Archive for the ‘Lactose Free Cooking’ Category


For reals, yo. I need a new computer at home. Trying to blog stuff on my phone or Kindle is getting tedious. Voice to text is amazing but editing… sigh. Big long drawn out sigh, man. My home computer has no battery and the extension cord is unrecognized by the computer most days. It also still has that ridiculous series of cracks on the screen. I’m over it. And of course I can’t really blog from work.

I know, I know, American working mom problems, but the struggle is real. We pay bills on that thing and the kids do schoolwork on it. I try to work my slowly building home business from it too, but that’s suffering because, well, access.

I just giggled at myself because my inner child suggested starting a GoFundMe account for a new computer and then the inner pretending-to-be-and-adult part of me slapped that little girl down and put her in the corner. She’s not getting any warmed up crumb cake later for dessert.

Oh, speaking of crumb cake, people, Sally’s Baking Addiction Blog (click here, please click here, it will take you to the recipe index) just never disappoints me ever. I love her. I love her breakfast stuff. Even the cakes that you get to call breakfast. And nabbing that recipe, I just realized I forgot to put the cinnamon swirl in the middle, which was fine because it was still perfect. I even intentionally left off the drizzle because we needed something less sweet after all of the sugar we ingested over Christmas. It’s lactose free if you use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, by the by. I used Chobani vanilla with excellent results.

Anyway, good grief, after taking the long way round as one does, here’s the recipe for the Old Fashioned Crumb Cake because as one knows, you can’t mention a recipe and then not share it. Because etiquette.

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/05/08/old-fashioned-sour-cream-crumb-cake/

And now I’m wondering how a complaint about my computer at home turned into a rave about a crumb cake recipe.

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English: Common signs and symptoms of fibromya...

English: Common signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia. References fibromyalgia-symptoms.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I finally got my doctor to test my thyroid properly.  She did all six panels after the nurse practitioner explained to her why she should.  That’s a whole ‘nother post, but I’ll spare you.  I got the results and it came back as “normal.”  I also had her check for a systemic candida overgrowth, but that came back as “normal” too.  That means that neither of those things are causing any Fibromyalgia symptoms.

A full thyroid panel would be: TSH, T4, T3, Free T4 ,  Free T3, Reverse T3.

[EDITED FOR DETAIL:

The results are discouraging since they’re not what I was expecting, but I also realize that it helps narrow things down.  I’m starting to feel more and more pushed towards having to figure out if I’m sensitive to gluten or not.  A gluten sensitivity can exacerbate my Fibro symptoms, so it’s looking like it’s time to try an elimination diet regarding gluten.  I had success eliminating meat and becoming vegetarian and that that should be encouraging, right?

Here’s another interesting tidbit… I’ve always been aware of this, but a gluten sensitivity can make Autism worse or mimic symptoms of Autism.  When Gracie was very small we tried an elimination diet of gluten that didn’t seem to work but if I’m going to attempt to go gluten-free then I’m going to try to get her to go gluten-free as well.  She gets the so-called chicken skin on the backs of her arms and it bothers her a lot because she thinks it’s ugly.  Then she tries to scrape the bumps off and there’s a scab.

I brought up the idea to my daughters.  Gracie acted as if I said nothing, so there’s nothing new there.  She just wants cake.  As long as she can have cake that tastes like cake I think she’ll be fine.  Juliana thinks it means she’ll never be able to socialize at school lunch or have sandwiches that taste good ever again.  She’s also worried about pasta.  And crackers.  I’d like for her to try it willingly due to her ADHD, but she’s almost 13.  I need her cooperation.  Anna? She thinks it’s unhealthy since we have whole-wheat-everything.  I tried to explain that there are alternatives that are healthy.  I might have to get sneaky and creative.  🙂  That’s sort of the definition of cooking as a parent, though, so now I just have to learn the language of gluten ingredients in the ingredient labels and find some tasty recipes for special occasions.

