably be good with sunflower too)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon (approx) raw honey

Put seeds in blender, cover and turn on. I used the "puree" setting on mine, which is setting 2 on a 10 speed blender. Add the oil until the seeds begin to resemble the texture you want them to be. I added mine a tablespoon at a time. You may need to help the blender churn things with a rubber spatula- be VERY careful if you do this. Once the texture starts to look about right, add the salt and honey and blend a minute more. Make sure the texture is where you want it by adding a little more oil, if needed. Turn off the blender and taste. Adjust seasonings (salt and honey) to taste.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jacqueline's Gluten Free Flour Mix

2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

This is the mix I'm presently using for my baking, including for the brownies I just posted. I'm not sure how the recipe will work with other flours, but feel free to experiment.


Some time ago, one of my girls was complaining that she couldn't make/get a decent brownie. "A nice gooey brownie" is I believe what the request was (although I'm sure she didn't realize it was a request). Determined to help her out, and perhaps because I wanted brownies myself, I decided then and there to make brownies she would enjoy.
My original version of this particular brownie didn't turn out well. I believe I described it as "fried fudge", but the truth is it was more like fried fudge swimming in a puddle of oil.... After playing with the amount of oil, the amount of sugar and flour, the amount of cocoa, hoping for some kind of change, I posted to the Allergies forum letting them in on the fact that I was working on gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free brownies. I got several responses but one in particular about brownie mixes flopping without eggs gave me my "aha!" moment. To you I say a big THANK YOU, dannic.
For those who aren't aware, gluten free baking is more akin to a science experiment at times than actual baking. At least, it is to me. :D Did I mention I hated science? Anyway, one of the interesting properties of eggs is that they're an emulsifier. For those who aren't aware of what emulsifiers are and do, a simple description is that they allow water and oil to mix and stay mixed. The emulsifying "agent" in eggs is called lecithin. Soy and butter are also rich in this emulsifier. This is what makes soy, dairy and egg free brownies so difficult. There is not, to my knowledge, a non-soy, non-dairy egg replacer which simulates this particular property of eggs. Until now.
It should be noted that I generally try to stay away from any kind of equipment which people may not have, such as a blender or mixer. However, this particular recipe requires a blender.
Excuse me a moment while I put away my horn. ;) Anyway, I know what you're all really here for is the brownies... I have to say, these aren't perfected yet (when are any of my recipes actually perfected?) but they are good enough and I can't make my girls wait any longer. So here you go:

Jacqueline's Brownies:
1 cup Jacqueline's Gluten free flour mix
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ozs oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds soaked in 6 ozs water (at least one hour, preferably a day or longer)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (that's 350 for you Americans).
Place the sunflower seeds and water, vanilla, oil and salt in a blender container and liquify. You want the resulting liquid to resemble milk with no discernable "floaties" but appear to be one liquid.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa. Pour the sunflower seed mixture into the flour mixture and stir well with a spoon, making sure there are no hidden pockets of flour. Using a rubber spatula, pour and scrape all of this mixture into an 8" square pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. When you think it needs about 5 more minutes (A toothpick inserted in the center comes out sticky but not gunky), remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slice into squares (or just grab a fork) and enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Strange plum-like thing.

I was happily taking a walk with my two younger sons today when I saw this bush growing.

You can't tell from the picture above, but it is FILLED with these strange plum-like fruits.

I picked one and tasted it. They're sweet. Having no clue what they are, I'm asking if anyone else does? They don't really taste like much but they have a pit like a plum or cherry. Here's a picture with one by my hand for size reference.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Aware that my family's diet needed a makeover, I started working on a meal plan for us quite some time ago. My girls always (well, maybe always is a bit of an exaggeration, but often) go to this awesome site called World's Healthiest Foods. Well, according to the questionnaire, one of the best foods for me to add to our diet is spinach.
Now, me being me, after going through every day of every week and asking "how can I add spinach to this as it is?" I got the bright idea of looking up spinach recipes online. Guess what? There's a boatload of them! Well, again me being me, I wondered to myself "Self, I wonder if anyone has done anything for dessert with spinach?" Know what? They have! My jaw dropped. Really? Spinach for dessert?!
I have so totally not tried this recipe yet gluten, dairy, egg and everything free but you have to check it out anyway. Spinach cake. That's right, you heard me. Spinach CAKE. (I'll give you 2 chances to click there just because I think it's so awesome.)
I will be coming back to that at some point, trust you me. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Apples and Oatmeal

