I have been playing with this recipe for a while, and think I finally have something yummy. Over the summer, humidity made most of my baked goods flop, and somehow, the traditional cure of adding a bit more flour didn’t seem to work very well. Since I can’t find egg and rice free bread at stores, I have found a breadmaker to be a simply indispensable kitchen gadget. Whenever there is fresh bread around, I don’t need to worry about what to make the kids for breakfast or pack for a day out. It’s so easy to forget how versatile a good slice of bread can be! I’m sure this recipe can be modified for a traditional oven, but the breadmaker seems to be an energy efficient way for us to make just one loaf at a time.
This bread is a little denser than the traditional fluffy artisan breads, but its firmness works well for sandwiches. I will try to recreate this
Put the ingredients in the bread maker in the following order:
1 1/4 cups warm water (at 110 to 115ºF)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon mild rice vinegar or lemon juice
2 fake eggs
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour!)
1/2 cup millet flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/ 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 packet rapid dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
Set your bread machine program for 1.5 loaf medium crust on the gluten free setting.
Gluten free dough generally looks more like pancake batter than a traditional bread dough, so don’t panic if it looks too gooey.
After the mix cycle, pull out the dough so you can remove the blade, then put the dough back in and let it bake. It comes out fairly light in color, but once the machine says its done, pull the bread onto a cooling rack and wait ten minutes before cutting into it. The ten minute wait is hard, but worth it.
I don know why I haven’t been making salsa at home my entire adulthood. That I do now I’ll attribute to part of the silver lining of managing our kids’ FPIES diet.
Tomatoes are in season.
Fresh picked parsley and cilantro lay in your farmers market or your garden.
I don’t know anyone growing tomatillos, but they are out there too, just picked and ready to become delicious salsa verde.
There’s certainly more than one way to make a salsa, and I probably have more questions than answers.
Should you seed the tomatoes?
Should you use a food processor or chop with a knife
Should you add vinegar?
Is tomato paste necessary?
I’m not an expert chef, but a lazy one with a good palate. So my basic recipe here is results in the best tasting salsa in the fewest steps.
3 large red tomatoes (or the equivalent amount o grape, cherry or small tomatoes – use whatever you have)
1 to 3 tomatillos (totally optional but use ‘me if you got ‘em)
2-4 clove of garlic, to taste
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 lime
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp vinegar
quarter tomatoes, removing stem and hard core
peel and halve the tomatillos
smash the garlic
rough chop the cilantro and parsley leaves
add all ingredients to a large food processor (if you don’t have one then just chop all ingredients to desired size and add to large bowl
add salt, lime juice, and vinegar
pulse in food processor until vegetables are chopped to desired degree
serve in bowl or enjoy on top of your enchilada casserole.
Please let me know your thoughts on the questions above. I would love to make my salsa even better if you have a tip you can share.
Any recommendations on adding some different and exciting ingredients? I was thinking of mixing in some fresh pineapple.
Last week we met the extended family at the beach. We rented a house on the Jersey shore for a week. Between the two families we had five kids ranging in age from 1 1/2 to 8. Also, between the five kids we had multiple dietary restrictions: my boys’ FPIES food triggers and my nephew’s low amine diet (with additional food avoidences).
Despite all the foods we needed to avoid, the house was never without great things to eat, but not everyone could eat everything.
The key to keeping kids with food restrictions from emotionally crumbling when seeing other kids enjoy foods they cannot have is to have an alternative ready for them, and even better, bring enough to share so your kid sees other kids loving the food he is eating. It doesn’t eliminate the emotion, so I don’t like putting my kid in these situations often, but it does soften it a little. My preference is to coordinate an event where none of the foods served are FPIES triggers, but that’s often only doable with small groups and close friends and family who don’t have kids with their own food restrictions.
To prepare for this trip we packed the following:
Gluten free flours for pizza
Our own homemade gluten free muffin mix
Gluten free pancake mix
Flours for gluten free, rice free bread
and a few more things
I’ll have to add links to the allergy free recipes later. We have come up with a lot of Vitamix recipes, too. I definitely liked the Vitamix frozen margarita I had on vacation. Yes, we brought the Vitamix with us. What that machine does to ice is amazing. So smooth.
After making far too many almojabanas, my family was still begging for more, and I had run out of the queso fresco I needed for the next batch. The closest store which stocked this South American cheese is about 20 minutes from my house. Now, my rule for most recipes is that the process has to either save me a good amount of time, money and/or be cool to make with my son. This fun recipe actually did all three. And the added bonus was that it tasted better and I could reduce the salt amount in the final product.
