Mandy’s Kid-Approved Grain Free Granola

SONY DSCSlowly but surely I’m measuring the ingredients for the dishes that I make so that I can write recipes for my friends and readers!  Last Sunday I managed to finally record some measurements for my grain free granola.  Both Hunter, my oldest and gluten free kid, and I are enjoying it immensely.  Hope you will too!

 

Preheat oven to approximately 275 degrees (you might play around with this depending upon your own personal oven).

Spray a glass baking dish or use coconut oil or butter to grease the dish.

Mix together in a bowl the following:

1 cup coconut (I used large organic flakes)

2/3 cup cacao nibs

1 cup raisins

1/3 cup chia seeds (I only had ground seeds on hand so I had to use those.  I believe whole chia seeds would be better though.)

1/3 cup flax seeds (Roasted golden from Trader Joe’s is what I had available.)
2/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

4 Tblsps honey (maple syrup, agave, coconut syrup would all work just fine too)

Spices:  I used about 1 tsp of  cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg.  You can use whatever you have on hand and whatever amount you prefer.

Once you have mixed these all together, spread into baking dish.  Put into preheated oven and after about 12 minutes, take it out and stir it.  You will do this about three times for a total of 36 minutes baking time.  You can also play around with this step.

I serve mine with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  My son loves it in his yogurt and berries.

If you try my recipe, please let me know.  I love hearing how someone likes the dishes I create!

Everybody likes Butterbeer! A gluten, dairy, sugar free all natural Harry Potter-inspired treat

Recently we have jumped aboard the Harry Potter bandwagon.  Neither big kid was enthusiastic when I informed them that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was going to be part of their third grade experience.  In fact, my daughter Ronin was miserable over it all.  But I insisted that she try listening because there was a good possibility that she would like it.  Enter Hagrid.  That was the end of her resistance.  Hunter, the nine year old, wasn’t apprehensive but rather neutral.  Now he’s picked out another HP Lego set to ask for at Christmas time and he’s helping plan our trip to Universal Studios for his birthday in the spring.  Yeah, I’d say he’s hooked.

Butterbeer!!

Butterbeer!!

While we have only made it through book one and movie one so far, I must admit to my new little habit of scoping out the internet for fun HP-related things because I may or may not be planning an HP-themed party for next year.  In all of my searching I learned about butterbeer which I understand isn’t introduced until book three.  It sounded so good and I liked the idea of the kids already knowing butterbeer personally before reading about it, so, after reading a few recipes, I came up with my own recipe.  Whether it is authentic to the one that Rowling tasted in her mind is hard to say.  But at least it’s not chock full of chemicals and sugars.  It’s a healthier version that is more compatible with our diet.

Here are the ingredients we used:

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Recipe for Gluten, dairy, and sugar free butterbeer

serves 4

Ingredients

about 2 cups of shaved/crushed ice

2 cans chilled cream soda zevia

3 tsp butter flavor

stevia to taste

1 can chilled full fat coconut cream

To prepare whipped cream:

Open can of chilled full fat coconut cream.  Scoop solid cream into bowl and do not include the liquid at the bottom of the can.  Reserve that for something else (mine went into my smoothie the next morning).  Whip to creamy perfection (about a minute or two) with a hand mixer while also adding stevia to your own personal taste and 1 tsp of butter flavor.  Set aside.

Fill four glasses with approx 1/2 cup of crushed ice.  Pour half of each can of cream soda flavored Zevia into each glass over the ice.  Add 1/2 tsp butter flavor to each glass and gently stir.

Distribute whipped coconut cream over the top of the drink.

Serve immediately.

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This was the finished product.

(The title of this post is a reference to a goofy song by my favorite band, the B-52’s.  Everybody likes Butterbeer but they feel the same way about a Butterbean!)

Gluten Free Chocolate Chess Cookie Squares

For Father’s Day, we made my husband a delicious gluten free dessert.  It turned out so well that I want to share it here.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chess Cookie Squares

Instructions and ingredients for crust:

2 cups crushed/blended gluten free cookies (I used Mo-del gluten free chocolate chip cookies that we found for cheap and thought were nasty…  a nice way to use them up)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Mix all ingredients together and press into a sprayed glass casserole dish.  I used an 8×12 Pyrex pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.

Instructions and ingredients for chocolate chess filling:

4 eggs

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk)

2 cups coconut sugar

1/2 cup organic cocoa powder

Beat eggs and then add the rest of the ingredient.  Beat until well mixed.  Pour over the cookie crust and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy!

Moist, delicious, and a huge hit at our house!

