I was out to lunch a few weeks ago with some homeschooling mom friends that I haven’t seen in ages, and as usual, the conversation turned to food. Our little homeschool group has a number of members with food allergies and sensitivities, including several of us who are currently avoiding gluten. We discussed the pros and cons of various gluten free flour blends, options for avoiding the need for flour altogether (I’ve been eating a lot more veggies recently instead), and what to do for a gluten free hamburger bun option. “Look up Brazilian Cheese Bread”, said my friend, Robyn. “That’s become our go to recipe for gluten free buns or bread.” [Read more…]
Back in 2004, my sister Lois and I had an Easter themed brunch menu featured in Taste of Home magazine with a Spring Ahead Brunch Bake, Bavarian Cream Bonnet (rich Bavarian creme decorated to look like an Easter bonnet) and mom’s cinnamon rolls. One of the things I didn’t mention in the recipe posts were the cute little Easter bunnies and chicks that we made out of hard boiled eggs, and some quick and easy Easter crafts and egg decorating ideas. My mom loved tinkering with craft projects, too, so taking time for Easter ideas like these helps me to remember the many happy memories we had together. [Read more…]
Olive Garden Style Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is something my boys enjoy on the rare occasions we eat out. It didn’t seem overly complicated, so I went hunting on the internet and came up with two recipes. Neither seemed quite right to me, so I combined the two and tweaked it a little, and this is the result. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It’s great for using up leftover chicken and mashed potatoes, too. I’ve also added a gluten free gnocchi recipe, so the recipe can be made with or without gluten. [Read more…]
Some of you may remember that we planted some chestnut trees last year as part of our efforts to expand the number of different food crops that we grow and create part of our permaculture landscape. Before we planted any more of them, I figured I’d better make sure we actually like to eat them, so I went hunting for chestnut recipes and chestnuts. Costco had some organic roasted chestnuts for sale, so that covered the nut end of things, and these Maple Pumpkin Blondies from The Healthy Gluten Free Life looked like something my family would be willing to eat, so I started from there and made a few tweaks to work with our flavor preferences and pantry contents. I’m rechristening my version as “Cranberry Chestnut Bars”, because the texture is nothing like a proper blondie (no offense to THGFL – they are just not blondies). These bars have a texture more like really good quickbread – moist and tender, a little bit heavier than most cakes. The cranberries add brightness to the recipe – a little “pop” of flavor. They’d be great without the chocolate chips, too, but of course the boys are more likely to gobble things up if there’s chocolate involved. [Read more…]
When I mentioned I was writing a post on herbal coffee alternatives, my eldest quipped, “Isn’t that called, ‘tea’?” Not being a coffee drinker, the boy simply doesn’t understand the finer aspects of coffee drinking. There’s just something about that rich, earthy brew that calls to me on cold winter mornings. I drink plenty of regular and herbal tea, but coffee is an altogether different beverage category.
In the interest of being a little kinder to my liver and adrenal glands, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of herbal coffee substitutes without caffeine. Do any of them taste exactly like America’s favorite morning caffeine hit? Nope. Are they reasonably tasty? You bet! Plus if you’re so inclined, they are a great way to help ween yourself off of your coffee habit. Just start with mostly coffee and a small amount of herbal coffee, and gradually increase the amount of herbal coffee while decreasing the amount of regular coffee each day until you’re switched over to herbal. [Read more…]