Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's finally happening!

So we finally have settled down to our simple city life, accepting that we probably would not get to live our dreams in the country. And very suddenly this beautiful, awesome, exciting and a little bit crazy opportunity has quite literally fallen into our lap.

Some close friends of ours recently moved out to some land on the Molalla River... 286 acres of land! There is a second little (when I say litte, I mean tiny!) cabin that they have invited us to live in. We've been struggling a bit financially and this invitation is very timely. It's crazy, it's sudden, but we are doing it and we are so excited! We have less than 3 weeks to pack our stuff, figure out what we can live without and put in storage, and move out what we need. We will also be building a fence to protect our kids from the river and creek and we will turn the outside covered area into a kitchen/commons area. All of that we will be doing before we move out there, so we have our work cut out for us.

I have not been the best about keeping up with a blog in the past, but I am really going to try hard to do it this time as this is an adventure I want to keep track of!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gluten and Dairy free Pizza

When you're both gluten and dairy free, pizza is something that you really miss and you morn never eating it again. Unless you decide to make the best of it and come up with something just as delicious and satisfying that you don't miss the cheese and wheat.

I have tried recipe after recipe and finally have found a crust that is deceivingly close to wheat crust. We top the pizza with a yummy garlic tomato sauce, all kinds of veggies and than I make a garlic dipping sauce, comparable to the dipping sauce you can get at Papa John's.

Liam, my picky eater, ate soooo much, his little tummy was round and he laid on the floor, full and happy!

Gluten Free Pizza Crust (adapted from "The Kid-Friendly ADHD and Autism Cookbook")
2 TBSP active dry yeast
1 & 1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
4 tsps xanthan gum
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp sea salt
1 & 1/2 cup luke warm water
2 tsp cider vinegar
Rice flour for coating hands and dough

Preheat oven 425 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet or two round pizza pans with olive oil. In a stand mixer, mix dry ingredients with the wire whisk attachment, add liquid ingredients and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Dough should be like very soft bread dough. Coat hands and dough with rice flour and put dough on pan. Pat and work dough onto pan and into corners. Dough should be fairly thin on pan. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees. Top crust with desired toppings and bake another 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and veggies are crisp. Cut and serve with Garlic Sauce.

Garlic Dipping Sauce for Pizza
1/4 cup crushed garlic
1/4 cup margarine, ghee or olive oil

Heat in small pan over medium heat stirring constantly until bubbling. You can double this recipe as needed. Serve either in small bowls for dipping or pour over the top of pizza after pizza is cooked.

Doesn't it look yummy?

You can tell it's a hit when it disappears all except for crumbs!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gluten and Dairy Free, Vegetarian Oat Patties and Oven Roasted Herb Potatoes

My husband is mostly vegetarian and I myself only like to eat meat a couple times a week, so I'm always looking for vegetarian food that is gluten and dairy free and that my kids (especially my picky eater) will eat. Oat patties are another favorite around here. Pretty easy to make and you can put a variety of different things in them. I usually make them for dinner one night and than we use them to make sandwiches the next day.

Vegetarian, gluten and dairy free oat patties
2 cups gluten free oats
1 cup boiling water
1 medium sweet onion
3 eggs
1 - 2 tsp salt, depending on how salty you like your food
Fresh or dried herbs, tonight I used fresh oregano, thyme and rosemary
1 TBSP crushed garlic
Optional - you can add grated carrot, potato, chopped celery, green onions, etc
Olive oil for cooking

Put oats in a bowl and add boiling water. Let stand till oats soak up water. Add onion, eggs, garlic and seasonings, stir thoroughly. Heat olive oil in a well seasoned cast iron skillet (or frying pan if you prefer). Drop spoonfuls of oat mixture in hot oil and cook over medium heat until golden and crispy, flip and repeat. Serve hot with gravy or ketchup or use as meat substitute in sandwiches.

I like to serve oat patties with potatoes of some kind. Oven roasted potatoes are super easy and can bake without my attention while I am cooking the patties. Tonight I added a bunch of chopped fresh herbs, as my window herb pot was trying to take over my kitchen sink.

