Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

a treat for b: gluten, egg, dairy, nut free bread


Sweet, sweet bread 


B has been doing so well with our new sleeping routine. I wanted to do something special for him since he's adjusted so well and been a little trooper. He's a little young to understand the concept of a reward, but I still wanted to do something. I'm not really into buying toys as a reward, so I chose a bread baking day instead.

I found a recipe with a handful of ingredients and went to our local health food store to buy what we needed. I felt a little like a kitchen witch, buying strange ingredients like arrowroot starch, coconut nectar and teff flour. It was expensive, but most of the things we buy for B are costly.

I used this recipe, but instead of hazelnut butter I used sunflower butter. We just figured out that B is allergic to safflower, but sunflower is okay. *happy dance* We made the bread, let it rise, then I put it in the oven while he napped. The original plan was to make it after nap, but he refused to sleep then passed out in my lap at 2:00. Tricky boy climbed up, held my hand and asked me to sing to him. Five minutes later he was out. For his after nap snack I prepared a plate with plain bread, bread with sunflower butter and bread with goat cheese (finally found one he likes!) B ate it all and asked for more.


I was really pleased with the end result. The bread was simple to make, easy to slice and tasted pretty good. Honestly, it's easier than trying to find something at the store he can eat. I'll probably add this to my baking/cooking routine for him because it's high in protein and calcium, two things he desperately needs in his diet.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

too much excitement*


Okay guys, we need a name change. Those muffins I made on Monday? The ones that are ALL gone on this here Tuesday? Not only do they have 5 billion calories, they also require a person to change their toddler's diaper many, MANY times throughout the day. So we shall call them Fatten the Baby (and clear out the intestines!) Banana Blueberry Muffins. Not recommended for adult consumption.

J and I whipped up a batch tonight after B had gone to bed. He does that now. It's strange. I'm waiting for the good times to end. I was out of coconut yogurt so I used applesauce instead. Then J said, "How much pea protein did you add?"

"I haven't added it yet because you said we should increase it and I wasn't sure by how much."

J then proceeded to dump TWO huge scoops into the batter. He mixed and mixed and mixed and then we taste tested. Honest opinion? YUCK. That "tasteless" pea protein comes with a very nasty aftertaste. I had to eat a whole lotta Cadbury Mini Eggs to get the taste out of my mouth. I have no idea why B loves these muffins, but he ate 9 in two days so we're calling it a win. If these babies don't make him gain weight I am tossing out the white flag. And crying.

I am wiped out. B has been waking up EARLY (oh, hey that's where the sleep problems have gone!) and today was a bit draining. I managed to drive two minutes off my normal track en route to a speaking engagement and got totally confused/turned around/out in the boons/made it with a few minutes to spare when I like to have thirty. I've lived in the valley my entire life, but the proximity of country to city in this area still baffles me. The rest of my week is equal parts ick (dental cleaning) and yay can't wait! (H&M shopping trip. Because it's time.)

*most sarcastic post title

Monday, February 25, 2013

fatten the baby muffins


Fattening B up is our primary goal and mission right now. We've done away with normal meal times - and normal food, really - and focused on offering food every two hours. I'm not going to force B to eat, but I am trying to be intentional about offering food on a near constant basis.

A few days ago I made my first recipe from scratch! I mean, I went in the kitchen, put together some ingredients and created these strange tasting muffins B loves. I can't believe he likes them, but it's a good way to get him to eat avocado, coconut and pea protein so I'm not complaining.



B is currently 16.4 lbs. We are down a pound from his December weight, which is not the direction we went to be going in. He was 16.8 lbs prior to that nasty bout of flu. I'm trying to stay positive and calm. I know we'll figure this out. I know B will be fine.

Even though I don't find the muffins tasty I am going to share the recipe because it's my VERY FIRST completely made up recipe, and the fact that it's edible has to count for something. Sweetening these up with honey or agave nectar may help a little. And using regular flour as opposed to gluten free flour will reduce some of the graininess. I don't think anyone else is in my position, but if you need to fatten your baby up (or if you just want a healthy muffin recipe for your little) here it is:

Fatten The Baby Blueberry Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

1.5 cups gluten free flour

6 oz vanilla coconut yogurt

1/2 cup heavy coconut cream

1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

1 ripe banana

2 Tbs groundflax seed 

6 Tbs warm water

1/4 cup coconut milk

Pinch of xanthan gum (only if using gluten free flour that doesn't already have xanthan gum)

1 Tbs pea protein

1/2 avocado

Process:

Preheat oven to 350

Mix ground flaxseed and water. Set aside.

Blend avocado and banana - if your little one is picky. I just mash it together with a fork. B likes the banana chunks and doesn't mind the avocado if he doesn't taste it.

