I have been baking scones and freezing them the last few days. I have some organic half and half that needs to be used up; so I am baking.
My favorite scone has lemon or orange zest and poppy seeds (sometimes substituted with Chia seeds when there are no poppy seeds). My husband’s favorite scone has chocolate chips and sliced almonds in it (sometimes with a little coconut thrown in for good measure).
Thursday I made a batch of my scones and substituted Chia seeds because the organic poppy seeds I had ordered didn’t arrive. I also made a batch of my husband’s scones. I decided to be a little creative and added some almond flour. The recipe calls for 2 cups of flour and I substituted 1/2 cup almond flour for part of the organic wheat flour. They tasted very good.
This morning I woke up determined to use the last of my half and half before it went bad. Again I made a batch of my scones using lemon zest (need to order some more orange zest) and Chia seeds. I also decided I would bake another batch of scones for my husband.
This is where I became a little over creative. The batch on Thursday with 1/2 cup of almond flour and 1 1/2 cups of organic wheat flour had been good. Why not change things up? I decided to make this batch totally gluten-free. For the 2 cups of flour required in the recipe I used 1 1/2 cups almond flour and 1/2 cup coconut flour (since I add coconut anyway) and a handful of unsulfured coconut. Hmm, I thought. Why not substitute the tablespoon of sugar with coconut sugar (denser and dryer than I thought but I went for it anyway). Well, if I was going to go gluten-free, why not go dairy free? I substituted the half and half for almond milk (left over from my daughter’s visit) and mixed it with the two eggs.
So, if I am going dairy free, I should use dairy-free mini chocolate chips. I mixed everything together and patted it out into a circle on parchment paper. I brushed the entire surface with a little of the almond milk/egg mixture and added a few more dairy-free chocolate chips and slivered almonds. Into the oven it went.
25 minutes later, I pulled out the scones with the melted chocolate chips and slivered almonds on top of a golden brown crust. My husband walks in a little while later and takes a slice of his favorite scone right off the baking sheet. He immediately asks what I did different. He says they are grainy and hard to swallow. Uh Oh! I had to taste them for myself. And yes they were a little gritty tasting and kind of stuck to the back of my throat when I swallowed, calling for a quick glass of water to get them down.
What went wrong? Should I have balanced the almond flour and coconut flour better? Should I have used coconut syrup instead of coconut sugar? Should I have used more almond milk or added an extra egg? I just don’t know! If any of you who have baked gluten-free have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Until then, I may not be trying this again for a bit.
In July I posted a blog titled, “Talking About Published Authors” . (July seems like years ago and yet it has only been six months.) So much has happened since my post in July. My book became available, I have had a book launch party, I did a “Meet The Author” at a health food store near my daughter’s home, and most recently I became Membership Director for Rave Reviews Book Club (an online book club).
Before all these things happened I was invited by Pattimari and Peter to join an online group of authors, PNP Authors. I was welcomed into this group by an amazing group of people. The blog post “Talking About Published Authors” features links to an interview Pattimari did with me and a blog post she wrote featuring me and my book. We have contacted each other and worked together back and forth via the PNP Author website and email. We had never talked on the phone or met in person. A few days ago I received an email from Pattimari saying that she and Peter would be in town and invited my husband and I to lunch. She also asked that I bring them a signed copy of Allergic to Life.
Of course I was very excited to finally get the opportunity to meet these wonderful people in person. There is one cafe in town where I have been able to dine outdoors and they have one item on the menu that I have been able to tweak to suit my allergies. I went ahead to get us a table and my husband would join us there. I arrived at the cafe and my jaw dropped. I hadn’t been there in quite some time. I forgot that they put up a tent in the outdoor seating area to allow more customers to eat there during the winter months. I couldn’t dine in there because all the chemicals and fragrances would be trapped in the tented area. I went inside wearing my lovely charcoal mask and waited to be assigned a table. I pointed to a couple of tables in the back of the courtyard outside of the tent and asked if we could sit there. The answer was no because there was only one way in and out of the tent and that was through the cafe itself. I began to worry about what I was going to do. We had people coming from out-of-town to have lunch with us and my options were gone.
The hostess being the resourceful person that she was had a solution. She opened up the gate to the courtyard and brought out two small tables and four chairs and set them up on the sidewalk area in front of the Cafe. She came in an out of the cafe to serve us and check on us. What a wonderful young woman!
