Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

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Favorite Blonde Brownies… Revamped

So I’ve been experimenting with different non egg substitutes

I’ve started using ground flax seed more in recipes

1 tbsp of ground flax seed + 2 tbsp water  mixed together = 1 egg

so I decided to try it in my Blonde Brownie Recipe you can find the original post here

and the original recipe below

in a small bowl mix together

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

dash salt

(set aside)

In a large bowl mix together

2/3 cup of light tasting olive oil(the original recipe called for melted butter)

2 cups packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup of soy sour cream(this is my egg substitute the original called for 2 eggs)

2 tsp of vanilla(I make my own with vodka and vanilla beans)

then mix in the flour mixture

spread into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes

(if you want you can sprinkle chocolate chips on before baking but as one of my kids doesn’t like chocolate I bake without)

This time when I made it, I used the flax for egg substitute, I mixed the wet ingredients in one bowl and added 1 tbsp lemon juice

I mixed the dry ingredients in another bowl

mix fast pour into greased pan and pop into hot oven

the results were divine   a crispy crust formed on the raised top but the inside was a chewybrownielicious treat.

a super fast super easy treat to make last minute for any occasion

hope you enjoy

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Egg free Meatloaf and preparing for the school year

With a busy family my meatloaf without egg recipe s fast and easy

but did I tell you I save out some of the meat and use it for meatballs and cooked ground beef

Essentially I buy between 6 and 10 pounds of ground round( and sometimes add some ground pork)

Image result for ground beef

follow the meat loaf recipe(quoted below)

divide as follows

-take out 2 – 4 parts (before adding bread crumbs) and cook it up to freeze for spaghetti/lasagna/other stovetop quick casseroles

-take out 2 – 4 parts and using a cookie scoop make meat balls (depending on size of scoop figure 4 meat balls per person per meal)

cook those balls on a sheetpan in the oven till they reach internal temp of 165

cool then freeze for when you need them

finally with what is left make your meatloaf/s

and there you’ve got 4 -5 home prepared meals that are quick cookers to pull out of fridge and add veggies/sauce…etc…

for each pound of meat

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

(additional spices you may want to try:figure about 1tsp per pound of meat)

-onion powder

-garlic powder

-oregano(going for a pizzay flavor)

-paprika

-hotpepper(use only 1/4 tsp per pound of meat)if you like spicy stuff

other spices to try would be premade mixtures

like:

taco seasoning

italian dressing mix

fajita mix

etc….

I love Penzeys spices and they have many mixtures to try and explore

(optional: 1 cup of finely ground bread or cracker crumbs, or you could even add dry oatmeal…if using crackers you won’t need to add the salt)

all the bread does is make the mixture bigger(takes up more space….lasts a little longer)

be firm but gentle

mix thoroughly but not to sausage consistency

many people add eggs….they are not necessary despite popular opinion

if you want more moisture you could add

1/2 cup of any of the following(pick one don’t use all)

apple sauce

ketchup

bbq sauce

veganaise

italian dressing(or other salad dressing)

after mixed place into oiled pan

also optional:

toppings:

top with raw bacon layer it on top before baking and …yum!

spread ketchup(or bbq sauce) on top prior to baking

Enjoy!  Here’s to a great new school year of stress free meals!

time for a mom brag

I don’t think I’d have the guts to perform a mini concert on the spot…he did.

My son recently performed at an open mic night…not many people there but he did great and was able to almost do a mini concert

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Book Reviews

It is not often I write about the books I read.  Though I have written about many

It is even less often that I feel the importance of sharing my review with my other blogs

This book review will find a place on all the pages.

————————————————

This book is one of those rare Gems, like…a shell found intact on the sea shore, that it must be shared.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift by the Sea”

Is a perfect analogy  for life.   Really most of it pertains to all humans, but being a woman, her focus is on how We(women) live so much for other’s (people and things) that we forget to take time for ourselves and what is really important.

The amazing thing about this book is it still stands firm today.

She died in 2001

This book was first published in 1955.

1955 a time when looking back…

View original post 623 more words

Rearranging….it’s all about the order

When people hear that my family contains several individuals with multiple food allergies I am asked “HOW DO YOU DO IT”

They mean…cook/bake/eat

Well they eat the same everyone else does…

their food goes on their plate they usually use their utensils and occasionally they use a napkin.

but

the cooking and baking

that’s different and often …rearranged

but not usually more time consuming…at least now that I’m used to it.