Mix flour, flaxseed mixture, xanthan gum.

Add coconut yogurt and coconut milk.

Stir.

Add banana, avocado mixture and pea protein. Mix well. If too thick add 1/4 cup water.

Stir in blueberries.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

If you brave this recipe, let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

christmas traditions: sugar cookies {egg, dairy, gluten free!}



I grew up with a slew of Christmas traditions. Every time I talk with others about their family traditions they mention two or three while I go on and on and on. Making sugar cookies is at the very top of my list. It's a tradition I knew I would carry with me when I started my own family. On the other hand, the lamb cake my mama made every Christmas Eve can stay with my family of origin. I understand why we ate a lamb cake every Christmas Eve, but it was still a tad creepy odd.

I was a bit worried about making sugar cookies with Bennett. I haven't had a successful gluten free baking experience. My dough is always weird, and it usually doesn't taste very good. Add in the dairy and egg free component and I was sure this would be a fail.



But it wasn't! I adapted a gluten free recipe I found online, and it worked really, really well. It tasted pretty darn good considering its lack of the good stuff (butter).







May I please have more dough?



SUGAR COOKIES (adapted from Delicious Gluten Free Baking)

Ingredients:

2.5 cups gluten free flour (I used King Arthur. Check the ingredients for xanthan gum. Don't add more if the flour blend already has it)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 t xanthan gum

3/4 cup Soy Free Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)
3/4 cup sugar
2 T ground flax seed 
3 T warm water
2 t vanilla

Process:

Combine warm water and flax seed. Set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Set aside.

Cream Earth Balance, sugar, vanilla.

Add flax seed mix (this is your egg substitute. It will make your cookies spotted!)

Add dry ingredients to butter mixture.

Mix well.

Chill for at least 30 minutes. 1-2 hours is better.

Roll out on floured surface and began cutting!

Bake at 375° for 8-12 minutes (until cookies just start to brown)

For the frosting I used the coconut oil recipe we found for Bennett's first birthday. It was meh - possibly because I don't like coconut! And possibly because I messed up and J had to rescue the operation. I made the frosting because I wanted the whole experience for Bennett - from mixing the dough to cutting shapes to slapping frosting on to throwing sprinkles everywhere but on the cookie - but next year I may skip it and just do the cookies.

FROSTING (from this site)

















I found coconut frosting in my hair while writing this post. I love my life. I apologize for the insane amount of pictures, and the fact that we look rather rough due to days of illness. Baking in your pajamas, life doesn't get much better than that!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

christmas traditions: cinnamon rolls


It's only Christmas if cinnamon rolls are present. Last night I made my first batch. Love you mom and dad, but these WAY beat out the store bought ones you made every year. I've wanted to make cinnamon rolls for a long, long time, but always thought it was too difficult. Oh my stars, it's so easy! I have no idea what I was worried about.



I've always loved to bake, but after Charlotte died I baked and baked and baked. I learned how to make bread and other things from scratch. It was so reassuring to go in the kitchen with a recipe in hand and come out with a finished product. It restored a little bit of my confidence to mix together ingredients and have the end result look and taste like what I planned and expected it to be.

A few days ago I was talking to J about how little confidence I have in myself and my abilities since Charlotte died. I told him how it's difficult for me to stop asking how I failed Charlotte and where I went wrong when she died. He said, "sure, of course." He then proceeded to come up with the best baby loss analogy I've heard.

In the dark of our room at a very late hour (at least ten o' clock) J said, "It's like going in to the kitchen to make bread. You mix your flour, water and yeast, wait patiently for the bread to rise and then put it in the oven. When you open the oven door to take it out the bread pan is empty. You don't know where the bread has gone, or why it's disappeared. You followed the instructions exactly, so you must be to blame for what went wrong."

YES. THAT. EXACTLY THAT.

Baking the cinnamon rolls last night made me so happy. I had to mix up a test batch before J's family brunch on Saturday because I've never made the recipe before. I love baking (and I'm slowly starting to enjoy cooking.) I didn't sub, or cut, any ingredients. I used butter, whole milk and flour. I used cream cheese, sugar, and powdered sugar. I poured the butter, cinnamon and sugar on the dough until it rolled off the sides. And then I baked, frosted (and ate three hot cinnamon rolls) at 9:30 pm.



I disregarded the clock and calories and I enjoyed every. single. bite. I admit, that's the happiest and most proud of myself I've been in quite some time.

The Recipe:

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls Pared Down (Makes about 10) (Thanks for doing the math, J).

1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 package yeast (.25 oz package)
2 cups flour (+ 1/4 set aside for later)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Tablespoon salt
1/4 cup butter (plus a little more if desired)
1/2 cup sugar
Cinnamon

For process go to The Pioneer Woman's site.

