Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

One thing I've learned about gluten-free cookie is that some of the food can be, well, downright weird tasting or just plain weird. Growing up in the Midwest and on the farm, we're used to old-fashioned, down-home cooking and baking. Since going gluten-free, I've learned to experiment. Much to the dismay some of my children someday! Cookies were something that they truly missed. These are simple, no fancy ingredients or things I can't pronounce or that aren't easily obtain at my local grocery store. They look like a chocolate chip and taste pretty darn close to a regular cookie.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups Namaste All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars and add in eggs and then vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and slowly add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on baking sheets and then remove to finish cooling.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gluten Free Tortilla

Child 3 is now gluten-free. This has caused his world to crash since he believes one of the major food groups is taco pizza. Taco pizza for him is a tortilla shell with pepperoni and cheese dipped in ketchup. So to appease his poor belly, I tried my hand at homemade tortilla shells.  I originally found a recipe on, which is my go-to gluten-free all-purpose flour. However, the recipe calls for shortening which I do not use. Here is my version with  my oh-so-professional picture! HAHA!!

Gluten-Free Homemade Tortilla

3 cups Namaste all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup cold butter cubed
3/4 cup chicken stock

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter and add hot chicken stock. Allow to cool in fridge and then portion into about 10 balls. Flatten with a tortilla press and further roll out using a rolling pin. Cook on a pan sprayed with coconut oil about 2 minutes on each side.

These do not fold nicely like a flour tortilla shell, however, the farmer thinks they'd be soften if we steamed them. The kids made taco pizzas out of them and liked them.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My kid sucks....Part 2

I originally wrote the post I'm sorry my kid sucks in September of 2014. I really was at the end of my rope. Our home felt like a warzone. We avoided anything that may upset our youngest child. We avoided trying to take him anywhere. I did have an appointment with our doctor and the only thing I wanted was medication.

I truly hated myself. To have a child whom you love with all your being and at the same time you hate him. Tears were becoming a normal part of our daily routine; mine, his, and our other children.

The appointment I had was cancelled and grandma asked if she could make an appointment to take him to the same doctor we had taken our daughter the year before when she was suffering from IBS. Realizing I hadn't even thought of this as an option, I agreed. I was willing to try anything. I knew I should have thought of this myself but when you're in a middle of a warzone, rational thought tends to go wayward.

They came home from that appointment with a little sack of vitamins and supplements and a new diet and weekly appointments to see this doctor. He told us that it may be 6-8 weeks before we saw improvements. His diet was to exclude gluten, wheat, limit dairy, no milk, and limit highly processed sugars, especially apple juice.

This time we attacked the diet for the entire family. Anything processed with wheat and gluten were either taken to the food shelf or thrown out. No more "regular" crackers, breads, and snacks. No more apple juice, no more milk. We went back to making our own coconut milk yogurt and ice cream. Everyone was now going to eat the same thing. Our middle child initially complained stating that he didn't have a problem with gluten, so why couldn't he have it. Our simple explanation was that Em was old enough to know and understand what she couldn't eat and why, Little Man couldn't understand it yet.

What happened? Within a couple of days, he was calmer. He stopped constantly hitting and rubbing his head. Amazingly, he stopped screaming and began hugging and kissing. As we continued forward, there were no more temper tantrums in the morning or raging fits at bedtime. Meal times became more relaxed. He started playing independently and following directions. Within a couple of weeks, other people started commenting that he was calmer and happier.

That's not to say that it hasn't been easy. Anyone can attest to moving to a gluten-free lifestyle that it's hard. There are no more cheats on letting your children eat hot lunch at school on those mornings you're running late. It's having to find time each week to bake and prepare snacks and treats for the upcoming week. It's having to make sure you have snacks prepared for when you go places where food is going to be and you're certain there won't be anything you can let your child have. And there have been many nights where dinner has become fruit and popcorn because dinner was a bomb.

Gluten affected our oldest physically, gluten is affecting our Little Man physically and neurologically. Our best guess is that he was having headaches and stomach pain and giving him general discomfort. But today, it's definitely worth it.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

I'm sorry my kid sucks...

(Originally wrote September 2014)

I'm sorry my kid annoyed you at the store today. I'm sorry my kid ruined 30 seconds of your day by his unexplainable outrageous behavior. I'm sure to you this shows as to my poor parenting skills that I allowed him to carry on as such throughout the store.

I'm sorry my kid annoyed you at the family function. I saw your eyes rolling back in their sockets when he starting yelling and then when I tried to calm him down, I'm sure I was the talk of the afternoon when he hauled off and hit me.

I'm sorry for the way my kid acted at church today. I'm sure you said an extra prayer for us as I dragged him kicking and crying to the back of the sanctuary. Or the school function that we had to leave, or really any place I've taken him.

I've seen the looks, the eye rolls, the whispers behind your hand as my kid and I leave a room, a store, a restaurant, etc.

Guess what? I'm sorry too. And I'm sad. I love him more than anything in the world. And what you don't know is that while his unexplainable and outrageous behavior may have ruined 30 seconds of your day, I have this unexplainable and outrageous behavior EVERY SINGLE DAY.

He's 3, almost 4 and he doesn't talk. He yells, screams, kicks, hits, throws, stomps his foot, pushes, and has even slapped me across the face on more than one occasion. I have anxiety taking him anywhere because I know he's unpredictable. I don't know why he doesn't want to talk. But yes, your unsolicited advice that I just tell him to use words is absolutely astounding! I wish I would have thought of that earlier. Why, it's almost magical. I just tell him to use words and WHAM! My problems are fixed.

