Friday, July 20

Carrot Nut Dip from Wall Street Journal

This link is to one of the best dips I've eaten with crackers.

Thursday, June 14

Old Fashioned School Lunch Peanut Butter Bars


1 cup confectioners' sugar 
4 cups crispy rice
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder 
8 tablespoons (1 sticks)butter
1 cups smooth peanut butter,
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the crispy rice cereal with the powders. 
In another small bowl, whisk the melted butter with the chocolate chips until melted, microwaving 10 seconds until smooth.  Add peanut butter and vanilla extract. Add the wet mixture to the cereal mixture and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour the  mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Refrigerate until firm, 30 to 45 minutes.
Cut into 16 even squares. Store the bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.


½ cup Stevia powder
2 Tablespoons Agave
4 cups crispy rice
¼ cup protein powder (I used whey-based, vanilla)
½ cup flax meal
2 tablespoons superfood powder (this is a combination of veggies, dried and powdered.) 
1 stick butter  (fat is good for me!)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Monday, May 7

NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookie G-F Tweek

This recipe came highly recommended so I want to see how it TWEEKS G-F with my whole-grain flour mix.  

I exchanged both of the flour types cup for cup with my whole-grain flour mix, and added one teaspoon xanthan gum.  Every other ingredient was the same.   

It passes the first college-bound guy test--the dough is delicious and the cookies are in the oven. 

They're out-- and GONE! 

 I baked them 12-15 minutes, they are browned nicely and I've eaten the batch.  Sheesh!  I safely placed the rest of the dough in the refrigerator to see if 24-36 hour refrigeration (as the recipe suggests) improves the cookies.  What will really happen?  Yup, the dough will be devoured.

Then the NYTimes goes and locks their site.  Thanks Brown Eyed Betty for reposting it.

3 2/3 cup g-f flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1¼ cups ( 2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1¼ cups light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons  granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups dark chocolate chips, 

Standard cookie production:  Cream the butter with the sugars til fluffy then add the eggs.   Mix the dry ingredients all together and then add to the butter mixture. Stir together. If necessary, add more flour by the tablespoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Bake balls until nicely browned in a  350 degree oven.

Thursday, March 8

Asian Cucumber Cashew Salad

Today I've joined a group of women to create sanitary kits for girls.
So we're sewing, eating, but mostly talking. 
As with all service, "It's the process, not the project," that is most important.   

·         2 large thin-skinned asian cucumbers (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced thin.. (I'm sure regular cucumbers would work fine.)
·         2 red, yellow, or orange peppers  (diced)
·         3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
      1 teaspoon sugar (I used agave.)
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
·         1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed
·         1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
·          teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
·          Freshly ground pepper
·         2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
·         3 tablespoons sunflower oil or grapeseed oil
·         ½ cup cashews chopped
·         1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, sliced very thin
·         2 tablespoons chopped cilantro    
  • Sprinkle the cucumbers with a generous amount of salt and let sit in a colander in the sink for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry on a kitchen towel. Transfer to a salad bowl.  Add chopped nuts and peppers.  
  • Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and pepper. Whisk in the sesame oil and the sunflower or grape seed oil. Toss with the cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. Chill until ready to serve.

GF CF sugar-free faux Cream cheese Carrot Cake Balls

Cream cheese cake balls that are dairy-free, sugarless, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, raw and delicious?

And about which the 14 year old says,  "Okay Mom, they are not terrible."  Woot!  High praise indeed.

The impossible dream?  Well, maybe.  It's all true, except for the cream cheese. There is none of that in the recipe, but I made these and asked the guys what they  reminded them of and they came up with the name.  

Actually they said they tasted pumpkin too, but I thought that was really stretching it.  

Who knew dates are the secret ingredient?  None of the guys and they will not!  

3/4 cup carrots, peeled, diced (2 or 3 full sized)
4 dates (pitted and diced)
1 teaspoon minced ginger root (I use the stuff from the jar in the fridge)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup pecans

I have a good food processor, so I did it all together using my processor blade, but try chopping the carrots first then remove and do the rest and add the carrots to thoroughly combine into a dough.  I used my handy-dandy melon baller and then rolled them in coconut.  

This is the birthday cake ball recipe that my dear friend Pam researched and fed to me for my September birthday.  It's taken a month to get it replicated.  I hope you love it as much as I do.    

