Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Foolin'!

Subtitled: How to get Daddy to eat meatloaf
First, you start off by making grape jello in a drinking glass the night before and hand it to Dad in the morning saying it's juice with which he can take his morning medicine. This throws him off because he thinks your tricks are over for the day.
Next, you spend most of the day cooking and having fun with the kids. The menu?

Steak fries (sugar cookies, sprinkled well with sugar to look like salt)

Mixed veggies (peas=Skittles with the s carefully washed off, carrot slices=Starbursts warmed in the microwave then smooshed on the diagonal and corn=Starbursts warmed in the microwave that have been cut and shaped by hand)

Hamburgers on buns (the buns are yellow cake made in tuna fish sized cans and the burgers were actually brownies baked flat, then cut out with the same sized can) Don't forget the condiments (kiwi for pickles and strawberry jam/syrup mix for ketchup)

And finally, frosted brownies for dessert (mashed potatoes colored with gravy and meatloaf).

We don't know what we'll do this year, but beware Daddy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Things Promised...

As promised last week:

Here's my FAVORITE 100% Whole Wheat Bread dough recipe that is NOT 5 minutes a day, but well worth the effort:
Softest Whole Wheat Bread (adapted to soak the grains)

Enough to make 3 9”x5” loaves

9 ½ cups freshly milled flour from hard spring wheat berries (8 cups of berries is enough for 10 cups of flour)

3 ½ cups 110-120 degree water

¼ cup cider vinegar

Mix until combined. Cover mixture directly with plastic wrap. Place a wet towel directly over plastic wrap. Allow to sit 7-24 hours (I wait 24 hours).

After the wait, proof the yeast:

½ cup 110-120 degree water

3 Tbsp instant yeast (or rapid rise yeast)

Mix until combined (will take quite a bit of mixing). Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until very foamy.

Remove the towel and plastic wrap from the flour mixture. Pour the yeast mixture on top. Then add:

1/2 cup butter (melted)

2/3 cup honey

3 tsp salt

¼ c. vital Wheat Gluten

1 tsp ascorbic acid

Allow that to sit for a few minutes. The flour mixture will be VERY thick and kludge-y. Using a stand mixer and a bread hook, slowly incorporate the ingredients. You will need to run the mixer slowly until all is incorporated. If it is very sticky, add ½-2 cups more flour (white is okay).

Knead for 15 -20 minutes if kneading by hand and about 10 minutes by mixer. Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise again until double. (About 60 minutes) Punch down and shape in pans. Cover with a towel and let rise again until double. (30 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Nutritional facts per serving (1/16 of a loaf) (daily value): Calories 135kcal; Protein 4.5g Total Fat 2.5g (Sat. 1g ); Chol. 5mg ; Carb. 26g; Fiber 4g Sugars 4g; Calcium 12mg Iron 1.5mg

Birthday Cake
I can't take credit for coming up with this one, but I did make it and it was a hit. I made two, in fact. I made one in a 6" pan for Tinkerdoodle and another in a 10" pan for Little Princess (each turning a new year this weekend. Subtract four from each of the pan sizes and you will know their new ages.) We had the family party last weekend and next weekend, Little Princess has her first friend birthday. We're a big family, so each kid gets a friend birthday only when they turn 6 and 10. These cakes were made with a Crazy Cake recipe, which is egg-free (from the Depression when eggs were scarce) and uses vinegar and baking soda for it's leavening. Next weekend, I will use a Devil's Food cake.

Yummy Dinner Recipes
Need a new idea for dinner? Here are some of my favorite QUICK dinners. Just a note that we do mostly meals consisting of:
Bread or Pasta

Because of our many allergies, this is a better guarantee that all can eat what is served. Very seldom do we serve foods "mixed together."

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin (great with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Bread)

Category: Main dishes|Meat
Yield: 8 servings

2 pork tenderloins - about 2 to 3 pounds
1 clove garlic - halved
1 teaspoons herb seasoning blend or Cajun
-seasoning blend
pepper, to taste
salt - if seasoning blend is salt-free
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper - optional

Trim pork of any visible fat and membrane.

Rub pork tenderloins with garlic halves, then rub all over with the seasoning blend, and pepper. If seasoning is salt-free, sprinkle with a little salt.

