Friday, October 31, 2008
I found this recipe while searching for pumpkin recipes (because you know I cannot get enough of pumpkin at this time of the year), here at Karina's Kitchen. I tweaked it just a little bit, and they came out really good - very moist and not the least bit crumbly. I served them with Leek and Bacon Quiche, and everyone loved them. They'd be good halved and grilled for breakfast, too.
3 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 pumpkin puree*
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup GF flour blend (I used this one)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin cups (or coat with cooking spray), set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until well combined. Add the oil, applesauce, pumpkin puree and brown sugar, beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cinnamon through the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just smooth.
Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm.
*Try substituting sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree for the pumpkin puree.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Let me pause here to tell you that I have sort of a complex. I feel utterly inadequate as a parent. Maybe every parent feels this way, but I've got it bad. Before getting pregnant with Anna, I was totally confident that I had what it took to raise children. After Anna was born, I fell apart. At first I was terrified of being left alone with her. I felt like I was not getting this parenting thing right, and I had a huge responsibility - the life and future of a child! What if I messed it up? It didn't help that she had breathing problems just after birth, and I obsessed over every little sigh and pause in her breathing. After I got used her to breathing, things got a little better until the ASD became obvious. Then I really felt inadequate. I stayed home with her 24/7 and she still needed outside help (doctors, therapists)...I know it's not fair, but it's still hard not to feel like a total failure when you need a therapist's help to unlock your child enough so they will hug you, or talk to you. So fast forward to today, when Anna is communicating meaningfully with us. This really does still feel novel. It sort of feels like she jumped from not being able to communicate, to communicating pretty well, to making up stories, in less than a year. It feels like she's skipped whole years of development and made up for lost time in just a few months. So it's still a little freaky that she's coming home with stories from kindergarten, and I don't know what's truth or not in what she says, and I'm not sure how to respond. Okay, back on track now...
So Anna has been telling me stories about her day. Not every day, maybe once or twice a week. They usually center on something she has done, and something someone else has done. It starts with her. I'll ask her what happened, and then the embellishment will include a classmate or two. Since her making up stories like this is new, I don't know if she's telling me a fantasy or not. We've just speed-raced to the storytelling point, and now I can't decipher fact from fiction. But the thing is, she's asking me a question. What is her question? She can't tell me. It's still difficult for her to answer why questions. Trying to talk with her - trying to capitalize on the window of opportunity she's presenting - feels next to impossible, because she can't take it farther than the statement of fact (her story), we just communicate in circles. So I fall back on black and white issues (such as "it is not okay to yell at someone, that's rude"). Only I feel like more and more lately, it is less and less helpful to talk to Anna about black and white. That is not the question she is asking. And I can't answer a question I can't hear.
Tonight something about this was really bothering me. She told me a story about how she yelled at her teacher today. I really doubted this was true, since she's a rule follower, once she knows what rules have been established. But I treated what she told me as if it were true, and I told her that I was disappointed, and that it's rude to yell at her teacher, and I hope she did not do that again. She agreed with me completely. That's not the answer she was looking for. She repeated her story a couple more times (we were driving in the car), and I ended up firmly telling her that was not acceptable behavior. A few hours later, she came up to me and told me her story again. She was seeking an answer to a question. I didn't know what to do, so I answered as before and then told her I didn't want to talk about it again now that we've established the rules. And I felt terrible, feeling that I was missing something important.
So I got on the phone and talked to a good friend (E, you rock!), trying to sort this out, knowing it would be easier if I talked to someone about it. And my friend told me that this is typical behavior for 5 year olds, and not to look at it through an ASD filter. That Anna is probably trying to work out how she feels about something, and that it's great she feels safe enough with me to talk with me about it. That she's branching out from a black and white world into a world of feelings, of the consequences to acting on what she feels. She did not yell at her teacher. But maybe she felt like yelling at her teacher, and her question was how does she deal with the feelings? Are they bad? Or is the action (the yelling) bad? And how should she navigate how she feels to come to an acceptable course of action?
