Friday, May 29, 2015

Chocolate Ice Cream...Oh Yeah, it's Dairy Free!




Hello my foodie friends- it's been a long time! February 2014 (2014!!) is the last time I sat down to share with you. Life has been busy, and so, My Second Love has proven to be exactly that...second.

What have I been doing all this time?

A lot! Let me share with you. In my food world I'm still hanging in as dairy free, although I do splurge on (rare) occasion. Sometimes emotion or circumstance overrides good sense, you know? I've found that if I don't let this happen often I can endure the occasional slip up...or sometimes intentional act, depending on the situation.

The boys are growing and their life is getting busier. My oldest is finishing 7th grade, he went out for track this year, continues to be very involved in band and jazz band playing the trumpet, serving in church and attending youth group during the week. He kind of thrives in the business of life, he also has the energy to keep up at that busy pace. My youngest is finishing 4th grade, participated in school choir and continues to play guitar. It was during his first guitar recital last fall when he discovered that he loves to be in front of an audience to entertain! He's very creative and puts a lot of thought into everything he does...he surprises and amazes me daily.

The biggest change in my life has been in the bible study that I do...and the main reason for the crickets here in the blog. Not long, maybe a few weeks, after my last post I was invited to be the administrator of the bible study that I attend. I will do a plug here, because I do think this is a wonderful ministry that teaches the bible in a way that is transformative. It's called Bible Study Fellowship (click to go to the web page). I have participated in the study for about 6 ('ish) years and served (volunteered) as a group leader for 3 of those years. I have been a follower of Jesus most of my life, but it wasn't until doing this study that I really began to understand my faith, the bible, how Jesus' sacrifice completely fulfilled the old testament law, prophecy and also saves eternally those who believe in Him. When you have that truth in your life, it is transforming. And so, because of these reasons and with a prayerful and humble heart I did accept the position and the (exciting) whirlwind began. It has been a huge blessing in my life, I realize this is a food post, so I won't use up your time with all the ways. But in addition to the huge blessing, it does indeed fill up my days, hours and minutes. [oh also, BSF is free and has over 1100 classes worldwide for men, women and children...go find a class and sign up!]

With that, cooking has become necessary, but not primary. Most of the time I cook now I'll make meals to last 2 days so that my time is freed up to be with my family and investing in my new administrative duties. The food I'm making are tried and true recipes that don't require a lot of thinking and planning. As of right now we are on a summer break from BSF, life is slowing down, time is freeing up and creative juices are beginning to flow. I love the creative process.

Time For The Food

So let me share with you a recipe for homemade chocolate ice cream that I put together a few days ago. I got an ice cream maker last summer, but didn't have much time to experiment with it, so I've been excited to get it out and try something new! I've found when making DF ice cream is that without the fat content of whole milk or heavy cream it seems a bit icier than what a traditional ice cream is. To get around this I used some coconut milk. It has great consistency, but also has a strong coconut flavor. There are a couple of ways to resolve this issue. One option is to bring the coconut milk to a boil and cook for a few minutes, then return it to room temp before proceeding with the recipe. Another option is to use partial coconut milk and another dairy free milk to make up the full amount of milk. That's what I did, it still has a little undertone of coconut, but it's very mild and paired with chocolate is delicious. I also chose to use a custard style recipe (with eggs) to give my ice cream a rich flavor. I think this one is a hit! If you decide to make it, let me know in the comments below how yours turned out, if you changed the recipe or anything other thoughts you have. 


DF Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 1/2 c cashew milk
1 c coconut milk (from a can, not light)
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
pinch salt
2/3 c sugar, divided
5 egg yolks
3/4 c DF chocolate chips

In a medium sauce pan combine both milks, 1/3 c sugar and salt over med low heat, bring just to a boil. In a separate bowl combine the other 1/3 cup sugar and the egg yolks, mix with a hand mixer until it's light and fluffy and the eggs have turned a pale yellow. Place the chocolate in the bowl that you'll chill the mixture in, set aside. 