For example

we have to eliminate Dairy, Eggs and Nuts

Nuts is easy….for MOST recipes they are optional

in the few they are not you can try unsalted sunflower seeds or oats or another grain based product

Eggs are fairly simple as well

I tend to rely on either tofu, soy sour cream and creamcheese as substitute for egg or for ground flax seed

1 egg equals 1/4 cup soy product(if using tofu you have to puree it)

or

1 egg equals 1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 2 tbsp warm water

fine

got that?

Dairy substitutes are pretty easy as well

light flavored olive oil for butter(helps maintain that buttery touch for the tongue)

or

Fleischman’s no salt margarine(I check ingredients every time just in case)

or

Earth Balance baking sticks

for milk use soy or coconut milk (our allergist at children s hospital has said to us repeatedly  that coconuts are not technically a nut in the same way the other nuts are…of course if you are unsure stick with what your Dr. tells you.)

now I suppose you might like a recipe.

the biggest difference is the “order of operations”…. in other words…time to rearrange

when making muffins/cakes/ cookies/most bars

the easiest thing to do is mix all wet ingredients in one bowl

oils or butters

vanilla

soy products

vinegar/lemon juice

etc

then the dry in the next bowl

flour, baking soda, baking powder

sugar is the only exception

here we go

wet ingredients together

stir in sugar

then add the dry ingredients

pop into a hot oven

enjoy

Here is the recipe

(my grammas)

Apple Cranberry Muffins

1 cup oatmeal(dry)

1 cup plain yogurt

1 egg(I mean 1/4 cup egg substitute as mentioned earlier)

3/4 cup  brown sugar

2 tsp orange rind

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped cranberries

2 tbsp sugar

1 tart apple chopped

Preheat oven to 375

Mix oats with yogurt

Add egg, brown sugar, oil, and orange rind.  Stir to combine

in  a separate bowl combine  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.  Sift over wet ingredients fold together,

mix together cranberries and sugar and apple

stir carefully into the muffins

spoon into muffin liners and bake for 20-25 minutes makes about 12 muffins

enjoy.

The Family Cookbook…on Allergies

Many years ago I created a family cookbook,

After getting married, before kids, I requested recipes from my family and my husbands family.  Those who submitted recipes (and stories about family foods/gatherings) got copies of the cookbook.

Now that book is mostly a memory thing.

Many of the recipes are difficult to recreate without peanuts, treenuts, eggs. and dairy

and quite frankly even though not everyone in my family is allergic to all those I try to make most of our food safe for everyone

I AM NOT A SHORT ORDER COOK!

ok…sometimes I am but usually they eat what I make …well except for the one that hates veggies and if he sees any in his sauce painstakingly picks them out…even minced onions

But really even with the allergies, and even though I have fond memories of family meals, and eating some of these high carb delights …it just isn’t the way we eat anymore

I buy products with very little chemicals and very little salt in them

so processed soups (think : french bean casserole,and all those old fashioned stove top-to-oven delights) are out(yeah I could take the time to make my own dairy free cream soup…but…well….meh)

Occasionally I use Duncan Hines cake mix …the yellow kind as that is still “safe” for the kids, that box plus a small can of soda has saved the day a few times when I needed a quick batch of cupcakes for a school treat.

back to casseroles

so many of them have cheese.

well now we serve it on the side so the one who can’t have dairy can at least try the casserole(even if he won’t eat much of it)

the rest of us sprinkle cheese on top at our plate…not quite the same effect as a crispy browned cheese topping.

but I’m really not complaining…just stating reality

things change, they have to and when they do we try to embrace that…though not always perfectly.

and

Every once in awhile I find an old family recipe that has no eggs or dairy in and that is what I’ll share with you now.

I know it’s not winter but save this recipe…you won’t regret it

mix:

1/3 cup shortening(I use dairy free butter)

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups dark molasses

then

stir in 1/2 cup cold water

in another bowl sift together

6 cups sifted flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

add the flour mixture to the wet mixture

in a small dish mix together 2 tsp baking soda with 3 tbsp cold water and add that to the bowl

mix it all together

chill

roll out to 1/2 inch thick(I roll thinner) cut out shapes

bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so until no imprint when touched.

enjoy…

As I open up the betty crocker as an allergy mom…

Yes that is the one I have…but it no longer has its covers attached.