Lunch with Pattimari & Peter
This just goes to show how creative and kind the staff are at Toni’s Courtyard Cafe.
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Books - Interviews and Reviews, Chronic Illness and Treatment, Environmental Illness, Food, Food Allergies, Mold Diet, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Reactions, Yeast Free
Tagged allergic to life, chemical sensitivity, food allergies, pnpauthors, Rave Reviews Book Club, resourcefulness, Talking about published authors
I have noticed today that I have several new followers to this blog. I would like to take a moment to welcome you and say thank you. Please feel free to comment on blog posts and ask questions.
You will see that I have a great group of followers who are amazingly helpful as well.
To all of you, both new and long-time followers, I say thank you for wanting to learn more about my story and environmental and chronic illness. Your support and encouragement mean a lot to me.
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Chronic Illness and Treatment, Cross Contamination, Depression, Environmental Illness, Food, Food Allergies, Gluten Free, Holistic Treatments, Mold, Mold Diet, Mold Exposure, Mold Free Recipes, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mycotoxins, Reactions, Rotation Diet, Sick Buildings, Toxic Free Living, Worker's Compensation, Yeast Free
Tagged acute allergies, allergic to life, chronic illness, depression, environmental illness, food allergies, mold exposure, mold toxicity, multiple chemical sensitivity, sick buildings
This is something I have been talking to my daughter and a few friends about lately. Yes, I am still sick. Yes, I can go into a few stores but only if I wear my charcoal mask. Yes, I can eat out at a few outdoor cafes when they are willing to accommodate all my allergies. I am upfront about the fact that I have gained a little more freedom and flexibility with regards to being able to dash into Target to pick up a card or item and the fact that I can eat at a couple of outdoor cafes.
Then why do I feel guilty about this? Why when I see someone I know do I want to hide? Why do I feel the need to explain my actions (Oh, I can eat here because they have a wrap so I don’t have to worry about yeast, and they will leave out the avocado, and they will substitute the aged cheese for the provolone that I can eat, and I can finally eat lettuce and tomato again.) For years I have been so severely sick and at times thought I was dying. Now that I have some freedom why should I feel like I am being deceitful when I am out doing what things I can finally do again?
I have been wrestling with these feelings for a while now and I can’t seem to get rid of them. I think it is even more apparent now that the book is out there chronicling my journey and my life is out there as well.
I think it is time for an appointment with my therapist. I should be rejoicing in the newfound things I can do and not feeling bad about being able to do them.
My question to you: Have or are any of you going through this yourself?
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Chronic Illness and Treatment, Cross Contamination, Depression, Environmental Illness, Food, Food Allergies, Mold, Mold Diet, Mold Exposure, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Mycotoxins, Reactions, Sick Buildings, Yeast Free
Tagged allergic to life, charcoal mask, depression, food allergies, mold exposure, multiple chemical sensitivity
We are nearing the end of the Book Blog Tour. I have two tour stops this week so this will give you all extra time to make sure you visit all the previous stops of the book tour and enter to win a signed copy through rafflecopter.
Book Blog Tour Day 10 is being hosted by Amanda of celiac and allergy adventures. I have been following Amanda for almost as long as my blog as been in existence. Not only does Amanda suffer from celiac disease, she also suffers from asthma, food allergies and eczema. I have learned a lot about her journey through following her blog and am glad that we connected in the blogosphere.
Some of the things I have learned from Amanda through her blog and through the About Me section of her blog are that we are similar in some ways:
- We both have had anaphylactic reactions to food but I have not gone into respiratory arrest as Amanda has done.
- Like Amanda, I refuse to let these conditions be all that I am and totally dominate my life.
- I, too, want my blog to serve as useful information and a way to share my experiences.
- I love coconut. Amanda loves mounds bars. I bet she would love the chocolate almond joy bars I am baking on Friday for my Book Launch Party this upcoming Saturday.
- We both like to shop online. Face it is easier for me and keeps me out of the way of all those nasty chemicals.
Unlike Amanda I do not like:
- Used bookstores – too much dust and mold for me.
- I am not a fan anymore of grilled cheese sandwiches for two reasons (My only cheese options are mozzarella or provolone and breads have yeast which I have a severe allergies.)