I have to give it a minimum of three to six months.  Longer if possible.  I’ve read that it can take months to years to rid the body of gluten.  I don’t consume a lot of it in the first place, but that’s a little disconcerting.  I don’t know a lot about going completely gluten-free yet.  I do know that it can be very involved.  Crossing my fingers.

I’m nervous.

[EDITED:  Not gonna do it.  Gluten free just isn’t really an option, at least not right now.  I don’t think I buy into the whole thing for either myself or my daughter/s anyway since we don’t show true symptoms of gluten intolerance or insensitivity.

And also, for what it’s worth, I’m not 100% certain that my doctor was 100% truthful about the Candida results or thyroid results so when I see my rheumatologist for my first appointment at the end of September I’ll be sure to ask her to go over those tests.]

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A steamed tail-on shrimp.

A steamed tail-on shrimp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here it is, New Year’s Eve, and I’m home with my family.  We’re just relaxing and ticking down time until the ball drops.  Well, the girls are.  The Mister is napping and one girl is starting a bath.  Another is watching a movie on a mini DVD player while the eldest girl makes something with colored duct tape.  Who knew that was a thing? There’s even an after school cluster that teaches middle schoolers how to make usable things out of colored duct tape.  That’s a Pinterest category I hadn’t seen yet, so I’ll have to search for it.  She’d love that.  She had a lot of fun using the duct tape to make a pyramid for a class earlier today.  She’s making bricks out of purple duct tape and applying it to the box she’s supposed to use… but the tape is also being used for practical uses to help hold the thing together too.  I think.  She has little clay canopic jars she made that she has to put apple seeds into, and an apple slice that she mummified in salt last week.

We had a nice dinner, poor man’s version of shrimp scampi ha ha.  It was simple and the shrimp was mini frozen shrimp from WalMart.  I had to use powdered garlic since it’s not a Super WalMart yet and they didn’t have fresh garlic.  🙂  It was filling and pretty good.  Gracie didn’t say a single word during dinner because her mouth was stuffed the entire time.  That’s the biggest compliment on a meal, let me tell you.  The girl who won’t eat anything sitting with a stuffed mouth saying nothing, but humming while she eats and not even caring if butter drips on her chin? Best compliment on a meal.  Truly.  When she finished, she said that her tummy hurt and asked what that meant.  I told her it meant her tummy was full of food and she over-ate.  She scrunched her eyebrows and said, “Hmmm.  Oh.”  That tells you how often she stuffs herself.  🙂

I completely forgot to put out salad.  I even bought banana pepper rings and olives, which Anna now wants to simply eat in a bowl next to chips and salsa.

Me… I’m ready for some Advil Cold & Sinus, green tea, a book, and bed.  Maybe some chips and salsa first.  Or maybe green tea and ice cream.  After all of the snow these past several days, I’m achy and still dealing with a headache with the remnants of the laryngitis.  My body still feels all beat up.   Sleep will be welcome.

Oh, don’t pity me for being home on New Year‘s Eve.  You’re home too.  🙂  But if you go out tonight, please be safe.  Don’t drink and drive.  If you’re buzzed, then you’re drunk.  So don’t drive buzzed.

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Last night I made two Easy Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes (click here for recipe).  They’re beautiful, although they did crack a little bit.  If I were entering them in a show (which I’m not) it would matter that they cracked but they’ll still be delicious.  I promise.  It’s my most requested recipe to bring to parties.

Today I’m planning to make my Easy Homemade Italian Bread.  It’s so good and homey and Italian-y.  It’s not the crusty, rock-hard rustic bread that you have to dip into soup or sauce to soften in order to eat but the nice big fluffy one that you can still put your teeth into without triggering TMJ.  Don’t let the written appearance fool you… it really is very easy.