Cream Cheese Frosting (from food.com)

4 oz cream cheese softened
1/4 cup butter softened 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon milk

In a mixing bowl, beat ingredients until well mixed. Or if it's late and you're worried about waking the baby mix by hand. Ignore any and all lumps. It will still taste amazing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

monday blues & one embarrassing story


How about a slightly embarrassing story to brighten your day?


Before I share I want to thank my brother for his service.  I know he has friends he is missing and remembering this Memorial Day.  Love you brother, thank you for protecting our country and its freedoms.


**


I spent my day cleaning the heck out of our house.  I washed windows




cleaned blinds, swept, mopped, organized and alphabetized the spice cabinet.


I AM SO STRESSED AND ANXIOUS I just had to do something besides fret.  J handled B most of the day so I could work out my issues via cleaning and scrubbing.


On top of cleaning and organizing most of the house (the upstairs is still a disaster) I baked bread.


A few days ago I discovered that the bread I've been eating has high fructose corn syrup.  When J came home from work I told him about it.


His response?


"I know."


"You know?"


"It's cheap bread, what do you expect?"


"I don't know, no high fructose corn syrup?"


He shrugged.  "Why do you think I haven't been eating it?"


"I thought you didn't like 8 grain bread!"


"I don't like high fructose corn syrup."


"I had no idea, why didn't you tell me?"


"I assumed you read the label."


"Of course I didn't."


Silence.


"J, I've been poisoning myself!!"


He laughed. "No you haven't. It's not good for you, but you haven't been poisoning yourself."


"I am going to die!"


"No you're not."


"I can't feed this to B!  That's it, I'm making bread from scratch."


J's eyes lit up.  He's been hoping for this.


"Great!  I'll mill flour for you."


"What?  Why do we need to mill flour?  Can't we buy it at the store?"


"It will be SO good if we mill our own flour, trust me.  And if the world ends we'll have flour."


"But, so, um, how?  Won't we need wheat?  Like, stalks of wheat?  How does this work?"


"We'll order it online, and then store it in the basement."


"Seriously?"


"Yes, seriously!" 


And then he disappeared for a while.  He was probably looking up flour mills and bulk wheat prices online.  I didn't ask; I didn't want to know.


I finished off the evil bread a few days ago.  I can't believe I didn't know it had high fructose corn syrup.  Yes, I'm reading labels more carefully now.  I am so ashamed.


This afternoon I whipped up my first two loaves of homemade bread.




And tonight I'll make french toast for dinner from this bread, because when life gets hard, when I feel overwhelmed I take control of what I can and find joy in the small things, like cooking, cleaning, baking, organizing and eating food that brings me comfort and warmth.


*Bread recipe from four minus one makes five*
*Cut salt to 3t, 3T way too much*

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

baking the gloom away


Last night I made J cinnamon raisin bran muffins.  This morning I made the blueberry muffins I've had success with, but swapped chocolate chips for blueberries.  Bennett woke up at 6:00 ready to party; I had to do something with my morning.


I want to make chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins, but that is a ton of sweets.  I would eat every last bite, even if I promised myself I wouldn't.  And I have a new dinner planned, which will take some time and fretting.  I am going to tackle pot roast!  Such a simple thing, but I've never made it.


I'm tired.  Bennett is not sleeping well.  He is pulling at his ear a lot, but when he was checked for an ear infection last week his ears were fine, nothing at all that may cause irritation or annoyance was spotted.  From head itching to ear pulling, I guess I have a compulsive kid.


The headache is back - I think I can link it to fatigue now, I'm all over worn out, sad, unmotivated.  When J came home last night he said, "be thankful, let's try that."  I was in a storm of a bad mood.  I smirked, "What are you talking about?  What have you done with my husband?"


But he's right, I should be thankful.  I have so much.  It's easy to focus on the one person I don't have.  The space she left behind is huge, but I don't want to spend so much time missing her I forget to celebrate every moment with those who are here.


Like this guy.  He melts my heart.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

oh, saturday


Rain


Orange Balloon



Baking

I reached a point this afternoon, a tipping point actually, wherein I decided to abandon all hope of a clean house and clothes and bake instead.

It was the right decision.


Blueberry muffins - egg free!  Never again will I beg J to run out for blueberry muffins on a Saturday morning.  These are SO good, and I know exactly what goes in them - pure goodness.  Used Our Life in the Kitchen recipe again, but substituted flax seed and water for eggs.

Text messages from the grocery store:

J: Two packs of bay leaves?
Me: Two bay leaves, sorry.
J: How do I buy just two leaves?
Me: lol, buy one pack, sorry.

Eating twelve blueberry muffins after B is in bed.  J doesn't like them, someone's gotta do it.