Reality Bite:  And for the record, I still do not like dates... alone. (hee,hee.)

Last posted 10-29-13

Monday, January 29

Gluten-Free Cauliflower HOT Wings

Start thinking GF Vegan  Super Bowl Party 

At the tonic party, the theme was spicy, so we served these veggie poppers with ranch dressing and they were a huge success. 

Again, the daughter-in-law found and refined this recipe.  It is so great to have another great brain in the mix while doing gluten-free exploration.  Thanks, Jackie. 

Clean and separate an entire head of cauliflower into bite-sized florettes. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients:

2  teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup rice flour

Add to the dry ingredients:
1/2 cup milk  (almond milk works great)

As you stir the batter, add
1/4 to 1/2 cup water  to make the batter just thick enough to stick to the florettes and not drip off. 

Add the cauliflower to the batter and stir to coat. 

Drop onto a lightly sprayed baking pan.

Bake at 425 degrees  25 minutes, until lightly browned. 

In a bowl, combine 

1 cup of your favorite bbq hot wing sauce with
1/4 cup melted butter.  

Fold in the batter-coated, baked cauliflower until they are completed coated.
Return to baking pan and 
Bake at 425 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and crusty. 
Serve Hot with ranch dressing.  

Sunday, January 28

Yum Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies

So if you haven't noticed, I make up recipes from what I have on hand.   I'm the lady that's googling, ranch dressing, au jus packet, chicken and pepperocinni.  (Thanks to my friend Valarie, that recipe is coming...)   Today's cookies are what I had on hand when the husband begged me for something sweet.

It's been nine months since I ate refined sugar for fun so it's been nine months since he had my cookies.  I've been avoiding refined sugar for my health and it's not been easy, but the joint-pain relief has been worth it.  I'm not OCD about it, but I'm avoiding any dessert with added sugar.    Thanksgiving and Christmas were hard, but not impossible.  I'm shocked how much sugar I was eating.

So I'm trying out new recipes that might taste great and are less sweetened, but I'm also cheap, cheap, cheap, so I'm not into sweetener substitutes.  Chemicals freak me out, (so I'm using powdered protein and superfood powder--go figure) (It's my complexity that grants me charm...) and I've been too busy to do a really in-depth sugar substitute study.  This recipe has no added sugar, that is not to say that this protein powder and superfood powder are sugarless--they do have fruit but balanced with protein, so I use them sparingly.   So the added carbs are real, and this is a cheat for my keto diet. 

6 dates pitted    blended with
3/4 cup boiling water until relatively smooth.  Add
2 Tablespoons superfood powder  (I found this at Costco.)
1/4 cup protein powder (Costco too.)

1 cup peanut butter (I've used almond butter, and it tastes less peanutty, but doubles the cost.)
2 eggs 
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used dutched.)
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

I just popped everything in my Blendtec (used three times today) and blended until it was smooth.

I scooped it out with one spoon and slid the dough off with another spoon.  On top I dropped some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Then I baked the dough on my silicone sheets at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  

It made five cookies, of which I ate two.  The rest of the dough is sitting in my refrigerator enticing me to heat up the oven and bake the rest.  NO.

What I have discovered in the past nine months is that I am stronger than cookie dough.

These cookies turned out delicious, tender and not dry.  (I'm also avoiding the word moist.)


I modified this recipe from one my great daughter-in-law found on  and hers is truly keto.  Thanks lady for making me think outside the box. 

Saturday, January 27

Kefir -- Our New Healthy Digestion Aid

Are you getting your probiotic in pill form?

Recent studies say, no you are not!   What we know is that effective probiotics are live and can't be put in pill form.  They are cultures that die when exposed to heat (pasteurization) or cold, (transportation) or starved (six days from the manufacturing plant.)    If you want active culture probiotics, you gotta grow your own.  Homemade yogurt is a great source, and fermenting foods are too, but kefir is the new food fad and a fun and good way to grow probiotics.

We've been brewing water kefir for about two years thanks to my daughter-in-law who introduced us to the idea.  It has surpassed our other types of probiotic sources and we are feeling gut healthier.

What I've learned?