So, I belong to this fiery group of women on a little internet forum of an attachment parenting magazine. The cool thing about this group of women is that we all have children who have allergies or intolerances, or ourselves have allergies, or some combination thereof. We haven't allowed this to get us down though. No! Instead, we have taken up our aprons and our spoons and set our kitchens ablaze! Not literally. Except for maybe Kathy on occasion. (Just kidding, Kathy. We all know you're our Gordon Ramsey... Only cuter, with breasts... and yelling a lot less.. Okay, so you're nothing like Chef Ramsey but you get the idea.)
Anyway, one of my friends (I call you all "my girls" btw, for any of you ladies reading this) has asked that I post my Apple Crisp recipe. It's not done yet (the recipe, I mean... still not tweaked just so) and I wouldn't do it for anyone else, but here you go. Okay, maybe there are a couple of other people I'd do it for, but you're one of the few.
Apple Crisp:
1 c brown sugar (I justify this much sugar by saying "Oh, there's molasses in it!")
1 c gluten-free rolled oats
1 c Jacqueline's gluten free flour mix
1/2 t salt
1/2 c shortening, melted
1 t baking powder (optional)
3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 c honey
1 t lemon juice (or more, to taste.. I use about 1 T)
2 t cinnamon
1 t tapioca starch

Preheat the oven to 375 (yes, Kathy, I actually DID preheat it). In a bowl, mix together the first 8 ingredients. In a 2 quart casserole dish, mix together everything else. Dump the contents of the first bowl on top of the apple mixture. Press down firmly with a spoon until the oat mixture is tightly packed on top of the apple mixture. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown (you'll probably see little bubbles of honey-cinnamon syrup coming up the sides, too). Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Really, I mean it. You need to let it cool. Hot sugar burns really badly. Trust me, I know. I have the sore tongue to prove it. Crazy addictive crisps anyway.
That's it. That's all. You're done. Just remember to let it cool and then you can eat it all! Mwahahaha. Another one of my girls has turned to the dark side. :p Unless this has something she can't eat.... I hope this is a "safe" recipe for you, hon!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Often, when dealing with multiple allergies, you need to replace an ingredient in a recipe. One of these things is tomato soup, in our household. So here's what I do for that particular item:

Condensed Tomato Soup replacer

1/2- 60z can tomato paste (this is 3 ozs just to be clear)
3/4 c water
3 t sugar
1 t sweet rice flour
1/8 t onion powder
1/8 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/8 t celery seed, powdered

Mix all together well and use instead of canned tomato soup in recipes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Memories of Bannock: A Call for Assistance

I've heard that when people go gluten free, they crave bread. Soft, springy homemade bread fresh from the oven. To be honest, when we first went gluten free, it was the thing I strove towards making. However, I have been craving a different glutenous item. Some of you will be familiar with it and others not so much so. Bannock. Nice warm bannock. Day old bannock toast with homemade raspberry freezer jam. This is as much, if not more, of a comfort food for me than homemade bread. Both my granny, who passed almost 3 years ago, and my foster mom, who began her journey to the Summerlands this past Monday, were fantastic bannock makers.
I think I've mentioned before that our household is more than just gluten free. We are gluten, dairy, egg, soy, coconut, tree nut, peanut and strawberry free. I think that's it. Anyway, I Googled for recipes for gluten free bannock and there are a couple out there but they all contain eggs. I suppose I could try them without eggs, but... I thought I'd enlist the assistance of my readers, be you ever so few and far between. If anyone should know of a good bannock recipe within the requirements listed above, please let me know.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taste testers