There are only three ingredients:
½ gallon of whole milk
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar (but any type of vinegar will work)
1 teaspoon of salt
You also need cheesecloth. I used the cheap cheesecloth available at just about every grocery store, and just doubled it up.
So far, this only produces about 12 ounces of cheese, so I think I will try increasing the recipe tomorrow to find the right ratios for one exact pound of queso fresco.
This is a “back burner” recipe. I do this when I already plan to be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning or 30 or so minutes so can babysit a pot that requires attention but no work. I put the milk in a pot and started to cook it at a very low temperature. As soon as it started to look like it was thinking of boiling, I took it off of the stove and put it on a trivet (table protector) on my table. How can I tell it was thinking of boiling? The milk started to get a tiny bit of skin and a few bubbles. If it actually boiled, the skin would thicken and the milk would quickly boil over and the cheesing wouldn’t happen.
Once the pot is on the table, I added ¼ cup of vinegar. Then I watched the cheese magic happen. Curds start to form. They will keep forming for about 20-30 minutes. Warning: this milk will be HOT! When the curds seem to be finishing up, put the cheesecloth in a colander or mesh strainer that is sitting in a bigger bowl, or have some brave soul hold the cheesecloth while you slowly pour the mixture into it. (Remember this is still hot enough to really hurt). I actually chickened out and used a spoon to scoop it into the colander by myself, working in small batches to strain all of the cheese. Once the cheese is caught in the cheesecloth and the whey has dropped into the big bowl below, you have a very yummy smelling cheese ball. You can either let the when continue to drip off, or if it has cooled off enough, give the sack a squeeze. I like it a little soft, so don’t mind if it is still pretty wet.
Drop the cheese into a bowl and add the salt to taste. And that’s it!
I then used the whey to make a loaf of bread. The recipe said I could use water or milk, and this seems like a nice middle ground. Whey is supposed to have a lot of wonderfully healthy properties, so I didn’t have the heart to pour it down the drain. The bread received many compliments, so that is also going to become part of our cheese making routine, especially since I can freeze the whey and use it whenever I want to.
One accidental experiment seemed to work well, but I’m not sure why. My mother asked me to try making the cheese with a tablespoon of lemon juice to see if I could get a sweeter cheese. It didn’t really curdle enough even when we waited, so after the milk cooled, we heated t up again, and added the vinegar. This time, instead of a white whey that still had a bit of fat in it, the milk turned into cheese immediately. This was far more fun to watch, and must have extracted more cheese since the remaining whey was actually yellowish and pretty clear. Of course, this also added an extra step and would take far more time to make, so I’ll likely stick with the less productive method. If I make a whole gallon of milk, I can make my almojabanas and still leave some cheese for my son, husband and mom to enjoy. It’s a bit like cottage cheese, but much tastier and far richer (from what I remember).
I had posted another pumpkin cookie recipe a few years ago, but with all of the substitutions, they came out a little floppy. I wanted to make a crunchy little cookie that my toddler could hold and could pack into a lunchbox for a trip. Here is the recipe I created.
120g (1 cup) millet flour
68 g (1/2) cup sorghum flour
60 g (1/2 cup) tapioca flour
1 ½ cup white or brown sugar (or one cup if you want a healthier cookie)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (makes cookies chewier, but cookies are still fine without it if there are allergy concerns)
Beat the wet ingredients with the sugar:
15 ounce canned pumpkin pie mix can
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
2 large eggs, or egg replacer (I am not sure if applesauce or flaxseed will work as a substitute but please leave a comment if you try it)
I preheated the oven to 350, then used a spoon to throw them onto the cookie sheet and my son squished them down with wet hands, but they were still a bit too thick, and I wasn’t very happy with the consistency all the way through. Next time, we will oil our hands a bit by wiping our hands down with an oily paper towel, then roll them into smaller balls. If we squish these down, they should be cute, and cook more evenly.
But I suspect the issue might be the humidity. I have not ben able to get a good picture of a baked item in over a month. Even after adding a bit more flour to firm things up, my breads are sinking and my cookies are limp. Everything tastes delicious, but I suspect I have reached the limits of what my lame electric oven can do in the middle of July!
I am always fighting the urge to make my baked goods taste better by adding more sugar. I want these to still be healthy snacks. With 1 ½ cups of sugar, these come out sweet, but they are still tasty with just one cup of sweetener. I even tried adding ½ cup sugar plus an extra ½ cup millet flour, figuring I would get more cookies, with less sugar per cookie. Bad idea – they were too floury and the honey messed up the consistency. I might try agave sometime. If I do, I’ll update this recipe.