- I do not like horror stories or anything morbid.
Please stop and visit Amanda on Day 10 of my book blog tour. You may find that you have things in common with her as well even if you don’t suffer from allergies or celiac disease and choose to follow on her journey as well.
Don’t forget there is a Rafflecopter giveaway throughout this book tour where three signed copies of Allergic to Life will be given away.
My Goodreads giveaway of three additional signed copies ends on Saturday, October 19th. If you haven’t entered there, it gives you more chances at winning.
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Chronic Illness and Treatment, Environmental Illness, Food, Food Allergies, Gluten Free, Mold, Mold Exposure, Mold Free Recipes, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Reactions, Yeast Free
Tagged allergic to life, Book Blog Tour Day 10, Celiacandallergyadventures, food allergies, gluten intolerance, Goodreads Giveaway, Rafflecopter giveaway
Hello everyone! As you know today is Book Blog Tour 9. I have a few updates to share:
- Rachel at doilooksick is hosting me on Tuesday, October 15th (Thank you Rachel)
- Shanna from lipreading mom is hosting me the following Tuesday. (Thank you as well Shanna) Amy from adventuresofanallergicfoodie is also hosting me that Tuesday. So we are having a two-for-Tuesday Book Blog Tour Stop.
- I am dealing with a nasty sinus infection that is driving me crazy and trying to prepare for my book launch party here at home a week from tomorrow.
- Yesterday my dear friend Victoria (you all know her from the Christmas cookie baking post where she is pictured in the lovely and stunning white tyvek suit) came over and put my gift baskets together. Thank you Victoria and to the wonderful companies that donated items for me to use.
- Two weeks ago I tried a sunflower butter cookie to see how it tasted and how many cookies I could make as part of the food for the party.
- Today I made mock oatmeal cookies (gluten and dairy free as well) using ground almonds in place of oats. They are good but I may add a dash of cinnamon for zing).
- Tomorrow I am going to make the chocolate almond joy bars to see how many I can get out of a batch.
- I still need to try a carbob chocolate chip cookie.
- I need to get plates, napkins and paper cups yet and maybe a banner or two.
- Recipes need to be typed and printed and cards made specifying the type of snack (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, etc.)
I have a week to accomplish this while dealing with a sinus infection. Wish me luck everyone. I really would like to get a lot of the typing done this weekend and even get my cellophane bags and prep the dry ingredients so I am ready to go next Friday for a bake-a-thon.
There will be lots of pictures taken and I will post them as I go along as well as recipes for the items I make.
Posted in Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope, Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Environmental Illness, Food, Food Allergies, Gluten Free, Mold Free Recipes, Yeast Free
Tagged Adventures of an allergic foodie, Allergen-free snacks, book launch party, do i look sick, lipreading mom
This morning I quickly took care of a few things here in the office (still looks like a mess) because it is a cool morning I am being drawn into the kitchen. As promised, I tried the sandwich rounds from Comfy Belly. I made a half recipe to test them out and because if I am the only one eating them, I don’t need that many at a time.
The recipe calls for
2 1/2 Cups blanched almond flour (I used 1 1/4 Cups)
1 tsp. baking soda (1/2 tsp.)
1 Cup yogurt (or coconut milk, or other milk) (I used coconut milk but I bet yogurt would be great – I just didn’t have any)
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted (or ghee, coconut oil, or palm shortening) (I used butter this go round but may try with coconut oil next time)
3 large eggs (1 1/2 – or as close as I could get to that)
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I used 1 tbs. honey but think I might try coconut syrup next time for a little less sweet taste)
1 tablespoon of toppings such as poppy seeds, sesame seeds – optional (I used a sprinkling of roasted sesame seeds)
Bake for 15 minutes (I baked mine for about 17 minutes for a little more golden color)
Now my verdict – They were extremely easy to make. The rounds are light and fluffy and would work great for sandwiches or as a bun for a burger. For me they were a little sweet so as I suggested I might substitute coconut syrup or use a little less honey. I am even toying with the idea of adding some chia seeds or flax seeds to the batter. I am going to make a sandwich using these rounds at lunch time. Here are mine, what do you think?