  • Kefir has its ancient origins in the Middle East and is pronounced  KA FEAR.
  • Kefir is delicious.
  • Kefir is healthy.
  • Kefir grains love 77 degrees and they grow well atop the water heater or sitting on the heated floor next to the furnace.
  • Kefir grains feast on the sugar water and become a great paleo protein source.
  • Kefir has helped my neighbor regulate her autoimmune condition and she is in disease remission. 
  • I don't have the fancy fermenting air releasing bottles, and it still works great. 
  • NO citrus juice can be used to ripen kefir.  Bad Plan!  It makes slime.    
  • APPLE Juice is a terrific juice to add to ripening process.  Chemical structure of apple juice does marvelous things to kefir.  Which must be why they make a lot of apple beer.  DO NOT use the good stuff.  Apple Cider cold pressed will not feed cultures--I think it's the preserving process.  The 100% juice stuff  like that by Ocean Spray works great.  
I've tried dry and powdered starter and trust me, get some live from a friend or buy the live cultures - my source is Florida Kefir.  No, they don't pay me to say so.
Image result for sea monkeys

And it's almost as exciting as growing Sea Monkeys from your youth! 

Now our problem is what to do when kefir grains multiply all over the place?

Pass it around and make everyone else's gut happy!


It seemed like a good plan to invite friends over for a kefir party and invite novices to drink too much of it all at once and then when they go home, they feel it later.

Kefir's claim to fame is that it kills the bad bacteria and repopulates the gut with good bacteria.  So if you have bad gut bacteria...

Google water kefir to get all the inside information. 
  Cultures for Health 

is my favorite site, but this video of a guy brewing kefir is one of my funniest finds.  If we are looking for more bacteria in our diet, a leather bracelet dunked repeatedly in the vat is a great fomenting tool.  Yum.  

Kefir has Three basic stages:

Brewing:  A quart of sugar water made with a quarter cup of sugar and filtered water is a great base.  Add the grains, cover loosely (so it gets adequate oxygen) leave in a warm area for 24 - 48 hours.  The longer you leave it the less sugar the finished product will have, but left too long, the grains will consume all the sugar, starve to death and die.   Yeah, use raw sugar, organic sugar, turbinado, brown, coconut sugar, all kinds, but DO NOT USE honey.  Plain old refined sugar works great for me.

After the brewing period, strain off the grains and restart stage one again brewing a new batch with
sugar water and the grains in a warm spot.

Ripening    Ripen the strained water by funneling the strained liquid into a plastic bottle that can be tightly capped.  Add a little juice or fruit for flavoring (as much as 1/3 to -2/3 ratio of juice to kefir water,) and let it sit a day in a warm place to let the microscopic grains further consume the newly added sugar and begin to effervesce. (CO2 is being produced and captured in the capped jug.)

Storage/bottling.    After a day or two, the bottle may bulge.  (This is why I use food-grade plastic bottles.) Carefully burp the bottle of liquid and place it in cold storage--freezer or fridge until you drink it all gone.   (Yes, I've had it blow forth like coke and mentos.)

Wednesday, January 17

Inflammation Reduction the Delicious Way--SUPER TONIC

Spring Is The Time To Make Supertonic

Most supermarkets stock the "bitter herb" for passover and so horseradish is readily available without special order.

(Update clarification:  Actually, my Jewish resource, Jay, corrects me that the bitter herb is a green leafy like parsley dipped in salt, but horseradish is still part of the ceremony.  It was his preference that it eaten as a flavor enhancement (obscurer)  for gefilte fish.)

I've recently found that my fancy-schmancy food markets stock horseradish all the time and so now tonic is not so seasonal!

WINTER CONGESTION be gone--daily draughts of this will clear the mucus in the chest.  Thank goodness we had this to rely on this winter because we nearly choked to death on the congestion bug.   See the past Flu story here.

But it's not only for clearing the head, but for healing the inflamation in the body and specifically the gut.  I have a friend who suffers from a form of arthritis that responds well to this tonic.   No pain.

Lately I'm all about reducing inflammation.  I know my digestion has been in stalled in neutral and I need to get it back in full-function mode and supertonic is a great fermentation way to get it going.

Great article on arthritis and inflammation

The best was to improve all my auto-immune function is diet and so I'm back to the spicy-heat method.  Because health is all about that (food) for me.


Last week the Asian children visited (my two adult children that each served two-year church missions, Dia in Hong Kong and Ian with the Hmong people in Alaska) and they were all about this "tonic" that was touted to treat all ills in their respective cities.  My research is that it promises to reduce inflammation in the body.  We went to visit friends at the lake and COINCIDENCE our hostess had just made a big jug of "tonic,"  using the same recipe!