Wow. Typical behavior. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Typical behavior in an ASD child. Right now that's blowing my mind. I've got typical, and ASD, all rolled up into one little girl who's trying to sort out how she feels. Now I really feel inadequate. But, typical feelings are something I think I can address with her without hauling her to a specialist. I can't wait to get up in the morning and reintroduce the conversation and talk about what actually happened and how she felt about it. You know, it's great. My typical ASD girl, she's like a diamond - beautiful and complex - and perfect.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Now, we put Megan in preschool to get socialized. She needs to be with her peers and interacting with children other than Anna. She and Anna get along well and they play together, but Anna comes with her own set of quirks that Megan has been adopting (such as fixating on the bathroom). That won't go over well with typical kids, so we threw her into a typical kid situation to learn appropriate social behavior. She likes preschool and she's doing well there, and we don't regret our decision. But the days she goes to school and hasn't napped are bad days. Well, afternoons really. But four hours of Megan screaming and sobbing and being overtired and extra-sensitive to everything make it seem like a long, long day.
Anna has not napped for a long time. If she does take a nap, it means she's sick. She's in kindergarten for 6 1/2 hours a day and she does a pretty good job of holding it together at school. However, when we get home all hell breaks loose. Finally she's home and can unwind in a safe place. Since she's worked so hard at school I don't place many demands on her when she gets home. It's a rule that Anna teeters on the edge of a meltdown from 3pm until bedtime. I understand why and I try to be patient with her, but it's still difficult to deal with.
Now, get the girls together when Anna is strung out and Megan has not napped, and a swirling dark vortex opens up in our house. (You think I'm joking!) I can take one child being cranky and flipping out, but the siege of both of them is more than I can handle. I get a throbbing, vise-like headache every day after school and it's because the girls are shrieking, screaming, crying, sobbing, yelling, teasing, fighting and otherwise feeding off each other's crankiness. There's nothing I can do to stop the craziness. They are both just spent. Afternoons with them are a waste for me - I can't get anything done and I spend a lot of time being a referee and holding my head in my hands. I count the minutes until bedtime, which lately has been 7pm sharp, because I just can't take them any longer than that. They need to sleep and recharge for the next day... so their teachers can get them when they are sweet (and I get them when they are depleted).
If anyone has any advice on how to deal with the afternoon crankies, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, I'm going to give up and buy stock in Tylenol.
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried chopped thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until just smooth. Add a little more oil, or 2 tbsp water or chicken broth to thin the hummus if needed. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The RN hauled out her stethoscope and listened to Megan breathe. She informed me that Megan was wheezing in all parts of her lungs. Boy, did I feel like a bad mother. I expressed my surprise because since going off dairy, Megan's asthma had gotten so much better. She said Megan's history of allergic triad (eczema, asthma, gastrointetinal upset) suggests she's just one of those allergic individuals, and that we should expect any little cold to settle in Megan's lungs and make her wheeze. So Megan got another treatment of Accuneb at the office and her oxygen levels came up, but she did not get the Flu Mist. I'll have to take her back in two weeks after her asthma symptoms have calmed down.
I'm feeling sort of bummed because I thought the removal of dairy did the trick. I mean, the eczema on Megan's feet was so bad that skin several layers deep would just peel off in chunks. I used to have to haul out the nebulizer for her a couple of times every month for several days at a time because of her wheezing. And the constant loose stools (the smell could kill a horse!) have disappeared. All of these things have gotten better since removing dairy from Megan's diet. And since going gluten free, she has not complained of tummy upset. So is Megan just prone to having cranky lungs, or is there something else I need to look at that may be triggering the renewed asthma symptoms?
This scenario was my nightmare in trying to decide where to place Anna for kindergarten. She was coming from a small preschool class for children on the spectrum - they worked hard to prepare Anna for a kindergarten classroom environment (and they succeeded). Where would she best segue into an actual classroom situation? Should she be mainstreamed and if so, where - private or public school? How would we be assured that her needs be addressed and met in an academic setting? Should we consider a specialized private school, even though doctors and researchers suggest the best place for kids like Anna to learn social skills is to be in a typical peer setting? In juggling these questions and more, I decided that I could not let anyone tell me what was best for my daughter, I had to make that decision myself. And what became most important to me in the process of considering school placement was that Anna not only get a good academic education but that she also become a well-rounded, confident, grounded individual. I wanted her to be able to grow as a person in a place that was non-judgmental, a place that understood her strengths and weaknesses and challenged her gently without letting her give up on herself or anyone else. I wanted someone to care about Anna's outcome just as much as I cared. I needed to find partners in this process, because I couldn't do this all myself.
So we chose a small private school whose focus is on children with learning differences. I say "we chose" with tongue-in-cheek, because actually it was they who chose us. I researched many schools in the area but this one was the only school I visited and I fell in love with it immediately, for many reasons. I begged God in heaven that she would be accepted. I didn't know how we'd pay for it, but we'd worry about that later. Anna went for an assessment visit which spanned two days, and at the end of the visit she came running over to me, and with the Admissions Director within ear shot she said "Mommy, this is a good place". That could not have been more perfect even if I had given her a script to say such a thing (and I didn't!). I think that may have been my answer, and shortly thereafter we got the notice of her acceptance into the school.
