Monday, February 25, 2013

Cashew Chicken

It's been a busy few weeks! Dave finished up Logan's play table and has put on a few more baby-proofing latches for me. Logan's loved all the tool time, and makes sure when Dad gets out his tools he has on his tool belt and his tools at hand. He wants to do everything we do!

Logan also learned to paint this week. First, he tried out water colors, but he wanted to use his fingers, not the brush. So we got him finger paint... but then he wanted to use the paint brush, not his fingers. He's now got it down to a good combination of both fingers and brush. He has so much fun! He asks for more paper when he feels like he's done.

The Spiderman quilt is coming along well! I just finished the top, and need to sew together the back so I can pin the two together. It's looking awesome, I can't wait to finish it.

We tried out a new stir fry recipe that was so good! I was writing down this weeks menu and asking Dave for any requests, and he requested it again (even though we had it last week). It's sweet and tangy, and naturally gluten free. The sauce is so good I would use it on any stir fry (beef, pork or chicken).

Honey Cashew Chicken

1 c rice (cooked)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
2 T cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 T oil
2 c broccoli florets
1 c frozen edamame (shelled)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (cubed)
1 c roasted cashews
1 T rice vinegar
3 T honey
2 T soy sauce
1 T salsa juice (no chunks)

In a sauce pan, combine vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and salsa. Heat up the sauce until it's combined. Set aside.

Mix cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and toss until completely coated. Heat a wok over medium heat. Add oil and chicken. Sauté for 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn heat up to high, and add veggies. Cook 5 minutes (stirring frequently). Mix in cashews*. Pour sauce over veggies and cashews. Serve over rice.

Serves: 6

*If you're not eating all the stir fry on day one, mix the cashews into each individual serving to ensure they stay crunchy as leftovers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quilting and Monkeys

It's been busy around our house lately! I have been working like crazy on a quilt for Logan, so that's consumed all my spare time, but I'm loving how it's turning out. Dave had a lot of say on the colors, since he insisted on a Spiderman blanket.

Before Logan was born when discussing nursery themes, I convinced him Whinny the Pooh would be a great gender neutral decor so we didn't have to change it up when we had a girl. The deal was as soon as Logan grew out of the nursery we got a super hero room. So we're working on it.

Most of the quilt is going to be strips of fabric, but I'm going to have three Spiderman squares at the foot of bed. The first one I worked on (a spider web) turned out good! I just need to make his eyes (appliqued) and the spider on his chest (maybe paper piecing?). I wasn't excited whe I started the quilt, but it's turning out so well, I'm now very excited to finish!

Today we hit up the Valentines clearance at Walmart and found a sock monkey for Logan. It's pretty small, which is perfect for our boy. He carries it around, hugs it, wants to feed it lunch, calls for it to come to him, and makes monkey noises to him. Needless to say it was well worth our $2.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gluten Free Recipes

I've been doing a lot of experimental gluten free baking lately. I've had lots of recipes turn out just ok, but a few successes. Enough success that I've considered starting a GF Blog. To me, a success is a recipe that would be something I would enjoy even if I wasn't eating gluten free. Or something my non-gluten intolerant Husband and Son would enjoy with me.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Good heavens this recipe turned out awesome! I've tried a few different recipes from other sources that turned out ok, but this one ended up heavenly. For the first time I wasn't jealous of my husband's fabulous pizza crust. 

The only difference in this one is it's thinner than the one I make for him, and the dough isn't made in the bread maker, so it's not as "easy". But it will change your gluten free eating! I'm not going to lie and say this is a healthy recipe, there's too much oil involved, but it's good!

1/2 c millet flour
1 t xanthan gum
1/2 t salt
2 t sugar
1/4 t basil
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t oregano
2 1/4 t quick rise yeast
1 t olive oil
3/4 c + 1 T water (110 degrees)
Olive oil for pan

Drizzle olive oil over two 9 inch spring-form pans (or cake pans). Make sure there is a thin layer of oil covering the whole pan. Generously sprinkle with Cornmeal.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour oil and water into bowl and beat on high for 2 minutes. You may want to scrape down the pan half way through mixing. 

Spoon dough into two pans. Using a wide spatula, spread the dough out until it touches the edges of the pan. This will take some time and work, because it's a runny & sticky dough, but be patient!

Once you have it evenly spread out, let the dough raise for 30 to 40 minutes. The dough should double in height. Preheat the oven to 425. Bake in the lower half of the oven for 16 minutes. 

Remove the dough from the oven, take the crust out of the pan, and top with pepperoni, sausage, etc. Place the pizza back in the oven, directly on the rack. Cook for 10 more minutes (until cheese is melted). Enjoy!

You can also make extra and freeze the crust (to save time and dishes). When you pull the crust out of the oven (after the 16 minute cook), place the crust on a cooling rack until it's room temperature. Then place back in the dirty pan you took it out of and place in the freezer. Once it's frozen, wrap in Saran Wrap. 

To bake it, remove from the freezer and set on the counter for 4 hours. Bake like above, but add 5 minutes to the bake time.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

I've been  making these since before I was eating Gluten Free. That should tell you how awesome they are! They're moist, and delicious. The peanut butter flavor is subtle and tasty. The chocolate chips add just the right sweetness to it.

1/4 c butter
1 1/4 t baking soda
3/4 c sugar
3 c rolled oats
3/4 c brown sugar
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 t vanilla
1 c creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and butter and beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda and mix well.  Add peanut butter and until well incorporated.
Stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts. Place teaspoon full of dough onto a lightly greased (or parchment paper lined) cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. (makes approximately 40 to 48 cookies depending on size).
You can substitute any nut butter in this recipe. Like Nutella, or almond butter, or sunflower butter... what ever makes you happy!

Also, let me qualify the "gluten free" of this. Those that have a highly adverse reaction to gluten (like those with Celiac Disease) are usually encouraged to remove oats from their diet because of cross contamination from the wheat fields that are grown in. So if you are highly adverse, either make sure you are using oats that are certified gluten free.

Brazilian Cheese Buns

Sigh... these are awesome too! I have to force myself not make a batch a week. Logan and Dave just love these and gobble them up if I make them when they're home/awake. This recipe is akin to the cheese buns you can get at Brazilian restaurants (like Tucanos or Rodigios). I got the recipe strait from King Arthur's website. I eat these with everything!

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Sick Boys

I've been running a doctor's office around here lately! Logan's been sick for the past week and a half. Just a cold, but he still required most of my attention. Today he's looking a lot better, and I think he's over it. Wednesday Dave came home with a deep lung cough and informed me one of his co-workers has Bronchitis. "But there's nothing they can do to fix it, so he's still coming to work." Dave's sounding better, so I don't think he had Bronchitis. But still! Don't go to work if you're that sick!

Dave's picked up a new hobby, wood working. Over Christmas he started working on this table for Logan. The top comes off so you can get into a storage area inside. Dave still needs to stain it (but it's just been too cold outside), but Logan has been loving it already! He puts his puzzles on it and puts them together, he plays with his blocks on it. He just has tons of fun!

So we've pretty much been hanging in there for the past week and a half. I'm just happy the house is pretty clean, there's food on the table, and the laundry is getting done. When you're running a Doctor's office, that's really the best to be hoped for.