Did you also know that while he may have annoyed you for 30 seconds today, I rarely take him anywhere because it's exhausting. It's a fight to get him dressed, feed, teeth brushed and into the car without it being a raging war. Do you know that most mornings by the time I get three kids dressed, lunches packed, bags packed, kids dressed and ready for school or daycare, that I'm so exhausted I could just crawl back into bed. Or that most mornings, I don't do my make-up until I get to work because I cry after I've dropped everyone off. Did you know that his siblings are also annoyed by him? Some days our house is like a war zone. It's all dependent upon this little one's mood.

We try to avoid taking him to the store unless I can go with just him. We avoid family functions if it falls during the middle of the day. His dad stays home from church so that I can still go with the other two. If we do go somewhere as a family, we take two vehicles in case he blows. We avoid any situation where it may cause him to lose it. Did you know that we spend a lot of time at home because of him, and the looks, and the whispers, and the eye rolls, and the unsolicited parenting advice?

Did you know that lately, my favorite time of the day is after we've spent almost an hour trying to get him to sleep, when I can then lay down next to him in his bed and watch him be peaceful.

We've been to doctors and they tell me nothing is wrong with him. He's in speech therapy and goes to school. We've tried time outs, strict routines, and even spankings. We've read every parenting site we can find about toddlers and anxiety and temper tantrums and defiance and every other subject we can possible think of. I've begged doctors to just medicate him so our house can be peaceful. But he doesn't have ADD, ADHD, autism, or anything else that they can find. I've begged the doctors to medicate me so I can just get through the day sometimes.

Please don't judge me because my child has a meltdown. Please don't judge my child because he had a meltdown. And please, for the love of all things holy, at least wait until I've left the store or am out of the driveway, before you roll your eyes at me and my child.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Skunk Recipes

Last week one morning I awoke to the dog banging on the front door. Thinking the Farmer had left him outside, I let the dog in and started about my morning routine. The dog meanwhile was going nuts, running throughout the house, rubbing himself all over furniture, rugs, over beds, etc. This is not unusual when he is left outside, I think he's trying to warm up. But after a couple of minutes, I realize something stinks...BAD.

I immediately put the dog back outside and call the Farmer to ask him what stinks. He then tells me not to let the dog in the house...long silent pause...He then tells me about his morning of letting the dog outside and then he hears him banging in the garage, walks into the garage (where our wood furnace is kept and running) and sees a skunk which proceeds to spray. He then goes back into the house, get a gun, shoots the skunk...which sprays again.

Because I'm not a morning person, I go about the morning and take the two oldest to school and the youngest to daycare. At daycare, the lady tells me something's the Little Man's jacket and blanket so we put everything outside while I explain our morning and what must have happened. I head back to the van and get a text from my mom who tells me Miss Em's stuff stinks. I call her at school and tell her about my morning and realize not only the dog brought it in but it must have come through the heating vents. I make my mom go back to my kids room and smell them to make sure it's just their outerwear and not them and get to come home to spend three hours carrying out laundry, bedding, etc. and cleaning the house from top to bottom.

After trial and error, these are the best skunk recipes for cleaning out the stink.

Skunk "Febreeze"
Mix one bottle of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle, shake well and SPRAY EVERYTHING.

Pet Cleaner
2 bottles hydrogen peroxide
1 tablespoon liquid soap
Half cup baking soda
Stir together in a pail.
Sponge on liberally
Let sit for 5 minutes
Rinse liberally with water

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
Regular amount of laundry soap

Floor, woodwork, etc.
2 cups vinegar in a pail of water

On things that I wasn't sure should be sprayed with hydrogen peroxide (like the kids dance costumes for their recital) I did use regular febreeze and it did get rid of the smell.

And when your other half comes restarting the wood furnace after you spend the entire day doing laundry and cleaning the house....consider burning everything...and then start over cleaning.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Waffle (Pancake) Mix

My kids love pancakes and waffles. When Miss Em was first told she couldn't eat gluten and wheat, this was her only concern. We have tried the premade mixes, but unfortunately, those are just not in our budget to buy on a regular basis. We've tried several recipes but ultimately I wanted something simple, without a lot of ingredients that would be similar to what the kids were used to eating. This is probably the closest I have come and my kids absolutely love them and all three kids give them two thumbs up!

1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup gluten-free corn meal
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (vanilla or plain)
1 banana mashed
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
3 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
2 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon (depending upon your taste - my kids LOVE cinnamon)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix together dry ingredients and whisk in eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and almond milk. Spray waffle iron or griddle with oil and cook until done.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

These muffins are gluten free, wheat free and dairy free (in our house, dairy free is milk products, does not include eggs). Hot out of the oven, these muffins were scrumptious with a dollop of butter, almost like a bread pudding!

Prep Time: 5 minutes                                   
Servings: 12
Cook Time: 22 minutes

•  1 C brown rice flour
•  1 C light brown sugar
•  3/4 C tapioca starch
•  1/2 C Stevia in the Raw
•  1/4 C almond flour
•  1 tsp. xantham gum
•  1 tsp. baking powder
•  1 tsp. baking soda
•  1 tsp. ground ginger
•  1 tsp. ground cinnamon
•  1/2 tsp. sea salt
•  1/2 tsp. nutmeg
•  1/2 C coconut oil (melted)
•  1 C pumpkin puree
•  1 banana, mashed
•  2 eggs
•  2 tsp. vanilla extract
 •  Whisk together dry ingredients.
•  Wisk in wet ingredients and let sit for a couple minutes to rest.•  Line muffin pan with 12 liners and divide batter evenly. •  Bake 22-25 minutes at 350 degrees. •  Remove from oven to cool and store in refrigerator.

TIP: While I do use Stevia in the Raw in place of sugar, I have not found a good alternative to brown sugar.


p.s. I did take a picture, however, I cannot find the cord to my camera and couldn't figure out how to download pictures from my cell phone to my new computer!