Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Busy Bee

So I've been a busy bee this past week.  Between making bread, recipe hunting, freezing fruits and vegetables for the winter, freezing more fruits and vegetables for the winter, drying herbs and taking care of my son, I've been remiss in posting.  Sorry!  I have a lot to share though so keep with me. 

This post is going to be kinda random.  I am going to post links to some of my favorite sites/recipes that I've come to love and rely on since on this diet.

Here is the recipe I used for homemade vanilla extract.  I highly recommend beanilla.com for buying the premium Madagascar vanilla beans.  However, after reading their reviews I bought my jars off of amazon.com.  I saved more on them, they came unbroken, dark in color and perfect size.  Here are the links for all three:

So I said I've been freezing lots of vegetables for the winter.  I found the best book ever.  Not only does it tell you how to prep and freeze all vegetables, but it usually tells you how long you can freeze them for and also how you can use them once thawed (ie: baked goods only, cooked only).  This book also includes recipes and tells you how much each vegetable yields in pounds, pints, bushels, cups, etc.  I've found this extremely helpful in comparing prices from grocery store vs. farmers markets/orchards.  And yes...you can also find most of this info via the internet these days, but now I have all the info I need in one spot and don't have to Google each vegetable every time I need to freeze. 
Let's talk bread.  I've tried the bread machine route and every recipe I've tried was a brick or nasty.  Giving up hope on the bread machine I turned to Google for a non-bread machine recipe.  I have to say, for someone who hates working with yeast, this is the BEST recipe ever!  When it says you can use any kind of flour you really can.  I've done it with King Arthur's 100% white whole wheat flour and King Arthur's whole wheat flour.  I also use organic non salted butter in the recipe and it tastes delicious.  Tip: I usually make 4 loaves at a time because they freeze really well, they are ridiculously fast to make, you can put 2 in the oven at a time, and 1 egg for the egg wash easily can be brushed on all 4 loaves without running out of egg wash and without wasting the egg on just one loaf.  I just bought 2 more bread pans and plan to make 5 at a time now!  Also I use butter to prepare the pans. 

    (can you tell I forgot the egg wash on one loaf...but I would have had enough egg wash with just 1 egg!)

Now for the good stuff....DESSERT!  For our anniversary, my husband and I were looking for a new, fun, quick and easy recipe.  Thanks to Food Network and Alton Brown we found an excellent recipe.  Individual portions of peach upside-down cake.  So the only catch is that you have to watch his 3 min video and pause it as you cook in order to get the recipe.  He measures his flour on a scale as well...but don't worry I researched it and his measurement equals 9 tablespoons of flour.  I made 8 of these the first time and I'm so glad I did.  Yummo!  Also, I used 7oz ramekins not 6oz. 

Ok today I got a little risky and tried a new recipe for Panini bread (yes I feel more confident working with yeast).  I have to admit that I didn't even see the pictures all the way at the bottom and my bread still turned out PERFECTLY!  This is the best recipe ever!  I used Bob's Red Mill 100% organic white flour. You will want to make this recipe tomorrow!
(easiest bread ever to make!)

Ok I think that is enough for now.  None of these sites paid me for passing on their recipes or their info.  I just want to share what has been helpful to me. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fantastic Gluten Free Chili

So my local church just had a chili cook off and I offered to participate.  There were all sorts of different categories; gluten free, all natural, spicy, traditional, white chili, and the list goes on.  I was assigned gluten free/all natural.  All natural was easy, but gluten free was another story, or more like a challenge.  I've very rarely cooked gluten free (at least on purpose).  So that is where the help of a good friend came in.  I constantly had to ask her, "is this safe?"  So some research later and some inspiration from the Gluten-Free Goddess and I had the making of a great recipe. 

So here goes nothing:

Karin's Gluten Free (but tasty) Chili

1 tablespoon EVOO
4 cloves garlic, minced or about 2 tsp.
1 bunch of green onions, diced (or about 1/2 cup)
2 jalapenos, seeded, stemmed, diced
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored, diced
1 large green pepper, seeded, cored, diced,
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 cups banana or butternut squash, diced (not too small)
2 medium sweet potato, peeled, diced (not too small)
2 cups homemade chicken broth
3 14.1 ounce cans of Bionaturae diced tomatoes (don't have onions or citric acid)
1 15 ounce can Nature's Promise Organic black beans
1 tsp organic ground cumin, or to taste
1 tsp gluten free curry, or to taste
1 tsp or more of organic sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Pour the EVOO into a slow cooker or crock pot (I used a crock pot on low).  Add the garlic and onion and stir to coat.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Stir and let cook 2-4 hours on low.  Before serving taste for seasoning.  Could add ground beef or chicken if desired. 

Serves well over rice or with gluten free corn muffins. 