Moist, delicious, and a huge hit at our house!

I Hosted an all natural Gluten/Dairy Free Doctor Who Birthday Party on a Budget… and so can you!

Several months ago I “strewed” our Netflix queue with “Doctor Who” and waited for my daughter to watch it and become addicted.  Which is precisely what happened.  In a matter of weeks, she’d watched all 80 something episodes of the more current seriesvand I’d started TiVoing the new season for her.  She was totally hooked.  I knew she’d like it… because she’s smart and quirky and funny and geeky… just like every other fan of that show that I know.  What I didn’t know was how much she’d love it.  Or that I’d fall in love with it too.  So naturally, I loved the idea of hosting a Doctor Who birthday party when the girl brought it up to me.  I did not, however, love the idea of having to deal with the party right after Christmas but such is the luck when your child is born on New Year’s Day.

Having a New Year’s birthday, however, made for an interesting birthday party angle.  I sent Facebook invites encouraging everyone to join us as we stepped on the TARDIS and traveled forward in time to the year 2013 to celebrate Ronin’s 7th birthday.  Costumes were encouraged (sadly, no one came in a costume though we did have someone come in a handmade Doctor shirt which was awesome).

For Halloween, Ronin’s grandmother made her a TARDIS dress and TARDIS hat.  So, obviously, we pulled that back out for the party!  We also had a blue table cloth covered in silver star confetti, blue balloons, and blue and white candles which went on the largest, most perfect birthday cupcake for the special birthday girl.  The cupcakes on top were baked in a yellow cup and the ones on the two bottom shelves were baked in blue cups.  These color choices were used to symbolize the light on the top of the TARDIS and the bottom symbolized the TARDIS itself.  I made the TARDIS toppers myself… by printing out the TARDIS pictures on my printer and taping them to toothpicks.  So easy and so cheap!

TARDIS topped sonic screwdriver gluten free dairy free cupcakes.

TARDIS topped sonic screwdriver gluten free dairy free cupcakes.

Now I will share my recipe for the amazing cupcakes!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free “Sonic” Screwdriver (Orange) Yellow Birthday Cupcakes

  • 2 cups Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix (this mix has small amounts of milk in it… this recipe can easily be made dairy free if you used simply another gf basic baking mix that didn’t have milk in it)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar (I used coconut)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Separate egg yolks from the whites. Whip the egg whites with a mixer until they form stiff peaks (I used a hand mixer).

In another bowl beat together butter, baking mix, and sugar. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute. Then add 1/4 cup milk, vanilla and orange extracts. Mix again at medium speed for one minute. Add remaining milk and egg yolks, and beat for an additional minute. Then fold in the stiffened egg whites.

Spoon batter into cupcake papers until they are just over half full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Check the centers with a toothpick!

I topped them with a simple vegan cream cheese icing.

Amy is waiting by the TARDIS for the Doctor (who arrived after the party was over).

Amy is waiting by the TARDIS for the Doctor (who arrived after the party was over).

Finding decorations and party favors for the party was a lot of fun!  My daughter and I spent some time making blue beaded bracelets for each guest.  We printed out a color sheet of the TARDIS for everyone to color while they watched the scene where the 11th Doctor met Amy Pond.  Most of the children in attendance didn’t know anything about the Doctor and his companion so I did some relatively simple explaining and let the scenes speak for themselves.

There are so many Doctor Who color sheets available online!  Every guest received one when she arrived.

There are so many Doctor Who color sheets available online! Every guest received one when she arrived.

Of course, we had to serve Doctor-related snacks in addition to the cupcakes.

What Doctor Who party is complete with out (gluten free) fish sticks and (vegan) custard?

What Doctor Who party is complete with out (gluten free) fish sticks and (vegan) custard?

Gluten free fish sticks are costly.  But vegan vanilla pudding makes for a perfectly acceptable and tasty “custard”.  🙂

All natural and gluten free

All natural and gluten free “ginger companion cookies”.

Of course we had to serve something in honor of Amelia Pond.  These ginger cookies did quite nicely.

The Doctor would have hated these apples with this yogurt dip.

The Doctor would have hated these apples with this yogurt dip.

The yogurt dip was amazing.  So Delicious Coconut Vanilla yogurt with agave and some lemon juice.  Perfection!

Not pictured here but I did serve a Doctor inspired drink.  We aren’t big on sodas in our house. In fact, the only ones allowed are by a brand called Zevia and since they are quite costly, we rarely buy them at all.  But for this special occasion, we served Mulled Doctor Zevia from the crock pot.  Here is a recipe for mulled Doctor Pepper.  I wasn’t crazy about it to be honest.  But it was still fun to have a Doctor drink!