On Christmas morning every year I make cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  It’s one of our favorite traditions.  I originally got this recipe from Allison M. Dickson, a friend and wonderful fictional writer that you really MUST look up on Amazon.  She writes some fantastic short stories.  This Cinnamon Bun recipe is what inspired my Snickerdoodle Cookie recipe.  I love snickerdoodles, but I needed one that was chewy enough and cinnamon-y enough… and what I really wanted was for them to taste like mini cinnamon buns.  I usually make snickerdoodles for Christmas but lost track of the time this year.  I’ll have to make them on the 26th.

I’m sharing the recipes of course, but I don’t have nutrition information.  If you go to SparkPeople.com I think you can plug recipes in there and it will give you nutrition information for individual servings.  It’s been a while since I’ve been over there.

Easy Italian Bread:
(Jessica)
Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. or 2 pkg. (1/2 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water, 95 to 110*F
  • 1 Tbsp. very soft butter, or olive oil
  • 6 cups of all purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 Tbsp. of water

Preparation:

  1. Warm oven to 200* for five minutes, then turn it off.  You will need the oven to have a warm and non-drafty place to rise and rest the dough.

  2. In large bowl, stir together sugar, salt, yeast, and water. Allow the yeast to proof (produce bubbles and bloom).

  3. Add in the butter or olive oil.

  4.  Add flour by the half cup, turning it with a fork, just until there’s enough flour for the dough to be soft and kneaded by hand.

  5. Turn dough out of medium-large bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, adding more flour as you go if the bread becomes sticky.  Bread should become smooth and pliable.

  6. Put the dough into a medium sized bowl that’s been greased with vegetable oil and turn the dough until all of it has been greased.

  7. Cover the bowl with a clean, slightly damp (warm) kitchen towel and let set for 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.

  8. If you’re using a baking sheet, grease it lightly.  Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal, if desired. If you’re using a flat baking stone, do not grease it but simply put cornmeal on it if desired.

  9. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured table and cut into equal halves.

  10. Roll each dough half into a 15/16 X 9-inch rectangle, tucking dough from the long sides tightly under the bottom.  Be sure to pinch from underneath to the ends or the dough will open up during baking and flatten out the loaf.

  11. When folding and pinching is done, the loaves should similar to footballs.

  12. Allow the dough to rise in the still-warm oven for 15-20 more minutes, then remove from the oven.

  13. Heat the oven to 425*F.

  14. On top of each loaf, using a non-serated knifed, cut three diagonal slits.

  15. Using a pastry brush,

  16. Tightly roll dough along the 15-inch side. Pinch seams and taper the ends of each loaf. Place loaves on baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for only 20 minutes.

  17. Preheat oven 425 degrees F. Make 3 deep diagonal slashes on each loaf. Using a pastry brush, lightly but firmly baste the tops of the loaves with the egg wash.

  18.  Bake bread for 25 minutes, or until bread is browned and makes a hollow thumping sound when tapped firmly.

Cinnamon-y Snickerdoodles:
(Jessica)
makes 4-5 dozen

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400.
In a small bowl, combine 1/8 C sugar and 1/8 C cinnamon, blend well, then set aside.
Beat together shortening and 1 1/2 cups of sugar.
Beat in vanilla.
Incorporate eggs separately.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
Beat dry mixture into egg mixture.
Taking about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie, roll the dough into balls, then roll each ball into the cinnamon sugar, coating completely.
Set onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. You should be able to fit 12 balls of dough on the cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove cookies to a sheet of wax paper on the counter OR a cooling rack.
Store tightly covered.

Cinnamon Buns Popped Out From Spring Form Pan via Jessica’s Kitchen

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Buns:
(Allison Dickson)To make things more convenient, melt all 8 tablespoons of butter for the recipe at once and measure out as needed.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for pan

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Cinnamon Bun from the middle

Biscuit Dough
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
11/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (Jessica’s note: I clabber lactose-free milk with some white vinegar)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Icing
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened (Jessica’s note: I don’t use cream cheese and don’t have a lactose-free substitute, so I just use enough clabbered lactose-free milk and confectioner’s sugar to act as a glaze, mixed with about a teaspoon of vanilla extract)
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1 tablespoon melted butter in 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat pan. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. To make cinnamon-sugar filling: Combine sugars, spices, and salt in small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with fork or fingers until mixture resembles wet sand; set filling mixture aside.