Thanks Gluten-Free Goddess  for the recipe inspiration.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Get In My Belly!

A few years back I happened across this recipe for chicken pot pie by Tammy's Recipes.  After tasting that chicken pot pie I never made another one again.  I was sold!  This truly is the best pot pie ever!

However, now that I am on an MSG/Migraine Diet I needed to adapt this recipe to fit my new restrictions.  So here is how I did it...and I got to say it still tastes DELISH!

Ingredients For Filling:
2 tablespoons of organic unsalted no MSG butter or salted no MSG butter
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup diced spring onions
1 1/2 cups diced organic carrots
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups organic chicken broth or vegetable broth (will post my recipe next)
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 1/3 cups organic pasteurized (non ultra pasteurized) Whole Milk
1 cup King Arthur's 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
4 cups organic cooked chicken

In a large saucepan on stove top, combine butter, garlic, onion, carrots, salt, pepper, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are tender. 

When carrots are tender, add the corn and simmer for 5 minutes more.  Whisk together the flour and milk.  Add to boiling mixture and stir until thickened.  Remove from heat.  Add chicken and stir.  Taste to see if needs more salt and pepper. 

Ingredients for Crust:  (based on this recipe)
2 1/2 cups 100% white whole wheat flour- King Arthur's
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 ice water

In large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. 

Roll two thirds of the dough out for the bottom and sides of your 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Fill your dish with the pot pie filling.  Roll rest of the dough out for the top of the filling.  Using a knife cut slits into the dough.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until brown. 

Thank you Tammysrecipes.com for the inspiration for this recipe!

Enjoy!  Pictures to come soon :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Peach Cobbler

Peaches are in season and I'm not sure if it's just me, but I think they taste so ripe and juicy this year.  My uncle bought an entire box of them on vacation and 3 peach cobblers and lots of snacking later I think we ate the entire box in a week.  Yummy! 

So my uncle requested the cobbler while on vacation and I honestly thought I preferred crisps more then cobblers and I thought that cobblers were complicated to make so I had never made one before.  He assured me that it was easy to do "a cup a cup a cup".  HUH!?  So that's what he told me to Google and here is the first website that came up; cup-a cup-a.  Her recipe and step by step instructions make it so easy to follow. 

I only have a couple adaptations to make to this recipe so all credit goes to Cup-a Cup-a for a great recipe.


1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup organic white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur's)
1 cup organic pasteurized whole milk
1/2 stick organic unsalted butter, melted (can use tub butter or stick- both worked successfully)
2 cups of organic fruit cubed (I didn't have a measuring devise so I used 5 fresh ripe peaches cubed).

You will also need butter to butter your baking dish.  You can use a 9" pie plate or a 9" square baking pan. 

It is important to mix the ingredients in a specific order. 
First mix 1 cup of the sugar with the flour in a medium mixing bowl with a whisk.  Next add the milk just until blended.  Lastly, add the melted butter and mix.  Take your baking pan or Pyrex dish and take all natural canola oil spray or tub butter and grease your baking pan.  Place the dough in the pan. 

Take fresh fruit (cubed if peaches) and sprinkle over the top.  I sprinkled the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the peaches once in the pan, but the original recipe has your mix it in with the fruit first.  Either works well I just made it simpler. 

Bake at 350 in the center of the oven until golden and bubbly.  Should take between 40 minutes and an hour.  I baked mine for 1 hour.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and Enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cherry Kuchen Bars

Ok a break from the drab.  I gave you some snacking tips, the baking powder recipe I use and I can hardly stand it....off to a real recipe.  Trust me this is worth it.  Get the ingredients tomorrow AND MAKE THIS!  Yummy!  I won't tell you how much of it I ate today :)

Cherry Kuchen Bars
(recipe adapted from p. 71 of Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications 100 Best Cookies)

First make the homemade Cherry Pie Filling (my recipe as adapted from Tammy's Recipes.com Cherry Pie Filling)

  • 3 cups bing or dark cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups pure cane granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water.
Combine fruit and sugar in a large sauce pan and stir together.  (If cherries are really firm add up to 1/2 cup of water- mine were very ripe so I didn't add water).  Bring to a boil. 

Mix 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons cold water.  Whisk to make sure there are no lumps.

When cherries are boiling, add thickening while stirring constantly to prevent any lumps.  Mixture will thicken and slightly reduce as you continue to simmer it.  If it's not thickening to the desire you want add more thickening agent.  Continue to stir and allow to bubble until juices run clear or there are no more tiny pink bubbles on top.  Make sure you don't over cook the cherries or they will break down.  Set aside and prepare your dough

1/2 cup organic unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening (Spectrums Naturals All Vegetable Shortening, Organic)
1 3/4 cup pure can granulated sugar
1/2 tsp homemade baking powder (see previous post)
1/2 tsp Organic Sea Salt
3 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract (will be making my own from now on using vodka and vanilla beans- bourbon causes migraines)
3 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a stand mixer beat butter and shortening on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally (or get the new beater that scrapes the sides as you go and you don't have to stop!!!).  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.  Beat in flour until mixed.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the dough.  Press the remaining dough into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 baking pan.