It's difficult to try to do a food blog when life keeps throwing things at you. I suppose it's difficult to write any blog when life keeps throwing things at you.
My first challenge is actually that I have no real taste testers. I mean, sure, there are my husband and my older two sons (and of course myself, but I don't count). Generally speaking though, my husband will eat just about anything so long as it's not totally inedible... And there have been one or two of those days in this house, believe you me. My oldest son is pretty much the same way. So that just leaves me with a two year old to rely upon for taste testing... Not exactly the most sophisticated palate.
Recently, we had a new addition to the family. Hopefully I c an teach him a thing or two in the kitchen as he grows up- a hope I hold for all of my boys. Hopefully he will be a great little taste tester.
Since this addition to our family, I have realized that there is a meal in this household which has been sorely neglected. Breakfast. I know. The horror, right? How dare I allow my family to subsist on cold, gluten free cereal with rice milk and pre-made gluten free waffles. In what little defense I have, I was just getting the hang of gluten free, egg free, dairy free cooking when I was hit with hyperemesis and could no longer so much as think about food. This realization likely came about because of nursing induced morning starvation, but that's beside the point.
How I do ramble on. All of this just to say: I made a carrot muffin recipe that's pretty darn good. It's not a carrot cupcake, so don't expect it to be cake-like. It's a very nice morning muffin. The toddler even asks for more.

Jacqueline's Good Morning Carrot Muffins:
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

Dry ingredients:
1 c brown rice flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/4c amaranth flour
1/4c tapioca starch
1/4t xanthan gum
3/4 c sugar
1t salt
2t baking powder
1t allspice
1t baking soda
1 c shredded carrots

Wet ingredients:
3/4 c oil (I used canola)
1 c rice milk
1t rice vinegar
1t vanilla
2T gelatin plus 2T cold water plus 4T boiling water**

1/2 c raisins
1/2 c walnuts

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. If you are using either raisins or walnuts, add these to the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients- including the gelatin. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with paper muffin cups until 2/3rds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to wire racks and allow to cool.

**November 10th:
I've changed this recipe to use 2 tablespoons flax meal and 6 tablespoons of warm water instead of the gelatin. I find the flavour preferable with the flax.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Things most take for granted- Condiments

It's easy to take things for granted. People do it every day. They take it for granted that they will be able to go to the store to buy ketchup and mustard, for example. They take it for granted that they will be well enough to cook.
It's not as easy to take things for granted when you have a child with food allergies and/or intolerances. As I think I've mentioned before, my son is allergic to dairy and intolerant to wheat/gluten and eggs. We've recently added soy to that list, though we haven't yet removed it from use. My son, unlike most of the gluten-intolerant, cannot tolerate distilled white vinegar. This makes it difficult for us to find ready made condiments which he can eat and, when we are so lucky as to find them, they're incredibly expensive. So, I've resorted to making my own. I intend only to use the ketchup I make in recipes which call for it for now (until I've perfected it), but the mustard is something my son loves.
Unfortunately, my son has been out of mustard for the last 4 months. Although I have found a brand which makes ketchup with cider vinegar, I have not found a brand which makes mustard with the same, which means that I don't have a choice about making mustard for him. Either I make mustard for him or he doesn't have any.
Right around the time he ran out of mustard, I found out I was pregnant with our third son. While this might not slow down most women, I get very ill during most of the first 2 trimesters of pregnancy. I have what is called hyperemesis gravidarum. Although I consider mine to be mild- meaning it is manageable- it still makes life incredibly miserable. I can't cook. I can't eat. I can't do a lot of things that I normally take for granted. Thankfully, it has ended a little earlier than normal this time around, so today I made mustard for my son and, since I was at it, I decided to make ketchup too.
I'll be back in a little while to post those recipes.

Okay, so a little while turned into 5 months. Oops.

Jacqueline's Yellow Mustard Recipe:
1/2 c ground mustard
1 1/4 t salt
1/8 t turmeric
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t paprika

2/3 c water
1/3 c apple cider vinegar

Put all the dry ingredients into a small saucepan. Mix the water and vinegar together in a measuring cup and slowly add to the dry ingredients to make a smooth paste. Turn the heat to medium and continue adding the vinegar mixture to achieve desired consistency. Bring to a boil and allow to boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid lumps and adding more of the vinegar mixture to maintain your desired consistency. After 5 minutes, taste test to see if it is "mellow" enough for your tastes. If it is not, continue to boil (don't forget to keep stirring!!), testing every minute. Once it has reached your desired level of mellowness, refrigerate immediately to avoid it becoming TOO earthy.
I've kept this for up to 6 weeks in the fridge, though it's usually used up long before that.