All about food....

Well I have several food related things that I want to write about so I decided that they could all go in one post.  So here is the Report on how our Eat from the Pantry Challange is going, Our Gluten Free cooking adventures and Our Menu for this week......

Eating from the Pantry....
  This has gone just fine so far and hasn't felt like much of a challange. Last week I didn't go to the store at all but did buy 5 gallons of raw milk ($15) at the dairy. We are truly very well stocked and so I haven't felt the need for much of anything anyway. Also it is normal for me to do lots of substituting in recipes so when we run out of something I just figure out some other way to make what I want.

  That said I am thinking about cheating. (oh no!) We did run out of Ketchup, which shouldn't have happened with our system of making sure we don't run out of something. But somebody (probably me) messed up the system and we ran out of ketchup. Now to me that is not really any big deal but to Ken (and some of the kids)... well it kind of is. Especially when I serve him potato things (like oven fries, hashbrowns, fried potatoes) and I had a lot of potato things planned because #1 they are gluten free so no diet problems and #2 we have as many potatoes as we can possibly use available to us. So in order to keep my marriage happy I think I shall cheat and buy some ketchup. I thought about saying it was produce or I hoped that it would go on a very cheap loss leader sale and I would call it stocking up, but alas, those excuses won't quite work.

  One challange I will get to deal with is that I am very close to out of vegetable oil. But that shouldn't be a huge deal as I have plenty of butter on hand as well as some bacan fat and other animal fat. I also have some olive oil but I use that pretty sparingly.

  One thing I tried this week that turned out wonderfully was sweetening pudding with Maple syrup. I just left out almost all of the sugar (and next time I will leave out all) and then replaced 1 of the 4 cups of milk with real (and a bit thin) maple syrup. That was some really yummy vanilla pudding! I am hoping to do more replacing of sugar with maple syrup as it is better for us and also free since we tap maple trees to get free maple syrup.

Cooking Gluten Free....

 One thing that I have learned in this experiment is to not think of all the things that you can't have but rather focus on what you can have.  I have a friend with Celiac disease and so she can't have any gluten and my reaction to that has usually been to think, No pizza, no cookies, no normal bread and on and on. It is true that cooking gluten free can be a challange but really there are a lot of normal things that somebody on that diet can still have.

  One thing I am certianly thank-ful for as I go on this cooking adventure and that is the online world. There are so many resources out there that just weren't available when I was a child. I thought I would share a few of the ones I found:

  • I have found it to be a big blessing to have made a blogging friend that has already gone through this gluten free journey. Jackie has been very encouraging to me. She has a homemaking blog that I enjoy and where she touches on gluten free eating a little at Blessings Overflowing. She also has another blog: Cook Allergy Free where she shares many recipes and tips.
  • This interesting list explains what is and what isn't okay to eat.
  • All Recipes has lots of Gluten Free Recipes to try.
  • has lots of recipes and resources as well.
I also feel very blessed to already have a grain grinder so I have been able to grind all sorts of gluten free grains to make flour rather than having to go out and buy a lot. This has made this whole experiment much more economical. In some instances this wouldn't work as some people react to even a trace amount and since I use my grinder for wheat too there is a trace amount. In Megan's case I think it is fine.

Some of the things we have tried that were unusual so far are:

~Pink Pancakes. I basically followed Jackie's Recipe but I used Beet puree instead of Banana. They were quite an exciting color and tasted good!

Megan found them yummy and fun.
She is actually pretty excited about having her own special diet.

I was able to make enough that I froze some for later.

On another morning we had waffles and I tried this recipe for her.(Picture above) I did a little substituting on the flours, using the gluten free flours that I had on hand. They turned out really good!

Megan had fun making her own bread. We used the recipe on the Xanthan Gum package. It didn't turn out quite like normal bread but it was good, it smelled good and Megan was very pleased.

This is the finished product.

Our very best success (Everybody in the family declared it delicious!) was Banana Pecan Upside Down Cake. I had found directions (which I modified) for this upside down cake which used a cake mix. Instead I mixed up a Gluten Free Recipe.

To make it:
Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Melt 4 tablespoons butter and mix with 1/3 cup brown sugar, pour over bottom of pan. Then sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Over that slice up ( in thin little round slices) 3 bananas. Over that pour your cake batter. We followed this recipe but used less (I think I used 3/4 cup) sugar. If you aren't gluten free of course you could use just a regular yellow cake recipe.

Bake (at 350 degrees) 30-40 minutes. Test with toothpick to see when done.

Eat warm and enjoy. It is good cold too!

Another thing that I tried was making gluten free Lefse. I thought it would work great but it ended up being harder to make than I thought. (It feel apart very easily before it cooked.) But looking back it actually was okay, just harder than with the wheat. Megan thought they were great. (The picture is at the top of the post)

This Week's Menu....

Breakfast: Rice and Raisens                
Supper: Hotdogs/chili dogs and applesauce. (Megan went bunless as is normal for her anyway.)

Breakfast: Yogurt, Eggs (with Yellow Yolks) and Apple Crisp
Supper: Ken and I have our monthly "date" at the Republican meeting and the kids ate at my parents.

Breakfast: It was supposed to be Zucchini Muffins but I got sick so Mara made scrambled Eggs and Toast.
Supper: Zucchinin Casserole and Cabbage Salad.

Breakfast: Fried Eggs and Hashbrowns
Supper: Spaghetti and Salad (We bought some gluten free noodles for Megan to try).

Breakfast: Pancakes
Supper: Oven Fried Chicken, Potato Chunks and Corn.

Breakfast: Cornmeal Mush and Eggs
Supper: Egg salad in Pita Bread (with a plain boiled egg for Megan), Apples and Popcorn. (The plan is to eat this while traveling.)

Saturday: Lord willing we will be spending to with my sister and family. Yea!

For beverages we usually drink Milk, Water or Tea. For lunches we usually eat leftovers or something else that is simple. For snacks we have fruit, popcorn, homemade baked goods or something like that.

This is linked to the Eating from the Pantry Challange at Money Saving Mom.