Of course, the highlight of the party were the games!  Whovian or not, the kids all loved to

Pin the Bow Tie on the Doctor

Pin the Bow Tie on the Doctor

and

play Weeping Angel Freeze Tag

play Weeping Angel Freeze Tag

Don't blink!

Don’t blink!

While I cannot take credit for the idea of Weeping Angel Freeze Tag, I will happily explain my own version that I created to fit the needs for the party.  Originally I had planned to use our (dark) garage but it was being occupied by a sleeping daddy so I made up my own version.  Each Weeping Angel had to stand in a laundry basket which kept them in one spot.  They could move around in the basket, reaching with arms and torso, but they had to stay in the basket.  With Doctor Who music playing in the background, the kids each tried to escape being touched by the creepy kid in the mask.  This kept them very entertained for much longer than I ever imagined possible!  Lots of laughter and exercise!  Fun was had by all!  Print your own Weeping Angel mask here.

A happy happy bunch of Whovians!

A happy happy bunch of Whovians!

Despite having no idea what any of this stuff was in reference to, I believe Ronin’s girl friends enjoyed themselves.

Mother and Daughter:  Geeks, Whovians, Same dimple

Mother and Daughter: Geeks, Whovians, Same dimple and crooked smile.

Such a great group of kiddos!  We love them all!

Such a great group of kiddos! We love them all!

Thanks for time traveling  into the future with us!  Happy New Year and Happy 50th Anniversary to Doctor Who!

And an extra special thank you to all of the Secret Santas who helped make this a particularly timey wimey holiday season for my daughter.  You. Are. Amazing.

Most of the Doctor Who loot from Christmas and birthday.  Lucky Whovian.

We ❤ being a part of this fandom!

Gluten Free Lemon Mixed Berry Muffins

Last week my sweet friend Pat blessed me with several organic Meyer’s lemons.  I don’t believe I’d ever had a Meyer’s lemon before but man, let me tell you, I am loving them!  I made a raw lemon coconut cream pie, some raw peach lemon coconut ice cream, some lemony green beans, and finally, I created these little beauties.  So, without further ado, I’m going to tell you how to make these fantastic muffins.

Gluten Free Lemon Mixed Berry Muffins

(these would be dairy free but there is milk in the Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix… we won’t be buying the Pamela’s anymore and we’ll be trying some new gluten free basic all purpose mixes that don’t include milk… but for now we have to use this stuff up.)

2 cups all purpose gluten free baking mix (I used Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix)

1/3 cup coconut oil (of course you can use butter here but since we are cracking down on dairy, we are even limiting butter, sadly)

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk (I used coconut)

1/2 cup sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw but I bet about 1 tablespoon of stevia would work well too)

1 egg (and here I added an extra egg yolk leftover from dinner the night before so you can do that too if you’d like)

1 tsp of vanilla

the zest and juice of one organic lemon (and again, I used Meyers)

3/4 cup organic mixed berries (I used the frozen ones in a bag from Trader Joe’s… chopped them before I added them)

Preheat oven to 350º.  Combine all ingredients (except for berries) in a large bowl. Fold in the berries. Spray or grease muffin tin and  spoon batter into muffin tin, leaving a little room at the top.

Bake for 22-25 Minutes.  Test with a toothpick to make sure they are done!  This recipe will  make about a dozen muffins.  They will not last long though so make sure to cool them in a secret location and them place them in a container in the refrigerator if you intend to keep them until the next day.  I made them for early morning tutoring and co-op breakfasts.

Here’s what the kids had to say about them.

“They were really good.” -Hunter

“Pretty good.”-Drayken

“They were really good.  I really like ’em.”

Gorgeous Gluten Free Beauties!

Gorgeous Gluten Free Beauties!

A Gluten Free Holiday: Minty Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Cookies (ie. The Best Cookie EVAH)

People, I have eaten a lot of cookies in my time.  You might find that hard to believe, but I used to get all pumped for the free cookies at the grocery store.  The classic chocolate chip has always been my favorite.  To me, there was no way to improve upon this simple, perfect confection.  That is, until I learned about the masterful ingenious combination of chocolate with peppermint.  It’s no secret that my favorite flavor of Ridiculous Chocolate is peppermint.  And I might also occasionally snag the mint flavoring that belongs to the business to add to my avocado chocolate pudding.  And, confession time…  I might totally be looking forward to Santa’s visit Monday night because I happen to know that he has this cool tradition here at our house.  He hangs all natural organic candy canes on our tree during his visit.  And, well, I kinda look forward to snagging one of those bad boys and putting it right smack dab into a steaming cup of Ridiculous Chocolate hot cocoa  Christmas morning.

