Friday, December 26, 2008
For chile lime butter
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh Thai or serrano chile (preferably red), including seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 (5- to 6-oz) pieces skinless tilapia fillet or farm-raised striped bass fillets with skin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Make chile lime butter:Stir together butter, shallot, zest, lime juice, chile, and salt in a bowl.
Prepare fish:If using striped bass, score skin in 3 or 4 places with a thin sharp knife to prevent fish from curling (do not cut through flesh). Pat fish dry and sprinkle with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until just smoking, then sauté 3 pieces of fish, turning over once with a spatula, until golden and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Sauté remaining fish in remaining tablespoon oil in same manner.
Serve each piece of fish with a dollop of chile lime butter.
Chile lime butter can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
2 pounds leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 bunches)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup vermouth
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
Garnish: 4 teaspoons finely sliced fresh chives
Halve leeks lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise. In a large bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a large sieve to drain. In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook leeks in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until some begin to turn golden, about 40 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in vermouth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and most leeks are golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Deglaze kettle with 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes more, until liquid is evaporated and leeks are deep golden. Add remaining 3 cups broth and bring soup just to a boil. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Serve soup, garnished with chives, or if you are feeling crazy, cheese toasts.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt with a wire whisk.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer set on medium. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture. Blend on low until just combined. Do not over mix or the dough will be tough. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, being very careful not to brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface. Decorate with frosting (see below) and other decorations.
Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix well.
Get mixture to the consistency of thick cream, add more sugar if necessary. Try not to let
the frosting be too wet or it will not set properly. Add 1 drop of food coloring and mix well.
Repeat for all other colors desired.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bag of sliced crimini or brown mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
1 large can of tomato sauce
teaspoon of salt, dash of pepper, pinches of basil & oregano
2 tubes of prepared polenta
1 package of marscapone cheese
2 packages of sliced fresh mozzarella (Trader Joe's)
Grated Parmesan cheese, approx. 1/4 cup
Cook onion in olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are done, another 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauce. Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice polenta into 1/2 inch rounds. Heat a medium sized, fry pan. Pour in approx. 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook polenta slices until edges are slightly crisp, approx. 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Oil a rectangular baking dish. Pour approx. 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom. Layer the bottom of the dish with the cooked polenta rounds.
Top each round with a dollop of marscapone and a slice of mozzarella, and top with another polenta round.
Cover "sandwiches" with remaining sauce. Layer remaining mozzarella over sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake covered in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve hot.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
We have been having some nanny drama, lately. Our beloved nanny might be leaving us to work on a higher paying, longer term job. This seems to be the pitfalls of going through an agency. It is a really long and boring story, maybe I will post a separate blog about it when the dust settles. All I can say is that, as much as I LOVE working again, I cannot accept the possibility of doing it without our Hayley. She is so wonderful and I have never once worried about Ella needing her Epi-pen when I am away. So I have turned down a show for Bravo to return to being a full time Mom. At least for now.
Since I am working so much I have been exhausting my slow-cooker. When I have time, I will post some fab gluten-free recipes. Thankfully, the kids love soup. So I have been making LOTS of it!
I am also planning on adapting some of my classic holiday treats into a wheat-free version. I will post those, as well, soon!
Off to address the holiday cards and drink some egg nog...
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix (from Baking Classics, see recipe below)
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup whole organic milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
chopped crystallized ginger, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Position rack in center of the oven. Use paper cups to line a regular size muffin pan.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add pomegranate seeds and crystallized ginger, coat well with flour mix.
Combine milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Divide batter into muffin tin. Sprinkle sanding sugar over the tops, approx. 1/2 teaspoon each. Top with additional chopped ginger, place in center of each muffin.
Bake for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately and let cool. Makes 12 muffins.
* The best way to get the seeds out of the pomegranate is to cut the whole fruit into quarters and then allow it to soak in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes. Once it has soaked, the seeds should pop out with very little effort.
Here is the basic recipe for the Brown Rice Flour Mix. I keep a large jar of this in my pantry at all times. It is the best and most versatile mix that I have encountered. It makes, delicious and deceptive quick breads every time. You will never be able to tell that you are eating wheat-free!
Brown Rice Flour (extra finely ground) 6 cups
Potato Starch (not flour) 2 cups
Tapioca Flour 1 cup
-Mix all together well. Store in a cool area. Total yield, 9 cups.
Sylmar, Corona, Brea and Yorba Linda Areas Affected
Air quality officials have issued a smoke advisory today for the San Fernando Valley as well as areas near Corona, Brea and Yorba Linda due to smoke from multiple wildfires.
All individuals are urged to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary outdoor activities in any area directly impacted by smoke. This includes areas where residents can see or smell smoke.
Air quality may reach Unhealthy levels in areas directly impacted by smoke, including the San Fernando Valley, portions of the San Gabriel Mountains near the fire, and the northwest Los Angeles County coastal area.