Oven Roasted Herb Potatoes
Red Potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
Fresh or dried herbs chopped or crushed
Olive oil
Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss potatoes with herbs, olive oil and salt. Spread out on cookie sheet and put in hot oven. Bake approximately 20 - 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Here it is all put together with peas and refrigerator pickles

It still amazes me how she can eat so much!

Can't get enough!

Getting a Head Start on Our Garden

Weekends are our time to tackle bigger projects as a family. We were so fortunant to find a house with a half acre back yard already full of fruit trees and a large sunny area perfect for a garden. And yes, we live in the middle of a big city. Portland is the only city I know of that still has whole neighborhoods with large yards. We've been planning this years garden since we moved in almost 4 months ago.

So this weekend is dedicated to getting a start on our garden. We picked up some free fill dirt this morning and we are planning on mixing it with manure, compost and yard waste and letting it cook the rest of winter. We started our garden boxes and will finish them tomorrow. I built a compost pile area out of scrap lumber we got for almost free at home depot. So far so good! We'll finish up tomorrow.

This is a really great shot of my husband's derirer as he is hard at work.

My compost pile containment area.

Another great shot of my husband's better side.

Even Baldur enjoyed himself!

Starting My Stash

Hitting the 20 week mark in my pregnancy yesterday, got me thinking about diapers for this new babe! I decided I better get to making some or I'm never going to get them done. I really got busy today and now have 2 fitteds and 6 prefolds done. I also have 2 wool soakers made from repurposed sweaters. I had all of the fabric laying around, some of it I've had for years. I used a couple of Freya's old recieving blankets for some of the prefolds. I still have 4 prefolds all cut out, just need to sew them up!

My homemade stash so far
Repurposed wool sweaters make the best diaper soakers!
The fitteds are the cutest. Unfortunantly, they take the longest!
My prefolds made out of organic hemp knit and Freya's recieving blankets.
The prefolds folded

Friday, January 8, 2010

A very yummy GF/CF/sugar free dinner... including cranberry scones to die for!!!

Another, easy to get the kids to eat, meal that I make often is pasta primavera made with rice pasta and whatever veggies I have on hand. Tonight I made it with De Boles Gluten Free Rice Angel Hair pasta and when I started eating it I had to go and get the box out of the trash to really make sure it was gluten free. This pasta was just as good as any wheat pasta I've had!
The recipe is simple.

Gluten Free Pasta Primavera
2-3 cups chopped veggies (asparagus, sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms, green beans, broccolli, peas, etc)
1TBSP crushed garlic
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz rice pasta, boiled until tender and rinsed with cold water

Heat olive oil in a skillet or wok. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add other veggies and sautee over medium heat until veggies are tender but not soggy. Add prepared pasta and cook until pasta is warm throughout. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

The veggies before adding pasta.

The finished product!

I usually make muffins or cornbread to go with a main dish like this. Today I was looking for a muffin recipe when I stumbled across these scones. I decided to take my own spin on them since we are not only gluten free, but casein and processed sugar free.
This is what I did and it turned out fabulous!!!
Gluten, Casein, Sugar Free Cranberry Scones
1 & 1/4 cup brown rice flour
3 & 1/2 TBSP tapioca flour
2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
3 tsp guar gum
1 tsp sea salt
3 TBSP raw agave nectar
1/4 cup ghee
1/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp gf vanilla extract
1 tsp gf orange extract
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup dry cranberries
1 egg beaten for egg wash
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (I put it all in my stand mixer). Mix liquids in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed until well blended. Fold in cranberries. Lay dough out on counter floured with rice flour. Pat out into a circle shape about an inch thick. Cut in 8 wedges and paint wedges with egg wash. Put wedges on a rice floured cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with ghee or margarine and jam.

They even look beautiful!

And put it together for the perfect meal!

Today...20 Weeks and Counting

Am I really already halfway through this pregnancy? I can't believe how fast time flies. I have had a hard time adjusting to the idea of having another baby so soon after Freya, but as time goes by I am getting more and more excited and feeling more and more prepared. I am actually feeling more organized than I have since Liam was born. Despite Liam's sensory processing issues and Freya's increasing independence coupled with her physical fragility, I am feeling ready for this new little spirit to take her place in our family. I do really feel that our family will be complete after this one is born. It's an exciting thought to realize that soon everyone will be here and we can move to the next stage in our family's development!