Once the milk has just come to a boil temper the eggs. [While whisking the eggs, slowly pour the milk -1/2 cup at a time- into the eggs until you have about half of the milk added in. Then pour all of the egg/milk mixture back into the sauce pan.] Cook over low heat while stirring constantly for a few minutes. Do not boil. What you're looking for is the mixture to slightly thicken so that it covers the back of your spoon.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the chocolate chips. Whisk until all the chocolate is melted and combined into the warm cream. Cover and refrigerate over night. Don't forget to also freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker.

When everything is thoroughly chilled, turn on the ice cream maker and pour in the mix. Mine ran for 15-20 minutes until it was ready to move to a storage bowl and then frozen a couple hours before it was an ice cream consistency.

Ice cream...just so good!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Maple Bacon Sticky Buns


There are definitely things I miss since going dairy free last year, for example going out to any bakery anywhere and having any cinnamon roll. My favorite cinnamon rolls are at the Lake Oswego Farmers Market, in the back toward the stage area. They use a brioche dough which makes them super light and fluffy and they have a perfectly sweet glaze on top, yum. Most things I'm ok going without, but sometimes I just get a craving and a Saturday morning that allows me the time to fix it, today was just that day!

As I was shoveling my face patting myself on the back taking my first bites the boys came running down singing "Hallelujah" and screaming "Yes, yes, yes!!!" I always ask for feedback, my fear is  that my DF creations have an "off" flavor that's just not quite right. There response was "Perfection!"


Maple Bacon Sticky Buns

Sticky Buns
1 t sugar
1 pkt dry yeast
1/2 c very warm water
1/2 c hemp milk (or rice/almond/soy)
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c shortening or butter substitute (I like Earth Balance)
1 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 c ap flour
1/4 c butter substitute, room temp (Earth Balance)
1/2 c bacon, cooked & chopped
3/4 c brown sugar

Maple Glaze
2 c powdered sugar, sifted
2 T maple syrup
1/8 t salt
1/4 t vanilla
1/2 t maple extract
1-2 T warm water
1/4 c bacon, cooked & chopped

In a small bowl combine 1 t sugar, yeast and water, mix well and let stand for 10 minutes, til thick and bubbly. While that's working, in a small saucepan warm the hemp milk just til it begins to bubble, remove from heat and add in 1/4 c sugar, 1/4 c butter sub and salt, mix well til completely combined. When milk mixture is tepid (mine was after the cold butter was melted) pour into a large mixing bowl along with the yeast, eggs and 1 1/2 c flour, mix well. Continue mixing while adding remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Swap out mixing blade for dough hook and knead on low for 10 minutes. Loosely cover bowl and let rise til doubled in size. To do this, I warm my oven to 175 degrees, place bowl in oven, turn oven off and allow to rise in oven with the door closed for about 30 minutes.

When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, dough will be very soft. Roll dough into an 8x14 rectangle. Spread room temp butter sub onto dough, leaving about 1/2" around edges. Sprinkle brown sugar over the butter sub and then the bacon on top of the brown sugar. Roll from the longer side all the way, pinching at the end to secure. Using a long piece of dental floss, scoot under the long roll, bring both ends up and cross over to cut into 12 individual rolls. Place in a lightly greased casserole. Cover and rise again using the oven method above.

After the second rise, warm oven to 375 degrees. Bake sticky buns until lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. While baking, mix the 1st 5 ingredients in the glaze in a medium bowl. Add just enough water to make a thick glaze for the buns. Pour onto warm sticky buns and top with bacon, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Candied Sweet Potatoes- Hold the Marshmallows Please!


Since Thanksgiving is upon us, let's talk about sweet potatoes. Growing up we always had the standard: canned yams dumped into a casserole, gobs of butter, brown sugar and marshmallows on top, baked until it was an ooey, gooey mess (sorry mom!). But really, isn't there a another way? Can we start with a fresh sweet potato and possibly ditch the marshmallows? I think we can do better!


I have peeled and sliced 3 medium sized sweet potatoes into 1/4" (ish) pieces and placed in a crock pot. They will turn brown/black just like an apple, you can soak them in some lemon water for a few minutes first if you like. Also, adjust the amounts for how many people your feeding, tonight it's just me and my immediate family...which really means just me because no one else likes sweet potatoes, weird!


In a small bowl add sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Pour that over the sweet potatoes and toss to coat.