3. To make biscuit dough: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter in measuring cup or small bowl. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed (dough will look very shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy.

4. Pat dough with hands into 12X 9-inch rectangle. Spread filling over, roll lengthwise, and cut into 8 even pieces, and arrange buns in buttered cake pan. Brush with 2 tablespoons remaining melted butter. Bake until edges are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. Use offset metal spatula to loosen buns from pan; without separating, slide buns out of pan onto greased cooling rack. Cool about 5 minutes before icing.

5. To make icing and finish buns: While buns are cooling, set rack with buns over baking sheet. Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk in large nonreactive bowl until thick and smooth (mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift confectioners’ sugar over; whisk until smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Spoon glaze evenly over buns; serve immediately.

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Don’t let the prettiness fool you… this is failed cooked caramel icing.

Notice the lovely “whipped” texture?

Oh wait… no, it’s not.  It shattered.

Shattered Failed Cooked Caramel Icing

It did taste good, as long as it wasn’t too thick to bite into.  The birthday girl was ecstatic and the girls (including a guest) thought it was delicious.  The Mister wouldn’t try it, though.  He probably didn’t want to break a tooth.

I should have used my Lactose Free Soft Caramel recipe that I blogged a while back.  That would have been lovely and soft drizzled all over the cake.  Ah well.  I’ll know for next time.  To never have a next time when it comes to cooking icing ever again.

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I’ve come to the disastrous, disappointing, but self-reflective conclusion that I will simply never, ever, ever, ever, EVER turn out a proper cooked icing recipe.  Ever.

Not cooked caramel.

Not cooked confectioner’s sugar.

Not cooked white sugar.

Not cooked brown sugar.

Not cooked vanilla.

None.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  They’re a failure in my kitchen.  It’s not my fault, really.  I follow the directions, I use the appropriate utensils and equipment, and I simply don’t get the desired results in the claimed time frame.  Eff that, I don’t get the desired results in ANY time frame.  I’ve gotten scorched, overcooked, crumbly, drippy, soupy, watery, crusty, oily, flat… really anything other than fluffy and/or spreadable or dip-able.

I’ve tried the same recipe twice now in less than a week because today is Gracie’s tenth birthday and the girl loves caramel.  She wants caramel cake.  The cake part, well, I have that down pat.  But the icing? Yeah.  NO.  It looks lovely, but no where near fluffy after following all of the directions.  It cooled before it could get anywhere near “fluffy.”  So I heated it up again.  Same results, so this time I just poured it over the cake.

Now I have caramel candy topping the cake.  Whatevs, dudes.  I choose to believe that cooked icings exist in the same realm as Bigfoot, Atlantis, mermaids, and fairies.  I’m not thrilled about a candy topped cake because now I can’t put candles in her cake now.  I’m not even sure I can cut it.

I should say that Gracie is THRILLED that there are little chunks of drizzled caramel candy around the cake, and big chunks that I scraped off of the spoon I used for stirring after it cooled.  She doesn’t even care that it’s crunching.  It’s CARAMEL.  I hope she enjoys the cake as much.

This is the icing recipe I used.  I’ll leave the link, but I did NOT use the caramel cake recipe where the link leads.

Caramel Icing
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into a few chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt, generous
1/4 cup milk (Jessica used lactose-free milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Put the dark brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan, and melt them together over medium heat, stirring often. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the milk and vanilla. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dump in the confectioners’ sugar all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until the icing is thickened and smooth. Quickly ice the cupcakes by holding each by the base and dipping the tops in the hot icing, rolling them slightly to coat evenly. Turn them quickly upright so the icing will even out while it’s still warm and will set smoothly. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/caramel-cupcakes-478376?oc=linkback

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