So how do I feel about our decision now, two months into the school year? We made the right choice. Anna is thriving. She is a girl with ASD and there is more to her than what you see on the surface (pragmatic language difficulties, social difficulties, sensory processing difficulties, fine motor delays). Her emotions, self-esteem, confidence, self-image, are all tied up together with her visible differences. It matters how she is treated, how she is challenged, the learning experiences she goes through and the messages she gets from them - all of these things effect her whole person. And I want her to grow into a whole person, rooted and grounded and confident. I want her to see herself as a whole person, and not be defined simply by her difficulties. I look at her now and I can see that this is happening - she feels good about herself, she feels good about school. Her needs are being met and she's thriving.
Sometimes I feel a little bad about opting out of public education. After all, my husband and I were both educated in public schools and we turned out just fine. However, we did not have Anna's needs. I am not convinced the local school district is equipped to provide my daughter with an appropriate education. Her needs must be met in order for her to become an independent, active, functioning member of society. Ultimately, the promise of her potential is too great to be wasted.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
6 white skinned potatoes
4 slices of bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh scallions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
dash salt and pepper
Wash potatoes and chop into 1 inch pieces. Cook in pot of boiling water and cool to room temperature. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels but keep the bacon fat in the frying pan. Cook onion in bacon fat until soft. Chop bacon and add to the potatoes together with the onion, scallions, celery and parsley. Heat and simmer the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until the sugar dissolves. The longer you simmer the mixture the sweeter it will get - you don't want it to be too sweet (it should have a sweet bite). Pour the vinegar mixture over the potato mixture and toss. Prepare a couple of hours ahead of time and stir periodically - the potatoes will soak up the vinegar mixture. Serve at room temperature.
Irish Bread Pudding
1 1/3 loaves GFCF French Bread
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
1 14oz can lite coconut milk
1 cup rice milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 beaten eggs
cinnamon sugar - 2 tsp. sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice french bread in half lengthwise and put on a baking sheet, cut side up. Bake bread about 15 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside.
Combine the raisins and the whiskey, let stand about 15 minutes or until the raisins are soft.
Whisk together the coconut milk through the eggs in a large bowl. Add the cubed bread and the raisin/whiskey mixture, pressing gently to moisten. Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into a 13x9 inch pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the pudding. Bake 35 - 45 minutes, or until the pudding is set. Serve warm with Caramel Whiskey Sauce.
Caramel Whiskey Sauce
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut cream*
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
1/4 cup coconut milk
Combine the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Simmer another 15 minutes over medium-low heat until golden - do not stir. Remove from heat. Carefully add the coconut oil and the coconut cream, stirring well with a whisk. Cool slightly, then stir in the whiskey and coconut milk. Make one day ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve. The sauce will thicken and turn from a translucent color to a milky white color.
*To get coconut cream, open a can of coconut milk (do not shake it first) and skim off the thick cream from the top.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Here is another attempt at making spring rolls. I filled them with fresh vegetables - julienned cucumber and sweet orange pepper and slices of avocado (bean sprouts would also be a nice addition). I hope I'm not making anyone cringe with my version of a spring roll - I'm just loving their fresh taste and using whatever I have in the kitchen to make them (which right now is not much - I need to go shopping!). I found a recipe for the Vietnamese dipping sauce here.
2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. water
juice from 1/2 large fresh lime 1
minced clove garlic
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
4 spring roll skins
2 ounces cooked rice vermicelli or mung bean threads
1 large pickling (salad) cucumber, julienned
1/3 sweet orange pepper or 1 carrot, julienned
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
4 sprigs fresh cilantro
For the sauce: Heat the fish sauce through the chili oil until the sugar is dissolved, set aside.
Dip spring roll skins one by one in a bowl of warm water until just beginning to soften. Layer on damp paper towels, set aside. The skins will continue to soften as you prepare the filling.
Divide the vegetables and vermicelli into 4 equal portions. Place 1/4 vegetables and vermicelli in the middle of a spring roll (I alternated dark and light colors). Top with a sprig of cilantro. Bring the top and bottom of the roll down about an inch and then roll from one side to the other. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve spring rolls with the dipping sauce on the side.