Dot butter on top of sweet potatoes. *You can easily leave this out for a dairy free version.


Layer the top with lemon and orange slices. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. Awesome- no oven space needed!


I love these sweet potatoes! I hope you do, too:)

Candied Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4" pieces
1/2 orange juice
1/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
butter for dotting, optional
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

Place sweet potatoes in a crock pot. In a small bowl combine orange juice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, mix well and toss with sweet potatoes. Dot sweet potatoes with butter. Layer orange and lemon slices on top, cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Monster Cookies


What keeps you up at night? World peace, your child's future, nope, not me. I'm thinking about what kind of cookie I want...the classic, sweet chocolate chip, hearty oatmeal, salty peanut butter, hmmm, I just can't decide.  How about a trifecta of cookie deliciousness by combing all three! Here is my recipe for a seriously amazing treat that will satisfy your cookie craving.

Begin with butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl, mix well.

Add to that both sugars, baking powder and soda and salt, mix well, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Then add in the eggs and vanilla, mix again.

And add in the flour, mix well.

Last comes the goodies, oats, chocolate chips and walnuts, mix just to combine.

I like using an ice cream scoop so that my cookies are the same size and cook evenly, scoop out onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

mmmm, just out of the oven, they smell so good! wait just a couple minutes before you move them to a wire rack to cool.

And I'm in heaven, crisis averted:) I hope you enjoy!

Monster Cookies

3/4 c butter (or shortening for dairy free), at room temp
1/2 c smooth peanut butter
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/4 c flour
2 c oats
1 c chocolate chips
1 c walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter (or shortening) and peanut butter. Add to that both sugars, bkg powder and soda and salt, mix well scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. Add flour, mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add oats, choc chips and walnuts and stir just to combine. Using a #40 ice cream scoop, or 2 spoons, spoon dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or til just beginning to brown on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie



I have to say that my going off of all dairy last June has been a great decision! But then it hit me.... Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I mean, is there anything served on Thanksgiving that does not have a 1/2 pound of butter or cream? hmmm...after sulking for a (long) while I have decided to make the best of it. Here is the first of my contributions to my dairy free Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie, yum:)


I always make my pumpkin pie with a crumb crust. I replaced the butter usually in crumb crust with non-hydrogenated shortening. The one trick with this is that it doesn't have the salty flavor that butter has. Without salt, food (even sweet food) tastes flat. 


 Combine graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and salt in your food processor and plus til fine.


Drizzle in melted shortening, pulse until well combined.


Pour crust into a pie plate and tap down with a glass until evenly spread out. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes while you make the pie filling.


In a large mixing bowl combine both sugars, spices and salt.


I substituted sweetened condensed milk with sweetened vanilla hemp milk. It's got the consistency of buttermilk and a smooth, mild flavor.



To the sugars and spices add pumpkin, eggs, hemp milk and water, mix well.


While the crust is hot, pour the filling in and place back in the oven for about 45 minutes. Baking custard type pie is very tricky and can be easily over baked, resulting in cracks in your beautiful pie:( So, I started checking mine at 30 minutes and every 5 minutes until the center 2-3 inches still jiggled when I tapped the pie plate. It will finish cooking after you pull it out of the oven, setting up nicely as it cools. Give it a try and tell me what you think or how you changed it for your family:)


Pumpkin Pie - Dairy Free

Crumb Crust:
1 pkg graham crackers
1/4 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
6 T shortening, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and slat in a food processor, pulse until desired consistency. Drizzle melted shortening in an pulse until well combined. Pour into pie plate and spread/tap down with a glass. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Filling:
1 1/2 c pumpkin, from a can is fine
1 1/3 c vanilla hemp milk
1/2 c water
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix well. While crust is hot from the oven, pour the filling into the crust almost to the top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, start checking at 30 minutes to make sure it's not over cooked. Allow to cool to room temperature and enjoy!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Apple Cider Chicken and Veggies



Well, fall is definitely here! I love the transition from season to season. As summer passes to fall, so my appetite passes from fresh fruit and salads to one pot dinners with potatoes and pan gravy. And I love it all! I hope this recipe brings you warmth on these cool, crisp nights!



Begin by browning 4 chicken breasts in a big pot, then remove to a dish.