Okay – back in the kitchen. I need to make some scones and then I am going to try sunflower butter cookies if I have enough sunflower butter or another recipe I have. I want to serve foods at my book launch party that reflect how I have had to eat and bake since becoming ill. Cookies and bar cookies are the easiest and can serve many without slaving in the kitchen too long and require only a simple napkin.
Posted in Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Food, Food Allergies, Gluten Free, Yeast Free
Tagged blanched almond flour, comfybelly.com, gluten free bread, sandwich rounds with blanched almond flour, sandwich rounds yeast free, yeast free bread
A month ago I came across a recipe for “sandwich rounds” from a blog called Comfy Belly. The photos looked good
Photo from ComfyBelly.com
and the idea was intriguing. My first impulse was that oh I can’t have those because they probably have yeast in them. To my surprise and delight they do not and they are gluten-free. They are made with ingredients that I currently have in my pantry and refrigerator. I wanted to try them before but experimenting and baking when the outside temperature was 100 or higher was just not something I wanted to do. When the temperatures drop, I am drawn into the kitchen with the desire to create something and don’t mind turning on the oven to experiment a little with a batch or two of something. The temperature has cooled considerably today and if it stays this way tomorrow I am going to try making these Sandwich Rounds. I will report back. If any of you try these delicious looking sandwich rounds, please let me know what you think.
Posted in Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Food, Food Allergies, Gluten Free, Mold Free Recipes, Yeast Free
Tagged blanched almond flour, comfy belly, gluten-free, sandwich rounds, yeast free bread
I have posted about the yeast-free bread recipe that I have used along with my first variation. Today I decided to try another version (version #3). Here is how I changed the recipe (followed by my thoughts):
YEAST-FREE BREAD (Version #3)
1 1/4 Cup Almond Flour (changed this from 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 Cup Coconut Flour (changed this from 1/2 cup)
2 tsp. Guar Gum (or Xanthum Gum if you don’t have a corn allergy)
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Gelatin (or agar-agar)
1 tsp. Salt
Added 1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
3 tbs. Sugar or Honey (used raw coconut nectar)
1 Cup Milk (any kind) (I used coconut milk)
1/4 Cup Melted Butter or Oil (I used the Butter)
Mix all ingredients and place in greased loaf pan at 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes. Cool, remove from pan and slice. Best when toasted.
(My thoughts: The bread tasted fine, it was a little doughy in the center which might still be okay when toasted, and didn’t rise much. I am going to do some research in working with almond flour which is more dense. I may need to add more baking powder. Also, I am still searching for smaller loaf pans. The ones I have are 6 x 9 which makes a very shallow size loaf. To remedy this, I may need to just double the recipe to fill the loaf pan better.) If any one finds small loaf pans out of either glass, stainless or ceramic, please share the information with me.
Posted in Allergies, Allergies and Sensitivities, Food, Food Allergies, Gluten Free, Yeast Free
Tagged blanched almond flour, coconut flour, coconut milk, gluten-free breads, raw coconut nectar, Yeast-free bread version #3, yeast-free breads
I posted the Coconut Honey Blueberry Muffin recipe on November 12, 3012. Since posting it on this site and another site I was asked if honey could be swapped for something else. I thought about it and suggested agave or maple syrup but those also caused allergic symptoms to the reader. I then suggested applesauce instead of honey.
I made the same recipe using 3 tbs. of unsweetened applesauce in place of 3 tbs. of honey. I used organic whole milk as I did before. The result was that the muffin was still moist and tasted like coconut but was not very sweet at all. I am wondering if I were to use the coconut milk instead of whole milk if the muffins would be any sweeter. There is room for experimentation on this. All in all I think this is a good muffin recipe that can be adapted to work with various allergens. Perhaps prune puree could be used (I would suggest a jar of prune baby food since only 3 tbs. is needed). Perhaps cranberries could be added. The ideas are endless. As time allows I am going to do some more experimenting with the recipe and pass it on to the woman who writes the runfastmama blog.
If any of you try this recipe either in its original form or with a variation I would love to hear what you have used and the results.
Posted in Allergies, Environmental Illness, Food, Food Allergies, Gluten Free, Yeast Free
Tagged acute allergies, coconut flour, food allergies, fungal allergy, gluten-free recipes, runfastmama.com, yeast free bread