In a small bowl, combine 6 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, and the Dijon or brown mustard. Stir to blend thoroughly. Set aside. Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and foamy. Add pork tenderloins and cook, turning, until brown on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until thermometer inserted into pork registers 150 degrees, turning occasionally. This should take 10 to 15 minutes longer, depending on thickness of tenderloins. Transfer pork to platter; cover to keep warm. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Return pork to skillet; add maple syrup mixture and turn pork in glaze to coat well, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer pork to cutting board. Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices. Stir 1 tablespoon maple syrup into the glaze. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Arrange sliced pork on plates or platter. Spoon glaze over pork and serve. This is wonderful with rice and Cranberry Chutney.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 68kcal; Protein 0g (0%); Total Fat 2g (3%)(Sat. 1g (4%)); Chol. 3mg (1%); Carb. 12g (4%); Fiber 0g (0%); Sugars 11g; Calcium 15mg (1%); Iron 0mg (2%)

Skillet Chicken with Chile and Lime (great with rice or couscous, corn and beans)

Category: Poultry|Main dishes|Meat
Yield: 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - (about 1
-1/2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 jalapeño chile , seeded and chopped fine
4 garlic cloves - minced
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes - (see note)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon grated lime zest from 2 limes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from 2 limes
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

2. Add jalapeño and garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and broth and bring to boil. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet and simmer, covered, over medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to serving platter and tent with foil. Simmer sauce, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining butter, lime zest and juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 441kcal; Protein 56g (112%); Total Fat 21g (32%)(Sat. 12g (59%)); Chol. 184mg (61%); Carb. 5g (2%); Fiber 1g (3%); Sugars 3g; Calcium 61mg (6%); Iron 3mg (14%)

Korean Flank Steak (great with rice or ramen noodles, stirfried veggies and my sunflower slaw - next recipe) Also - Little Princess says this tastes like Bulgogi

Category: Korean|Meat
Yield: 8 servings

2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons toasted - (dark) sesame oil
2 scallions, finely chopped
Vegetable oil - for drizzling plus, 2
-tablespoons, twice around the pan
2 pounds flank steak

In a shallow dish, combine grill seasoning, dark soy, honey, hot pepper flakes, garlic, sesame oil, scallions and a drizzle of vegetable oil. Coat the flank steak in the mixture and let it stand 10 minutes. [I find 10 minutes is perfect for the flank steak. If it sits much longer than that, you don't taste steak anymore, you only taste the marinade.]

Preheat indoor electric grill, stove top grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high. When the grill pan or grill is screaming hot, add meat and cook 5 minutes on each side for medium rare, 7 to 8 minutes on each side for medium well doneness.

To serve, let meat rest 5 minutes for juices to redistribute. Thinly slice the meat on a heavy angle against the grain (the lines in the meat).

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 193kcal; Protein 25g (49%); Total Fat 8g (13%)(Sat. 3g (17%)); Chol. 39mg (13%); Carb. 4g (1%); Fiber 0g (2%); Sugars 2g; Calcium 35mg (4%); Iron 2mg (11%)

Sunflower Slaw

Category: Salad
Yield: 6 servings of 3/4 cup

1/2 package ramen noodles
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. salt
1 bag of shredded cabbage for coleslaw

Break noodles into small pieces. Combine oil, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and salt. Toss with cabbage. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Stir in ramen noodles and sunflower seeds.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 164kcal; Protein 2g (4%); Total Fat 13g (21%)(Sat. 1g (5%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 11g (4%); Fiber 2g (8%); Sugars 9g; Calcium 36mg (4%); Iron 1mg (4%)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quick apology

Sorry for the delay in writing...March is a very busy month for us. I will be posting new recipes and pictures this weekend! Stay tuned for my favorite 100% whole wheat bread (soaking instructions included), some fun birthday cake pictures and a few new yummy dinner recipes.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Project Fair

The Little Woman, Little Princess and I are all abuzz making bread for our home school project fair. Most notably, we'll be bringing samples. Most desired bread, we bet, will be the chocolate bread. Little Woman gave up chocolate for lent, so she's talked me into saving one of the three loaves for us for breakfast tomorrow.