To the pot add a chopped onion. I always salt my onions, it helps to break down the onion nicely. Cook for a couple minutes.



Add to the onion a peeled and chopped potato and 2 peeled, chopped carrots. Let brown for a few minutes.



Add the chicken back into the pan, on top of the veggies.



Next add the apple cider, chicken broth, sage and dry mustard. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover, cook for about 20 minutes, or til the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.



Remove chicken and veggies to a platter, cover to keep warm.





Return the remaining cooking juices to high heat. Add a slurry of water and flour and mix vigorously to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring, til thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. If you like a very smooth gravy you can pass it through a mesh colander and serve along side chicken and veggies. Enjoy:)

Apple Cider Chicken and Veggies

4 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 c apple cider
1 c chicken broth
1 t sage
1/4 t dry mustard
salt and pepper
2 T flour
1/4 c water

Brown chicken in a large dutch oven over high heat, remove to a plate. Add in onion, salt and pepper, cook for 3-4 min. Add potato and carrots, cook for another 3-4 min. Place chicken in pot on top of veggies, add in cider, broth and seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or til chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender. Remove Chicken and veggies to a serving platter, cover to keep warm. Return cooking liquid to high heat. In a small dish combine flour and water and mix well. Pour flour mixture in pan, stirring vigorously until thickened. Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve along side meat and veggies. Enjoy:)



Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Good Muffins


I was a bit hesitant to post this muffin recipe...after all I WANT people to read my blog! And let's face it, if it's good for you it must not taste good, right? Well, here I am posting it and as I was brainstorming out loud about a name for these muffins the 11 year old says "call'em the good muffins!" Out of the mouths of babes! That's right, my kids LOVE these muffins, they even cheer and THANK ME every time I make them. What's the big deal? Ummmm...they are dairy free, sugar free and oil free...there I said it. Basically all the things we are accustomed to in a baked good (and not good for you) is gone. Let me add, too, that there is no ap flour with an option to be completely flour free, aka gluten free. So these are the good tasting AND good for you muffins:)

Let me begin with showing you a few special ingredients I'm using. Don't be scared, if you try it I promise you'll like it!


First, these are the bananas I use. I keep my extra ripe bananas in the freezer for 2 reasons. 1- I can use them when I'm ready, not when they are, and 2- the freezer changes the texture into a super soft mushy texture that is perfect for baking with. Just microwave on high for about 2 minutes, peel of the top and slip into the bowl. Easy.


Second, I have coconut crystals. They are a low-glycemic sugar substitute that you can find at Whole Foods. That means that you won't have a sugar crash in about 30 minutes. They're totally natural and organic, so you can feel good about putting them in your family's bodies. Coconut Crystals aren't as sweet as sugar, but that hasn't bothered anyone in our family. If you don't want to add this it won't affect the rest of the recipe, just continue as before.


Third, I have brown rice flour. This will help get a light and fluffy crumb, or texture, in your muffins. Essentially, it's what white flour does in a recipe. If you were to use all whole wheat flour the muffins would be dense and heavy, and using white flour processes into sugar in your body, not good. So rice flour lightens up the ww flour and (as long as you get brown rice flour) will keep you fuller longer. You can also find this at Whole Foods.


Let's begin. In a large mixing bowl beat your eggs...


..to the beaten eggs add the bananas, applesauce, water, coconut crystals and vanilla, mix well.



To the wet mixture add the whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix lightly. If you want a gluten free muffin you can omit the whole wheat flour and double the rice flour.


Mix in by hand fresh or frozen blueberries (or walnuts or chocolate chips, etc.)


Scoop into a lined muffin tin with an ice cream scoop and bake.


mmmmm...I hope the Good Muffins become a family favorite in your home, too!

The Good Muffins

2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
½ c no sugar added apple sauce
½ c water
¼ c coconut crystals
1 t vanilla

1 c ww flour
1 c brown rice flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
½ t salt

1 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl add eggs and beat until broken up. Add bananas, apple sauce, water, coconut crystals and vanilla and mix well. On top of wet mixture add ww flour, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix just to moisten. Mix in by hand blueberries (or nuts if desired). Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 25 min. Makes 16 muffins.