*I tried a 13x9 the second time I made it and it wasn't the same so stick to the 15x10x1.
*also I didn't grease the first time and I'd grease the sides just because the cherry filling can stick to the side, but I wouldn't grease the bottom because of the shortening in the dough.

Bake the bottom dough layer for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and spread the pie filling over the crust in the pan. Spoon reserved dough into small mounds over the pie filling.

Bake from 30 minutes more or until top is light brown.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing.  Cool; cut into bars.  Makes about 32.

Powdered Sugar Icing:  In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (Trader Joes Organic Powdered Sugar), 1/4 tsp homemade vanilla extract and enough organic whole milk to make icing drizzling consistency (I used 5-6 tsps. but recipe said to only use 3 to 4). 

To store: layer unfrosted bars between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container; cover.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

You're gonna want to make this tonight!!!!  Well worth it and tastes great the next day...trust me :) 



This word has been the death of me lately (snacking) because with all of the restrictions I had the hardest time finding snacks I could eat that wouldn't give me a migraine and didn't contain some form of MSG. 

Well I am here to tell you that there are snacks out there that you can eat and its not just raw fruits and vegetables, which as good as they are, they are not that filling or what you want to eat all the time.

So here are a few of my favorites:
  • Trader Joe's Sea Salt Potato Chips
  • Garden of Eatin Tortilla Chips (most varieties as long as they have sea salt)
  • Homemade Popcorn (yes my hubby bought me a popcorn maker-he's a keeper!)
  • Tortilla Chips and Salsa
  • Homemade Oatmeal Raisin cookies with sulfite free raisins (I use Trader Joes)- use all white sugar and no brown sugar.
  • Sunflower Seed Butter with apples (see previous post for recipe for Sunflower Seed Butter)
  • Sensible Portions Original Sea Salt Pita Chips (I called to verify their flour had no malted barley and it is safe!)
  • Tammy's Rosemary Crackers - the best wheat thin recipe I've found and I've made and thrown out others that were nasty!

That's my list for now, but as I create or find others that are safe and delish I will be sure to share them.  This list offers me the variety I need and fills me up with the calories needed to feel full and satisfied.


Homemade Baking Powder Recipe

I can not take any credit for this recipe other then to say that it has worked in every cookie and pastry recipe I've made so far as well as in pancakes.  This recipe comes from Debby's book "Battling the MSG Myth A Survival Guide and Cookbook.

Homemade Baking Powder:
Mix and store in a glass jar: 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup cream of tarter, 1/2 cup powdered arrowroot.

I use Bob's Red Mill Arrowroot Powder.

*Also some people may react to the cream of tarter used in this recipe as it is made from fermented grapes that could contain glutamate and/or sulfites so see if this works for you in a few recipes before making a huge batch.


A long over due posting

So previously I posted on the changes to come in the way I eat and live my life.  Because these changes have been a lot to adjust too, accompanied by a two week vacation, I've been delayed in posting.  No worries though!  I have a wealth of info, health and recipes to share.  Yes I am (other then the random headache today) feeling 100% better. 

After numerous visits to Wegmans, our local Giant grocery store, my local Orchard which I am now in love with, and our local farmers markets I can positively say my freezer is full of organic or locally grown fruits and veggies so that my family and I can enjoy them all winter long and my cabinets are full of natural and organic flours, grains, snacks and much more!

I'm also drug free.  Yes no more asthma meds, allergy meds, nada!  The money I'm saving by not refilling these will go towards investing in more kitchen gadgets and more organic fruits and veggies :) 

So although this diet (Dr. Buchholz's and the Battling the MSG Myth diet) might not be for you, it was for me.  It saved my life and prevented me from having a major surgery that would have been unnecessary. 

From here on out all of my recipes will be MSG free and free of anything that would cause a migraine according to the Dr. Buchholz's preventative diet.  I will name drop a lot of the brand names I use for flours and grains and what not because it took a lot of time and energy to find ones that were "safe".  I am in no way getting paid by any of these companies.  Just saving a fellow sufferer the time and headache.  I am also not a doctor so if you are more sensitive to certain triggers then me please note that I avoid the triggers listed in Dr. Buchholz's diet in addition to most of the triggers listed in the MSG Myth book and your doctor may have you avoid different ones.  Please feel free to comment at any time if you have questions.

I will start by posting some of the basic recipes I started with and will then get into the fancy ones I've now come to love!  Happy cooking!