Last week my husband came home from his Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s shopping trips with a couple of new items.  A bag of all natural peppermint candies (think Starlight mints) and a canister of peppermint sprinkles.  You KNOW I just had to come up with a way to use these little tasty treats.  So, I read a couple dozen recipes and decided to make up my own.  And, folks, the result was the best. cookie. ever.  At least according to me.  And my children.  And our opinions count!

Peppermint and Chocolate, oh MY!

Peppermint and Chocolate, oh MY!

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This boy thinks my cookies are the best cookies ever.

Without further ado, I give you my very own

Minty Chocolate Chip Gluten Free Cookies!

2 1/2 cups Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking and Pancake Mix

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks of organic butter (be sure you set the sticks out for a while so that they are nice and soft…. you might even melt them a little on the stove.  not the microwave.  you know I don’t approve of microwaves.)

1 cup coconut sap sugar

2 TB organic pure stevia powder ( I buy this giant container and it ends up being a bargain since we use the stuff so very much.)

1 tsp vanilla

1.5 tsp all natural organic peppermint extract (This brand works nicely.)

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips (I used a combination of Trader Joe’s semi sweet and Enjoy Life’s Allergen Free mini chocolate chips because that is what I had on hand and already opened.)

1/2-3/4 cup of chopped up peppermint (We used a combination of the sprinkles from the canister and the candy mints.  I had the kids use our nut chopper to crush up the candies which was great fun for them all.)

Mix together your flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the sugar, stevia, butter, vanilla, and mint extracts.  Once those ingredients are creamed well together, add in your eggs, one at a time.  Continue to beat the mixture with a hand mixer and try to refrain from tasting it.  There are raw eggs in there, yo.

Now you will need to add the dry ingredients from earlier.  Beat all of that until it looks nice and smooth.  At this point, remove your hand jewelry, coat your hands with some kind of oil (coconut works nicely) and start to fold in the candy and the chocolate chips.  Once you have mixed in everything evenly, divide the cookie dough mixture in half.  You will either need to wash your hands at this point or ask for assistance.  In either a ziplock bag or plastic wrap, place each half of dough that you have shaped into something resembling prepacked rolls of cookie dough.

Store them in the fridge overnight.

Slice them up. Put them on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 14 minutes if you can wait until the next day.

I’d love to hear from you if you try this recipe!  Pass it on.  Spread the minty holiday cheer.

Happy Holidays!

A gluten free holiday: Eggnog Cookies

This past week I found some dairy free eggnog on mark down at the store.  Hunter loves loves loves this stuff so I bought several containers for him to enjoy this week of Christmas.  I decided that I should use some of it for baking!  Of course!  After scouring the internet and reading about ten different recipes for eggnog cookies, I came up with this little gem that I used to make some supertasty treats for our family.  Everyone seemed to like them, including the dog.

So Delicious Coconut Egg Nog and Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix made these really tasty cookies a fabulous treat for the holidays!

So Delicious Coconut Egg Nog and Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix made these really tasty cookies a fabulous treat for the holidays!

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Don’t they look scrumptious?

Gluten Free Eggnog Cookies

3 cups Pamela’s Baking and Pancake mix (you can use a different mix or a combination of your own gluten free flours in order to make this cookie dairy free)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt (I used pink salt)

2 TB almond meal

1/2 cup coconut sap sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup apple sauce (I use unsweetened organic from Trader Joe’s)

1/3 cup coconut oil (softened would be good)

3/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Egg Nog (or any egg nog of your choice)

15-20 drops of liquid stevia

In a large bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together.  Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until you have a sticky batter.  Let it sit on the counter for a little while.  You can put a load of laundry in the machine or wash up some dishes.  Or, if you are like me, make sure the kids aren’t wrecking the house.  When you remember that you are making cookies,  head back to the kitchen, turn the oven on to 350 degrees.  Grease a cookie sheet (I like to just use my fingers with some coconut oil… I had to put oil on my hands for the next step anyway so…).  Make sure you have put your rings in a safe place.  Now, scoop up little balls of cookie batter, roll them up until they are nicely roundish, place them on the cookie sheet with a little space between them (look, you know how to do this.  you are no idiot) and let them back from about 10-12 minutes and remove them promptly.  Enjoy!  And don’t forget to save a cookie for Santa!

Have a very Merry gluten free Christmas.