Posts tagged ‘recipe’

February 5, 2018

My Heart Will be Filled With Love and My Tummy With Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

My heart will be filled with love and my tummy with chocolate for Valentine’s Day! I’ll be keeping DJ, my 18-month-old grandson on Valentine’s Day this year. Along with a card, I’m giving him a real, working stethoscope. He’ll get to listen to his heart while we talk about hearts and lungs and friendship and love. Valentine’s Day holds many natural lessons. The chocolate, I’m saving for myself.

If your Valentine is gluten-free, you may be tempted to shower him/her with flowers, jewelry, movie tickets, or stethoscopes rather than food. There’s nothing wrong with any of those. Sometimes they’re my choices as well. But if you really want to score points, take on the challenge of cooking a homemade gluten-free dessert. It won’t be as hard as you think, and the thoughtfulness and effort are certain to touch the heart!
brownie and punch
Since chocolate is a tradition for Valentine’s Day, brownies can be a good choice. The only specialty products needed for the following recipe are a small amount of almond flour and coconut flour. These flours are widely available in regular grocery stores. (The almond flour may be called almond meal.)

If you cannot find almond or coconut flour in your area, they are available from Nuts.com, King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. or big box online retailers like Walmart and Amazon. All of the other ingredients are regular baker’s chocolate, brown sugar, butter, and the like.

There’s no special equipment needed to make this gluten-free Cooking2Thrive recipe, but a heart-shaped cookie cutter can add some romance to the finished product. Just wait until the brownies are cool before you cut them.
recipe card
Brownies
12 brownies

4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, rough chopped
1/2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, rough chopped
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup blanched almond flour
3 tbsp coconut flour + enough to flour baking pan
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup walnut pieces

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

Place butter, chocolate, and honey in sauce pan.  Heat over low until melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool for 3 or 4 minutes.  

While chocolate is melting, whisk together almond flour, 3 tbsp coconut flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.  

Once chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, add vanilla, brown sugar, and egg to it and mix well. Add chocolate mixture to bowl with flour mixture and combine. Stir in walnut pieces.  

Pour batter into prepared 8 x 8 pan. Bake in 350° oven for 18 – 22 minutes. Cool on rack for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.

It’s always comforting to have a gluten-free dish prepared by someone you trust, and food really does taste better when it’s prepared with love.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day filled with love and chocolate!

https://nuts.com/nuts/almonds/flour.html
https://nuts.com/cookingbaking/flours/coconut-gluten-free.html
https://search.kingarthurflour.com/search?w=almond%20flour&af=type:products
https://search.kingarthurflour.com/search?p=Q&view=grid&deftab=products&w=coconut+flour

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

September 13, 2016

My Grandmother’s Kitchen

I’ve been thinking about my grandmother’s kitchen. My first grandchild is 10 weeks old. He spent the afternoon with me yesterday. For the first time, he didn’t want me to put him down. Other than during a few minutes of tummy time and a walk in the stroller, he fussed every minute he wasn’t asleep unless I carried him around.

I remember being able to do most household tasks with a baby in hand, but it’s been a long time since I used that skill. Nonetheless, we managed to water the plants, fix his bottles, and take clothes out of the dryer without benefit of a baby carrier. I didn’t attempt cooking. We´ll save that for later.

recipe boxMy grandmother never seemed to miss a beat whether or not we were around. She made play dough for us using flour, water, salt, and food coloring and let us use her cookie cutters to cut it into shapes at the kitchen table. If we behaved, she’d offer us an oatmeal cookie or ginger snap from her ever full cookie jar. (Speaking of, we always behaved because when she stomped her foot in irritation, we knew she meant business and stopped all shenanigans immediately.) She made lunch and dinner with us underfoot sending us to the refrigerator to fetch whatever she needed.

When I was 8 or 9, GranGran started teaching me how to cook. I was already reading recipes and baking at home, but my grandmother rarely used recipes. Or at least, she rarely pulled a recipe card out of the box. She may have had them all memorized. Her beef and noodles always tasted the same whether she used a recipe or not.

I loved being in my grandmother´s kitchen and I love reminders of it today. I recently went through the recipes in my mother’s kitchen and found recipe cards in my grandmother´s handwriting. On these cards, there’s no list of ingredients at the top. Instead, they appear as you add them to the mix. It’s like each recipe was dictated by the cook who was making the dish and someone wrote it down. I find this charming.

The recipes are much like my grandmother — simple, to the point, and easy to understand. Here´s one I found:

Porcupine Meatballs (Serves 4)

Mix 1/4 cup Campbell’s tomato soup with 1 lb. ground beef, 1/4 cup uncooked rice, 1 egg (slightly beaten), 1/4 cup minced onion, 2 tbsp minced parsley, 1 tsp salt.

Shape into balls about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Brown in 2 tbsp shortening with one small minced clove garlic in large skillet.

Blend in rest of can of soup and 1 cup water.

Simmer about 40 minutes or until rice is tender stirring now and then.

Now, I can´t vouch for the results of this recipe. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. That pipsqueak of a grandson of mine thinks I should hold him instead.

Perhaps you could try it for me and let me know what you think!