I remember when my second child then my first child were diagnosed with food allergies

My second child was 6 months old or so, and my first was around 4 years.

I wasn’t told “he can’t have dairy” or “NO NUTS” between the two they are allergic to eggs, peanuts, treenuts, and then to boot the second child is allergic to dairy as well.

To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement

then, as someone who likes to cook I knew I had to figure it out.

and it took awhile

hits and misses

winners and garbage can left overs

it has become manageable

(thankfully they can still have wheat…that would be  a whole nuther ballgame)

1.  We learned that soy sour cream works really good as an egg substitiute(1/4 cup per egg called for in recipe)

2.  We learned that there is nothing that works well as an beaten egg white substitute(think meringue)

3.  We learned that ground flax seed also works ok for egg(better for quick breads and cakes) use 1 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons water  stir, do for each egg called for.

4. We learned to read labelsevery product, everytime, you never know when a company may change their formula, or which line they make the food on(cross contamination)

5. We learned it is very difficult to eat out in our town…places often have signs saying they cannot guarantee any food is safe.

6.  We learned that some people get it…and some just don’t  it is only important that we know who we can trust.

7.  As soon as the kids learned to read(even the one without any allergies) that they help double check labels.

8.  We learned homemade picnic lunches are just as good as going out on trips..plus healthier

9.  We learned to check ahead before going to parties, or playtimes, and regardless of what they say, bring food from home just in case.

10. We learned life goes on. Everyone has something to deal with, many times those things are invisible and though not necessarily as potentially deadly as food allergies. Life goes on you live, you adapt, you learn what works and doesn’t work and then if you are cool…you share some of that with those that want/need to know.

Pacing

My Child with High Functioning Autism/Aspergers

PACES

AROUND OUR TABLE

FOR HOURS

the older he gets

the bigger his feet get

it is loud

it is constant

he walks so fast I have to put on a sweater if I’m typing at the computer

and

this morning

1 am this morning

I wake up to hear him pacing around a card table in his room

full of energy

looking like he is no where near ready for bed

(doesn’t help that the teenager doesn’t wake up till noon)

so I’m left with a dilemma

his pacing does not hurt himself or anyone else

until it’s waking me up at night

it does drive me craze sometimes

he says it helps him think

plan his next coding or composing project(of which he does a lot and he is very good)

however….

sometimes

I just can’t stand it for another minute

I don’t understand what it does for him

and

quite frankly after conversations, short of saying it helps him think…neither does he.

he is just driven to walk, to pace, sometimes we have fun with it

I’ll sit a the piano and play something to the beat he is walking then he’ll stop suddenly and usually I catch him and stop playing

sometimes I’ll follow him around the table.

then he smiles even though it annoys him

that is all

thank you for letting me vent.

Lists, lists, and more lists

While I do my best to stay on top of everything

I keep a wall calendar,

a “purse sized” calendar

and then I make lists sometimes daily/sometimes weekly

lists to do

lists for groceries, I use “buy me a pie” simple easy and if I add something this week it will still pop up as a possibility next week

and post it notes….lots of post it notes

I especially like the 4×6 sized \lined post it notes I put several in my planner for things I think of through out the day that need to be done.

With 3 kids, a dog, a husband, extended family that sometimes needs my help, taking a class,  plus several parttimeish jobs I find  it is the only way to stay on top of the most important stuff.

I also find as I’m getting older my brain does not automatically hold or recall short term stuff as fast….

so the lists are important on multiple fronts

can’t sleep?

(add it to the list to think about for tomorrow and then let it go tonight)

constant interruptions?

Image result for constant interruptions

if it’s on the list you’ll get back to what you were doing faster

what are your priorities?

Spending quality time with kids should trump washing dishes at least once in  a while

Make your list in pencil

and don’t be afraid to rearrange or erase unnecessary things

and now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to erase “blog post”

off my list for today

Try a fruit slushy but not a frozen one

2 cups of diced watermelon

1/2 cup of coconut water(not milk)

5 cherries(I like the mount rainier)

5 medium strawberries

1 tsp ground flaxseed

using a blender or blender wand

puree it up and drink it down

yum!

a little thicker than juice but not as cold as a smoothie ….perfect refreshing drink

to change it up add some frozen spinach

or add a splash of lime juice

even the kids liked it (except the one who knew I put coconut water in and swore she could taste strands of coconut water!?!)

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