Due to additional wildfires in Riverside and Orange counties, air quality will reach Unhealthy levels in the smoke-impacted areas of Corona and Norco, portions of Orange County and southern coastal areas of Los Angeles County. Surrounding areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties may reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups level or higher, depending on fire conditions and wind flows.
Keep your windows and doors closed unless it is extremely hot inside. In these cases, seek alternate shelter. Run your air conditioner if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
For more tips on avoiding health impacts from the smoke, see http://www.aqmd.gov/pubinfo/factsheets.htm on AQMD’s website.
AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Pop star Britney Spears' 2-year-old son, who was hospitalized over the weekend after he had a reaction to something he ate, has been released from a Mississippi medical facility, according to a report on Monday on celebrity website TMZ.com.Earlier in the day, Spears' family posted a statement on her official website, http://www.britneyspears.com/, saying Jayden James was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, and "doctors concluded he had a reaction to something he ingested."The statement said the boy would be discharged on Tuesday, but TMZ posted a picture of Spears departing the hospital while holding the child on Monday evening.People magazine, quoting a source close to the family, said that Jayden had suffered "a terrible allergic reaction. He had hives, was itchy and irritable."The source told the celebrity magazine that Jayden "is doing fine" and Spears, 26, and her mother, Lynne, spent Sunday night at the hospital with him.The trip by Spears to Louisiana, her childhood home, was the first time she had been allowed to leave California with sons Sean Preston, 3, and Jayden since their father Kevin Federline was given full custody in July.
Just made the second batch of these babies, for the week. The kids are going nuts over them. And let's be honest, so am I! They are wheat-free but you would never know it. Maybe if I run into you in the next month or so, you will get to try one. Or better yet, come to the FAAN fundraiser this weekend, and I will have muffins-a-plenty to hand out! "All things pumpkin" is my favorite motto for the Fall. I will never get enough!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Yesterday we made a trip out to Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, CA. The kids had a blast. We were driven out to the fields by a tractor. Once there we picked our own produce including fresh beets, lettuce, leeks, corn, carrots, broccoli, and celery.
It was a great learning experience for Ella, as she got to see where her food comes from. At least the kind that comes from the ground :) She was so into it that she wanted to take one of every kind of vegetable. Sadly, we did not have enough bags or room in our refrigerator for all that the farm had to offer.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
As it happens, my kids like cupcakes. And thankfully I am beginning to figure out how to make them so that all in my house can enjoy. This weekend we had a party for Milo (1) and my niece, Maddie (2). The theme was a tea for two and two for tee. It was your basic, tea party/golf party.
I had a ton of fun creating two separate cupcakes for the party. Three, actually, if you count the wheat-free version that I snuck in to give my kids. I am pretty darn proud of the golf cupcake, in particular. I made the golf balls out of white chocolate. An idea that would never have occurred to me if it were not for my amazing friend, Andrea, who is a master with these sorts of things.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
But, there are learning experiences to be had. And I am hoping that all of this madness will subside and she will just go back to being a normal kid who is more interested in climbing on the swing set and running across the lawn. Oh, how I love that kid. Together we will find the answers...
Monday, October 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
1 tablespoon butter
1 ripe banana
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup Gluten-Free flour mixture (from Connie Sarros cookbook, preferably)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt the butter. In a medium sized bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, milk and melted butter into the banana until well mixed.
Sift the flour mixture, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt over the bowl with the egg mixture. Whisk the batter until smooth. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips.
Preheat an Ebelskiver pan over medium heat, for approx. 1 minute. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of shortening to each pod of the pan. When melted, add approx. 1 tablespoon of batter to each pod. I use a small ice cream scoop (#50) and it comes out really clean. When the batter starts to bubble, flip with a fork. Continue to flip to avoid browning. Let cook about 3 minutes total. Remove to a plate and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
They will go quick! You should continue doubling the batch if you are cooking for more than 4 adults.
If you are using this recipe to make pancakes, use the batter to prepare over a skillet, as you normally would.
This recipe was adapted from Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults by Connie Sarros.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Rice Cakes (lots of options)
Pirate's Booty (veggie booty for those with dairy allergies)
Rice Crackers (non-sesame versions)
Boxes of Organic Raisins
String Cheese or Baby Bell
Fruit Crisps (Brothers-All-Natural, sold at Costco)
Potato Chips or Potato Crisps (Brothers-All-Natural, sold at Costco)
Snap Peas, Carrots, Celery Sticks, Sliced Cucumber
All kinds of sliced fruits, blueberries are especially easy
Snacks by Ians and Glutino (large variety found at Whole Foods)
Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks
Snapea Crisps (Ella's favorite)
Veggie Chips (the kind without wheat flour)
Rice Crispie Treats (for special occasions)
Puffed Rice Cereal (for Milo, especially)
Gluten-Free Animal Crackers (this saves us at the zoo!)
Juice Boxes (organic) and Milk Boxes (2% milk or whole, only organic)
Gluten-Free Muffins that I make ahead and keep in the freezer
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
I got the recipe from Gluten-Free Quick & Easy by Carol Fenster. I would post the recipe but I think that if you are interested in this you should go buy her book. It is fabulous. But if you are my friend, e-mail me and I will be happy to pass it along!