I must admit, I tasted the dough and it's not super sweet - just 2/3 c. honey for 3 1-lb loaves. But the amount of chocolate is INCREDIBLE!!!! It took 4 oz. of melted chocolate, 1 c. of cocoa and 5 oz. of chocolate finely chopped for 3 loaves. Oh, and we used Ghiradelli brand bittersweet chocolate. We've opted to shape them as couronnes (crowns) as this is truly the king or queen of breads. I will post pictures later.

We're also going to make samples of the basic white and light wheat. We'll make 2 loaves of several shapes to serve as samples. We're even bringing a toaster oven to warm the bread before we serve it.

The girlies are having fun. Little Princess really only wants to mix the dough, taste the dough and be the hostess with the mostest serving it tomorrow. Little Woman was in olfactory heaven smelling the chocolate dough. She almost dove into it. She loves the texture of dough (I do not). She made some beautiful loaves. They are at various stages of rising and resting and I will be doing the baking. I still think 9 is too young to be putting dough into a 450 degree oven.

Pictures for you later...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monkey Bread and Eggless Challah dough a la ABI5MAD

One of the biggest disappointments on the egg allergy front was thinking I couldn't pull off the enriched doughs using the ABI5MAD method. Both the brioche and challah doughs are my favorite for special breakfasts. After doing a ton of research and even writing to one of the authors of ABI5MAD, I found I was just going to have to experiment! So I did and it turned out great!

First the dough recipe, then the experiments:
Eggless Challah Dough a la ABI5MAD
Makes 4 1-pound loaves.

This recipe is easily doubled or halved.

2 1/4 c. warm water

1 1/
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
(Here's where I'll replace the 4 beaten eggs)
1 1/2 tsp. gelatin bloomed in 2 Tbsp. cold water, then 3 Tbsp. boiling water added, then cooled (to replace the binding properties of the egg whites)
1/4 c. coconut milk (to replace the fat in the egg yolks)

1/4 c. vital wheat gluten (to replace the leavening properties of the egg whites)
1/4 tsp. guar gum (to replace the emulsifying properties of egg yolks)

1/2 c. honey

1/2 c. melted butter

6 1/2 c. bread flour

Mix the wet ingredients together first with the yeast and salt. Add the flour, guar gum and vital wheat gluten until completely incorporated. You may need to use your hands.

Here's a handy trick: I hold the ice cream bucket up underneath my kitchenaid fitted with my dough hook and let it mix the ingredients for me. Then I don't have to dirty the mixer bowl. Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (approximately 2 hours).

Refrigerate. Take out what you need as you need it. Remember to sprinkle the dough before taking it out. Then, take out a grapefruit sized piece for 1 pound loaves. Cut with a serrated knife. Cloak the dough with flour as you shape it into a ball. Shape into desired loaf type and allow to rise for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Remember the enriched doughs DO NOT need steam as the fat in the dough inhibits the crispy crust AND the honey in the dough makes it prone to burning, so cook at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Now here's what I did with it. First I made doughnuts. They were delicious. A 1 1/2 lb amount of dough yielded approximately 18 3" doughnuts and 18 doughnut holes. They were delicious and didn't last more than a day (can you believe that????) The next experiment was using my dear friend Margaret's Monkey Bread recipe that you can find her version of here.

So, I took the remaining 2 1/2 pounds of dough and turned it into 3-9x5" pans of monkey bread that I served to company that came to visit last weekend.

You thought I was sloughing off, didn't you? No, I was just busy. My best friend from high school came to visit with her family. Her girls EXPECT monkey bread, but my other recipe requires instant vanilla pudding mix, which I didn't have. I remembered Margaret's post about making monkey bread for birthday breakfasts, so I went there for help. Thank you Margaret dear!

Anyway, here's what I did - multiplied the recipe by 1 1/2 times to make enough caramel to cover the rolls. I took the dough, cloaking it as usual into a ball. Then, I divided the dough into 36 pieces. Each piece was shaken in the cinnamon sugar, then I put 12 pieces in each of the greased bread pans. I allowed the dough to rise for about 1 hour, then I baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. It was delish (as little woman likes to say). It was ALL GONE in no time at all!