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. cashew butter
3 tbsp. wheat-free soy sauce or UnSoy Sauce
3 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 minced clove garlic
8 spring roll skins
8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders or meat alternative, if desired
1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. canola oil
2 cups shredded broccoli and one medium red onion, thinly sliced, OR julienned carrots
leafy green lettuce, spines removed
Heat the sugar through the garlic until the sugar is dissolved, set aside.
Dip spring roll skins one by one in a bowl of warm water until just beginning to soften. Layer on damp paper towels, set aside. The skins will continue to soften as you prepare the filling.
Cook the chicken (if using) in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat, sprinkling with the garlic powder, salt and pepper, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and cut into bite-sized slices.
Saute the broccoli and onion 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender. (I used carrots in place of the broccoli and onion and left them raw.)
Place leafy greens onto a spring roll, leaving about a 1/2 inch border all around. Center the chicken on top to one side, and broccoli mix (or carrots) to the other. Bring the top and bottom of the roll down about an inch and then roll from one side to the other. Cut rolls into halves and serve with cashew dipping sauce on the side.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Choose your Pumpkin - You should seek out a pie pumpkin, or sugar pie pumpkin. These pumpkins are less grainy and stringy than jack-o-lantern pumpkins and make better pies and baked goods. Choose a pumpkin that is weighty. Your pumpkin should feel heavy. If it feels light, it is old and dry inside.
Halve the pumpkin - A cleaver or any large sharp knife will do – just be careful to not put your fingers underneath the knife either on the pumpkin or your work surface, and don’t wrap your hand around the knife for leverage.
Scoop out seeds, saving them to roast for later. Scoop out strings with a spoon. Cut each pumpkin half into quarters.Bake the Pumpkin - Place in 9x13 inch baking dish. Add only enough water to come up to the thick skin of the pumpkin – no more than that, or the pumpkin will get waterlogged and mushy. You want the pumpkin to steam, not to soak up water. Cover the baking dish with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick easily pierces the skin and goes through the flesh of the pumpkin.
Let cool. Take the skin off the pumpkin – you can peel it with a butter knife. If properly baked, the pumpkin in your hand should feel like soft cream cheese. It should not be watery or fall apart into pieces. If the pumpkin feels waterlogged, put the skinned pieces in a sieve over a bowl. Refrigerate overnight –the water should drain out of the pumpkin and into the bowl. (I follow this step regardless, just to make sure as much water comes out of the cooked pumpkin as possible.) Discard the water.
Make the Pumpkin Puree - Puree the pumpkin in a food processor. You will need to stop the machine a couple of times to push the pumpkin down with a spatula, so it all gets processed smoothly. Be patient, this will take several minutes.
The pumpkin puree should be nice and thick when done – it should be able to stick to a spoon turned upside down and it should hold its shape when swirled. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Roasting the Pumpkin Seeds - Clean the seeds in a colander over running water, fishing out any pumpkin pulp or strings. Spread on paper towels and blot dry. Remove seeds to a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil (canola, olive or grapeseed) and toss to coat. Sprinkle seeds liberally with salt. Bake at 250 degrees for 40 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 5 minutes, or until seeds are golden brown (if they start popping like popcorn in the oven, take them out – they are done!).
Thursday, October 9, 2008
1 pound lean ground chuck or ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 small zucchini, seeded and diced
1 small yellow squash, seeded and diced
2 cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can chili beans, undrained OR 1 can pinto beans, drained plus 1/2 cup salsa
2- 3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground chuck or ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat, draining off the fat. Place into crock pot and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine, cover and cook on low 5 - 6 hours or until the chili is bubbly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Put a chicken carcass into your crock pot, or 2 or 3 chicken leq quarters, or what-have-you
cover with water
add 2 peeled, chopped carrots, 2 large chopped stalks celery and 1 large onion cut into eights (or 1 chopped zucchini, 1 chopped summer squash, 1 large chopped leek, or some combination thereof)
add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper
toss in a sprig of thyme, rosemary, parsley, or dill (or 1 tsp. dried)
Cover and cook on low about 8-10 hours (or simmer on stove top about 1 1/2 hours)
adjust salt to taste
cool and skim fat off the top
store broth in the fridge and use within a week, or store in the freezer for future use
I make homemade chicken stock all the time with leftover chicken carcasses (ours and Shae's - thanks Shae!). We hardly eat beef, but sometimes beef broth comes in handy such as for making UnSoy Sauce or Quinoa Pilaf. So I went to Central Market and asked the butcher for beef soup bones. They had none...but the butcher had been a chef for many years and he told me how to make beef stock using short ribs. Okay, they didn't have short ribs either, but finger ribs would do. He told me how to make it, and my mouth started watering. Now I really had to make my own beef stock, drat it. I picked up a pound of finger ribs for 4.90/pound, which will make 1 gallon of beef stock...still half the price of the purchased beef broth. Plus a house that smells fabulous...I'm sold. Use homemade beef stock within one week or store it in the freezer for future use.