January 1, 2015

Looking Backward, Moving Forward

Now that it’s the new year, do you find yourself looking backward, moving forward; looking backward, standing still; or looking forward, moving forward? I think the implied correct, societally acceptable answer is to smile and indicate that the past is the past – I’m looking forward and moving forward with gusto!

But is that really true or are most of us pretending when we say it? Watching many of my friends, acquaintances, customers, and colleagues, I feel like many of us are pretending and I’m wondering why? It seems more acceptable to say we’re moving forward and then behave in ways destined to keep us stuck, than it is to say we’re struggling.

When I have verbalized difficulties, the real ones below the surface that make me feel most vulnerable, some friends have encouraged me to call my doctor for happy pills or said they’re worried me. In contrast, they never said that when I was wearing myself out working too much, playing too much, and buying too much stuff. Whatever the cause, I feel saddened that the result is a culture that supports overmedicating, overworking, and overindulging rather than supporting feeling, and healing. Let’s change that!

If you find yourself at the apex of this new year feeling alone or discouraged, but determined to make positive change, we applaud you! Not for feeling alone, of course, for having the ability to envision a better future and the courage to practice positive change. And we’re here to let you know you’re not alone!

I have spent a lot of time looking backward in order to move forward. It’s kind of a tricky move because looking backward makes it tempting to stay stuck in the same place, especially when the past was painful, difficult, or felt unfair.
looking backward

Yep, that pose is exactly how it feels sometimes! Are my emotional abs strong enough to pull me up to look ahead? Most of the time, they are now (thank goodness we’re talking emotional abs), and it’s been a long process for me to get here, but the result has been freedom and an abundance of choices! Isn’t that what all of us want as we move forward?

The recipe for practicing positive change includes these key ingredients:
Desire
Vision
Courage
Determination
Commitment
Truth
Good boundaries
Intentions
Paradox
Time to sit still
Feeling your real feelings
Trusting your body’s messages
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude

The process will be facilitated by:
Inspiration
Acceptance
Kindness
Humor
Playfulness
Celebration
Positive emotional connections

The rest is just practice, practice, practice in a series of small shifts that lead to large change as we move forward.

Get your ingredients together. We’ll be here all year long to provide inspiration, playfulness, celebration and a safe place to share your concerns, struggles, and triumphs. Look backward, move forward, and make 2015 anything you want it to be!

Happy New Year!

December 14, 2014

Stewart is Ready for Christmas Breakfast! Are you?

Santa Stewart
Stewart is ready for christmas breakfast! Are you? Since the Christmas shopping season starts earlier and earlier each year, I’m wondering if you’re experiencing less rush and more relaxation? I mean, it stands to reason that if we start shopping earlier, we should finish earlier, right?

So far it’s working that way for me because I’ve decided to keep things simple, but my grandog Stewart is way ahead of me. He has already donned his Santa hat, delivered his presents and moved on to picking out his outfit for Christmas breakfast. (He’s leaning toward this gray hoodie. What do you think?) Stewart prefers to focus on the food at all occasions so I guess it’s natural he would want to rush through every other task and get ready for the meal.
Hoodie

This is Stewart’s first Christmas with us, so we had to explain to him that our traditional Christmas meal is breakfast rather than dinner. I don’t think he really understood pancakes, biscuits & gravy or anything else he heard until we got to the word bacon. That one he knows. He immediately perked up and became the most obedient dog ever!
pancakes
bacon

Before my sister would agree to go gluten-free, she needed to know how it would affect all the traditions to which she’s attached. Christmas breakfast was one of those traditions. It was important to her to know that she could still have biscuits, or moonrocks as we call them when my mom does the baking.

My sister was pleased to find out that biscuits and gravy could still be on the menu. In fact, we haven’t found anything in our traditional family meals that can’t be made deliciously gluten-free. If you’ve been looking for a gluten-free biscuit recipe, give this one a try:

Success, Biscuits!
Makes 6 – 8

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup unblanched almond flour
1/4 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
2 tbsp potato flour
2 tbsp potato starch
2 tbsp beet sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp buttermilk
Cooking oil spray

Preheat oven to 400º. Spray baking pan with cooking oil spray.

In large bowl, combine brown rice flour, unblanched almond flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, potato flour, and potato starch. Whisk together until well mixed. Add sugar, salt, and baking powder and mix well. Use a pastry blender to cut shortening into the dry mixture until it forms pea size chunks. Stir in milk and buttermilk until all the dry ingredients are mixed in and begin to form a ball. Beat with a spoon for 30 seconds.

Divide dough in half. Place half the dough on a piece of wax paper and lightly flatten with your palm. Place a second piece of wax paper on top. Roll until 1 inch thick. Using 2 more pieces of wax paper, repeat for the second half of the dough. Remove the top pieces of wax paper from both sections of rolled dough. Turn one of the sections over onto the top of the other to create a second layer. Use a two inch biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles.

Place cut biscuits 2 inches apart in baking pan & bake at 400º for 18- 20 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Serve warm.

biscuits
Christmas breakfast is best enjoyed in your PJs with a cup of piping hot coffee and the ones you love. Don’t tell Stewart. He really wants to wear his hoodie.