1 32 oz. bottle of Braggs Natural Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 onion chopped finely
1/4 cup ginger root chopped finely
2 tablespoons turmeric
1/4 cup garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup horseradish root chopped
1 habenjaro pepper chopped

Mix and shelve for 28 days (one full moon cycle according to the Hmong people of Alaska.)   Sieve through cheesecloth and squeeze all fluids out.   Consume at least a tablespoon a day.  Should last at least a month.

Unless you are my mother-in-law, who loves flavor and spice and already consumes apple cider vinegar for her digestive health--she'll be making this by the double batch!

It blew my socks off and anything that strong has to be good for you right?  I have a curious craving for it though and find myself licking the blender jar.

So we started a batch and we'll let you know how it goes in a succeeding reports.

Sunday, December 17

Christmas Salsa

Cranberry Christmas Salsa adds such a unique flavor to the season that I find myself eating it by the spoonful.  

 Some people keep nog in the fridge for sneaking/snacking over the holidays, I keep this! And I'm making it tomorrow to take to the GF POTLUCK PARTY and to EAT ALL SEASON!

First Posted 12-10-08, but it is such a tradition that I'm posting it again today.

This recipe has inspired a great tradition. Every year I misplace this recipe and I have to hunt for it. I start looking for it in the most improbable place and work my way to the most likely. It takes a couple of days, but that's how I start the cavalcade of Christmas cleaning.

And, if it doesn't turn out to be where I expected, at least the process wasn't all in vain!

1 Tablespoon. fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 can pickled jalapenos (vary for hotness)
1 red pepper chopped
1 green apple (granny smith)
1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1 bag cranberries chopped (fresh or frozen)

Chop everything, mix together and refrigerate.

This is a spicy and delicious addition to Christmas tradition.

Tuesday, October 17

GF Carrot Cake

ITS FALL!   And I have lots of green tomatoes, so it's either fried green tomatoes or... 

Party Cake!

 I'm using the last of my green tomatoes to bake this for a friend's farewell party.  It is so delicious.  What will I do when all my green tomato puree is gone from the freezer?
I'll have to attempt to make it without the green tomato puree or perhaps I will try tomatillas?

Blend together:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup green tomatoes pureed
 (or store bought hard unripe tomatoes)
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Sift these dry ingredients:

2 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (I used my healthier grain mix)
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Spray/grease two 9" pans or a 9x11 cake pan.   Preheat at 350 degrees.

Beat the two mixtures together only until blended.  Spoon into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a tester poked in the center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes, remove from pans, frost with a cream cheese frosting.


Last posted 3-31-13 and I need to post it again!  We ate this recipe this weekend at the family reunion and once again, it was a gluten eaters heaven!  They love it, I love it, it is a delicious recipe no matter when you eat it!    YUM!

It's Spring, Easter and time to make Carrot Cake again!
Here is the photograph from last year, 2012,  hopefully the result this year will be just as beautiful--but reality usually intervenes.  It still tastes delicious.  So here goes.

Last posted 8-19-2009
I once distrusted carrot cake--all those suspicious orange flecks floating around. I can take them in stir fry and in soup, but in my cake? No! Thank you.
Being GF has really forced me (the desperation factor) to broaden my food perspective. One fall morning, facing too many unripe green tomatoes, I googled green tomato recipes and discovered this treasure. For my husband's birthday, I baked him Bette Hagman's GF carrot cake recipe.

Wow! A gastric epiphany! I now freeze green tomato puree in 1 1/2 cup increments over the winter to make this delicious cake.

This week I again made the best carrot cake in the world, compliments of Bette Hagman (Praise be her name). The only alteration I make to her recipe for Prize Winning Carrot Cake is to lower the oil by two thirds and substitute plain yogurt. Bette uses her featherlight mix of rice, tapioca and cornstarch with a dash of potato for the GF flours.

This year it proved to be still too high in caloric values for the reformed mind of the health-conscious husband, so I'll have to eat it all myself!

This cake is always successful and delicious! So say the GF and non-GF testers with whom I shared it.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 TBS milk

Beat, beat, beat, til the frosting is light and fluffy. Spread over cake and refrigerate to set (and to hide it).