1 pound beef short ribs (or something similar)
2 carrots, peeled and thickly chopped
2 stalks celery, thickly chopped
1 large onion, cut into eighths
Place ribs, carrots, celery and onions in a roasting pan smeared with olive oil. Slowly roast at 275 degrees for a couple of hours, turning occasionally, until the meat starts to fall off the bones (adding a little water as necessary to prevent sticking). Throw the bones with the meat together with the vegetables in a large soup pot. Pour the fat off the roasting pan, then pour enough dry red wine into the bottom of the roasting pan to deglaze the pan (which means, scrape all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan). Put all of the results of the deglazing process into the soup pot. Add water to cover and slowly simmer about an hour or two. Strain broth and discard the meat, bones, veggies and little bits. Season broth to taste with salt and pepper. You should have about a gallon of beef stock. Cool and skim fat off the top. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
1 package ground turkey (about 1 1/4 pounds)
3/4 cup GFCF breadcrumbs*
2 beaten eggs
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Mix all ingredients until well blended. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through. My girls like these topped with Spinach Pesto.
*Take the ends off your GFCF sandwich bread and let them dry out for a day or two on your counter. Then whizz them in your food processor until you get crumbs.
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15 oz. can solid packed pumpkin)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 tbsp. molasses or honey
3 beaten eggs
1 cup lite coconut milk
pie pastry for single crust pie
Combine pumpkin puree through the molasses and stir to combine. Add the eggs and the coconut milk and blend well. Pour into a pie plate lined with pie pastry and bake at 425 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set (the center will not jiggle when moved, and sides of the pie are puffy but not cracked). You can check with a butter knife - the knife should come up clean, but a crack will remain in your pie.
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 large minced cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup white rice flour
1 cup dry red wine
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cups beef broth
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
french bread for serving
Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium low heat. Add the onions through the pepper and cook until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Toss the beef in the rice flour. Turn up the heat to medium high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the wine to the pot, stirring up the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the squash and the beef broth and stir, making sure the broth covers the beef and the butternut squash. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat. Cover and simmer for about an hour, until the squash is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and serve with french bread.
3 cups high protein flour blend
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. active dry yeast or 2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1 -2 tsp. dried rosemary or other herb (I used 1 tsp. dried rosemary)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
cornmeal for dusting
Lightly spray a double french bread pan with cooking spray and dust with cornmeal. Set aside.
Sift together the flour through the herbs. Combine the olive oil and warm water and addt to dry ingredients. Beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes.
Spoon half of the dough into each loaf pan, spreading the dough into the shape of a french loaf - this is easiest done with a greased spatula (spray spatula with cooking spray as needed while spreading the batter). The loaves should each be 10 - 12 inches long.
Cover loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, or until the loaves are doubled in size and the middle of the loaves come to the top of the bread pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, cover with tin foil if browning too fast, and bake another 10 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
*Update 10/16/08 - I put a bowl of water in an ovenproof bowl with 1 cup of water in it on the lowest rack of the oven for the first 15 minutes while baking. Then I removed the bowl of water and finished baking the bread. The crust turned out nice and crispy, more like french bread.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
1 1/4 cups chickpea flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup brown rice flour
Sift all ingredients together until well combined. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight in cold water 4 - 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (use 4 cups for a thick soup, 6 cups for a thinner soup) 1 - 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced, or up to 1 tbsp. adobo sauce 3 chopped stalks celery 1 small onion, diced 1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained 1 medium russet potato, diced 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 bay leaf 1 - 2 tsp. salt to taste 3 tbsp. lime juice 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or more to taste
To the beans add the chicken broth through the bay leaf. Stir, cover and let cook overnight (about 10-12 hours). Turn off the crock pot and let the soup cool a little bit. Discard the bay leaf.
Puree about half the soup in a blender (I pureed all the potatoes as well for a more silky texture. If you use chipotles, make sure to blend them too). Return the puree to the pot and stir. Add salt, lime juice and cilantro to taste. Serve hot with tortilla chips or if your soup is very thick, put some cooked rice in a bowl and pour some soup over top of the rice.