2 Slices Wheat/Gluten-Free Bread (my favorite right now is Whole Foods' 365 Gluten Free Sandwich Mix)
2 thick slices of good quality ham
2 slices of Swiss or Gruyere cheese (large enough to cover bread slice)
2-4 large eggs (depending how many you want on your sandwich)
Preheat Oven Broiler to high setting.
Preheat an oven proof skillet, over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and fry eggs to desired doneness, making sure to keep them separate from one another. Season with salt and pepper and remove from pan. Butter one side of each of the bread slices. Place buttered side in pan. Top with cooked egg(s), 1 slice of ham per slice of bread, and top with cheese. Allow cheese to get slightly melted. Check to make sure bread is crispy and golden brown. Remove from range and put into pre-heated oven. Broil for approx. 3 minutes or until cheese starts to get brown and bubbly. Serve with favorite brown mustard. Enter Nirvana!
1 Pork Tenderloin, cut into 1/2" slices
3/4 cup wheat-free flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup egg substitute or 2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups finely ground cornflakes (I use a food processor)
1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
lemon wedges and fresh parsley (for garnish)
Place a slice of tenderloin in a thick plastic bag. Pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until evenly thin, approx. 1/8". Repeat for all slices and plate.
Place the flour on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Place eggs or egg substitute in a low bowl. Blend with a fork. Combine cornflakes and Parmesan cheese in a third dish. Add a pinch or two of coarse salt.
Take each of the pork slices, dredge in flour, dip in egg mix, and cover with cornflake/cheese mixture. Cook in a frying pan, preheated with oil over med-high heat. Cook each side for approx. 3-5 minutes. Allow crust to reach a golden brown before flipping. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
Ella likes hers with ketchup!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts
Gluten-Free Quick and Easy by Carol Fenster, Ph. D.
Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults by Connie Sarros
I am also in love with the following products and would not be able to survive without them...
Any and all brown rice pastas
Tapioca, Potato, Brown Rice, White Rice, Sweet Rice and Sorghum Flours (I did not even know that these foods existed two months ago)
Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Pancake Mix (also dairy-free and nut-free)
Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Brownie Mix (also dairy-free and nut-free)
Corn Flakes (who knew that they would save my life?)
Authentic Food's Blueberry Muffin Mix
Brown Rice Cakes
Glutino's Gluten-Free Frozen Pizzas
Mi-Del Arrowroot Animal Cookies (Thank you, thank you, thank you!)
Let's Do Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones
It may seem like I have a lot of sweet choices on my list. But hey, I have a 3 year old. Sweets are a part of our lives! I will add to this list later, but I just wanted to take a moment to sing some praise!
Following the article were a bunch of comments and one of them, in particular, has got me spitting mad. It was from a woman named "Amanda" who has a daughter that only likes to eat peanut butter sandwiches. And her school is nut free, so she was complaining about what an inconvenience it is for her to have to follow the rule. She believes that if her daughter cannot eat PB&J's, it violates her civil liberties. So she has decided to send her daughter to school with one of these sandwiches, every day, even though there are children in her class that have peanut allergies. She thinks that parents should "Just deal with it!" After reading this venomous insanity I found myself getting so mad that I could barely breathe. What a horrible, selfish person. How is it possible that someone could be so vicious and uncaring? And I cannot imagine what values she must be teaching her daughter. Not to mention the fact that she is greatly endangering the lives of other children by being so callus! I am not a violent person but I can promise you that if I ever meet this woman, I might just hurt her. My day was consumed by rage. And after much introspection, I decided that I needed to do something to stop people like her. Now I am inspired to do what I can to raise awareness of this dreadful disease. And I want to commit myself in every way that I can to find out why there are more food allergies now, than ever before.
Let me make it clear that I fully understand how annoying it must be inconvenienced and to not be able to send your child to school with their favorite food. Why does your child's right to eat a PB&J trump my daughter's right to be able to go to school? It is not as if somebody has decided that they do not like the color blue, therefore no one can wear blue to school anymore. We are talking about something that could endanger the lives of other people. Because of this, I think that parents who do not follow a school's no-nut policy should not be allowed to send their child to that school. If for no other reason, it is a liability issue. Maybe they should send their child to a private school that allows them to be able to eat their beloved sandwich. And really, is it so hard to find an alternate to PB&J's? Why do parents think that their kids will only eat pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and PB&J's? Yes, kids are picky eaters but you have to at least TRY to find something else for them to eat. Maybe something that is nutritious? Ella does not have a severe peanut allergy, although she is allergic to them. It would not be a catastrophe for us if she had exposure to peanuts. BUT I understand how dangerous these allergies can be and for that reason alone, I am willing to think outside the box.
Thank you, Amanda! Hopefully there are many more of you out there. My new mission in life is to teach you some compassion! And maybe then, we will have a better world for our children.