Baby Kisses


Saturday, March 24, 2012

egg free chocolate chip cookies


It seems our dear baby is allergic to eggs.  Since I cannot live without baked goods, J looked up egg substitutes.  The first one he landed on was ground or milled flax seed.  Thank goodness we're the type of people who have three pounds of milled flax seed in the cupboard.  I can make a whole lot of baked goods with those three pounds!



This morning I tried my hand at baking without eggs.  It was a success ... almost.

Baking is serious business in this house.

At least two people are required.  This morning we had a chef - that's me - and a helper - that's B.


Music is required too.  This morning we listened to our Chris Tomlin station on Pandora.


Egg Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients


2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (optional, never add it myself)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs 2 Tbsp milled flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water (1 Tbsp flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg)




1 package chocolate chip cookies (I prefer Ghirardelli)


* You can also substitute flaxseed for butter, oil and shortening.  1 Tbsp butter, oil, shortening = 3 Tbsp flaxseed.


Process


Preheat oven to 375
Stir flour with baking soda and salt - set aside
Beat butter with sugar and brown sugar until creamy
Add vanilla and flaxseed/water mixture
Mix until blended
Gradually blend dry ingredients with creamed mixture
Add chocolate chips
Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet


You can use a spoon, but I prefer this little gadget



If you have any dough left to put on the cookie sheets that is ...


Bake for 9-11 minutes (I bake at the lower end, I like my cookies super gooey.)


If your helper gets bored/restless/begins screaming at the top of his/her lungs, pop in exersaucer until baking is finished.




Results


My cookies came out a little flat, makes sense I suppose, egg is a fluffer after all (this is a real term, and if it's not, it should be)


And I forgot the baking soda!!  Sheesh!




J quipped, "you made Jewish cookies, unleavened."


Thanks, babe.


So they are more like chocolate chip pancakes.  Oops.  I think they will be much fluffier if you remember to add baking soda.


They taste good, though!  A fine reminder that looks aren't everything.  By the time they came out of the oven I was already feeling a bit of a cookie dough hangover.  I went a little crazy since there was no egg in the dough.  No egg, no salmonella to worry about!  I wish I would have known about this recipe when I was pregnant!!


So the cookies were a bit odd, not quite as good as ones I've made with egg, but the dough, oh my, it was divine.  And that's all that really matters, right?


This has been quite a weekend and it's only Saturday afternoon!  I joined Twitter (@angelarodman), made egg free chocolate chip cookies, and planted my first food garden (with much help and direction from J).  More to come on the garden planting.  I have the cutest pictures of B in the sunshine to share.  Here's a preview ...



Thursday, March 15, 2012

blueberry muffins and eight hours sleep


B finally settled down and slept well last night.  The previous three nights were absolute misery.  Night before last he screamed in my arms for a solid hour.  I eventually put him in his crib and sat in the hall for a few moments to compose myself.  We thought it was his teeth so we gave him Tylenol, but even that didn't help.  Last night he slept all night in his crib, woke to nurse at 10:30, 3:30, and then slept until 8:30.  I really needed the sleep, I'm so glad he had a good night.

The month of homemaking continues.  This morning I popped B in the Ergo and made a batch of blueberry muffins.  It was my first attempt, they turned out pretty well.  I used this recipe.  I've been craving them and planned to buy a mix at the store yesterday, but after looking at the ingredients list I decided to bake from scratch.


So this morning I've had half a bagel and two blueberry muffins.  I think I want B to nurse forever so I can continue eating like this without gaining weight.

When J saw me looking up blueberry muffin recipes on Pinterest he said, "You know, I would eat bran muffins for breakfast ..."  I guess that's next on my list to make.

I've cooked nearly every day this month.  J and I went to a movie at the theater pub one night and had dinner out one other night, but other than that I've cooked every meal.  I think J likes coming home to dinner instead of me in the kitchen searching through cupboards and eventually saying, "Hmm, how about pancakes or grilled cheese?"  I've also tried a few new recipes: chicken parmesan, pulled pork, chicken taquitos.  I can't believe I haven't had a fail yet.  When I checked the calendar last night I sighed with relief to see spaghetti written down. Something easy that I know how to make, wonderful!

After dinner last night B reached for my water glass and tried to drink.  We got down on the floor and I helped him get down the last of the water.  We got soaked in the process, but it was amazing to watch him figure it out.  It was a tall water glass too, not the easiest cup to start out with.  It's so exciting when he learns something new.

After he downed the rest of the water



We've been having a series of Northwest storms.  Wind and rain, power outages, lots of thunder.  It's pouring outside this morning.  I'm going to curl up, have a mug of tea and another muffin, or ten.

B says hello.

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