Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WhatToFeedYourKids in Person

Here are some of the events I have spoken at in the past and upcoming events in case you are interested in seeing me speak about What To Feed Your Kids in person in NYC...

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Alternative Nutrition Series for Children with Developmental Delays
Sinergia • 2082 Lexington Ave. - 4th Floor, New York, NY 10035, Tel 212.643.2840

Part 1: Implementing a Gluten Free Diet for Children
Includes information about cooking gluten free food for kids and how to make your family recipes gluten free as well as health information
Thursday, March 3, 2010
10 am-12:30 pm

Part 2: Reading Labels: How to Choose Healthier Food
Post on Reading Labels at Sinergia--Lecture Overview
Thursday, March 24, 2010,
10 am-12:30 pm

Part 3: Implementing Dairy Free Diet for Kids
Thursday, April 14, 2010,
10:00 am-12:30 pm

PAST EVENTS:

Dietary Intervention for Developmental Problems
Sinergia
October 25, 2010

How Food Influences Behavior
(with Geri Brewster, nutritionist)
Beth Israel Medical Center
September 30, 2010

How Nutrition Impacts Development
Cooper's Kids
April 24, 2009

Monday, December 20, 2010

Classic GFCF "Buttercream" Icing
















There is no butter in this "buttercream", but it is creamy and spreadable and perfect for frosting a cake or icing cupcakes. I used this icing for two cakes in early December--one was for a holiday party and one was a drum shaped cake for a 12 year old's birthday party.

1 cup solid white shortening (I use Spectrum Naturals Organic Shortening but Earth Balance Vegan buttery sticks actually work the best and create an icing that doesn't separate.)
1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
6 teaspoons milk or water
1 pound box of Dominos confectioners sugar
pinch of salt

Cream shortening, flavoring and water (or milk.) Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or so until creamy. Makes 2.5 cups.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 BEST GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

For the kids...
For your tween...

For the cook...

For the host...

For your wife...
For your husband...
For a newborn...

For the gluten free traveler...
  • Gluten free goodies delivered to your destination when traveling--hard to pull off but very impressive.

Gluten Free Holiday Chex Mix
















This gluten free holiday chex mix is a real crowd pleaser. We made it for my daughter's juniors girl scout troop. They have some kind of snack tradition where everything represents something. I wasn't at the snack ceremony so I am not sure about the details of what everything represents but the end results is a crunchy, sweet satisfying snack mix that you can take anywhere. It's not super healthy but it is a good holiday mix to serve that everyone will like.

GLUTEN FREE CHEX MIX RECIPE

Gluten Free Chex Cereal
Kraft mini marshmallows
Glutino pretzel sticks
Popcorn-no butter
Raisins
Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Best Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

I just perfected my vanilla cupcake recipe. I can't believe how delicious they are and I am seriously kicking up my heals at my new and improved recipe. Here it is--fresh from the oven. There is really something quite exciting about getting a recipe right. I have to give credit to my daughter for making the call to reduce the sugar from the original recipe which resulted in the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. She actually requested that I make cupcakes for her class after seeing me bake 60 cupcakes for a friend and launched my new gluten free cupcake business. My daughter doesn't even like cupcakes--or she didn't until last week.

It has been quite a busy day. This morning, I spent three hours giving a presentation at Sinergia, an amazing NYC non-profit organization in East Harlem. While I was there I showed everyone how to make almond milk and spring rolls. After a tree trimming party this afternoon, I made my award winning tasty easy chili and baked 40 cupcakes. NYC is quite an amazing place--maybe even more amazing than these cupcakes.

2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 and 1/4 cup brown rice flour mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1&1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk, rice milk, almond milk or 1/3 cup seltzer
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 mini cupcake liners.
2. Mix sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed for one minute.
3.Combine rice flour, salt, baking powder, and xanthum gum in small bowl and whisk together.
4 Combine canola oil, milk of choice and vanilla extract in small bowl.
5. Add dry ingredients and wet ingredients to sugar and eggs.
6. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
7. Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, scoop a heaping tablespoon into each cupcake liner.
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
9. Frost and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to Cook Kale Chips

When I make kale for myself these days I use some of it to make kale chips for my 5 year old. I spray some 2 inch pieces kale with olive oil using a spray I purchased at Sur la Table and sprinkle them with a little salt. Then I bake the leaves in a 350 oven for 10-15 minutes until the ends are slightly brown. It is a super simple way to make chips and to introduce kids to kale. I like the kale chips with my easy green herb dip, but my kids preferred them on their own fresh from the oven. My son enjoyed spraying the olive oil on the kale--and then on his pizza. When kids are involved with the cooking process, they are more likely to try food being served. Even if you can't involve them in the whole preparation, often they can participate in a few simple steps. (Sorry there isn't a picture--the kale chips actually disappeared before I could snap a picture.)

Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch kale-fold in half and cut stalk out then cut into pieces the size of tortilla chips
  • olive oil
  • salt

Wash and dry kale.
Cut stalk out of kale.
Cut kale into chip size pieces.
Spread kale out on a baking sheet.
Spray with olive oil or toss with olive oil if you don't have a spray bottle.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until crispy and edges are brown.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Note About Your Food...

Kathleen, who is the founder of Autism Help at Home and a member or the board of the NAA-NY Metro Chapter, sent me this letter last week...

I wanted to share my thoughts about the food you provided at the NAA NYC holiday party. It was tremendous. As a natural foods chef myself I am pretty discerning - about 95% of what I eat is cooked by myself and I don't often get the chance to really enjoy food when I go out. At this party I could not seem to stop eating. I think I had three plates of your food. Everything from the curried chicken skewers to that magnificent quinoa (and I typically find quinoa boring), the beautiful fresh veggie spring rolls with wonderful dipping sauces, the delicious humus and that dill yogurt mayo dip with the crudites... I can't even remember everything else there was so much... that baked sesame salmon was heavenly...then of course gluten-free casein-free desserts. That cardamom cake I think it was? was delicious. It was so wonderful to just be able to eat and not worry about toxins of any kind, and also not having had to do the work myself. Thank you so much for all your hard work and generosity. Your culinary skills and creativity are so appreciated and I know that your food made many people very happy (and healthy). I could hear comments all night about how fresh and tasty everything was!


Warm Regards,
Kathleen

Kathleen Reily, CHHC, AADP
Board Member
NAA NY Metro Chapter
www.autismhelpathome.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cupcakes on the Upper East Side
















"You REALLY should go into business!" my 9 year old said as I frosted the last of 60 cupcakes for a friend with twins who needed allergy free cupcakes for a dairy free, nut free class. It was the ultimate compliment from my daughter who doesn't even like cupcakes. At $4.50 a regular size cupcake and $3 a piece for mini cupcakes (which is the same price as Crumbs Bake Shop) it is a pretty good business. And probably much needed on the Upper East Side where there are no gluten free, dairy free bakeries. (I am actually using the money I made from the cupcakes to put a deposit down toward classes for a nutrition program I am starting in the spring.) I am thinking my minimum order is 30 cupcakes Tuesday through Friday pickup only. I would need a week notice. Extra charge for 24 hour rush orders. I am not such a business person so it's weird for me to mention prices and ordering. But the cupcakes came out so well how could I not provide them for allergy free kids in the neighborhood who wanted to bring cupcakes to school? The mini cupcakes are more than enough for any child because they are so sweet and rich. And although cupcakes are really NOT What To Feed Your Kids, they seem to be standard fare at any kids celebration. Here is what they said about my first order...

"Thank you so much for the cupcakes. They are beautiful! We tasted that extra one and loved it. xo CC"

Of course, you can make them yourself very easily if you order Authentic Foods All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend and Annalise Roberts' Book: Gluten Free Baking Classics. And here are the recipes I use if you want to make them yourselves using this gluten free vanilla cupcake recipe.

Also, here are other bakeries in the city where you can order gluten free cupcakes--I am actually quite busy writing a speaking I am thinking I will just direct people to these wonderful places...
Tu-Lu's Bakery (carries gluten free cupcakes and might do special order gluten free/dairy free cupcakes)
BabyCakes Bakery (gluten free/dairy free vegan cupcakes available)
Sean's Food (gluten, casein, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn, rice and potato free)


*I also learned the one thing you cannot buy organic is powdered sugar. While organic sugar has a rich caramel taste, organic powdered sugar is, for some reason, quite off tasting.

Here are some more pictures of the cupcakes...


I WON: Homemade Cookies from Only Sometimes Clever!

Our GF Family received this letter yesterday from Only Sometimes Clever. Love that someone else is checking the ingredients instead of me. Thanks so much Only Sometimes Clever! Also, I am really looking forward to trying her Big Batch Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies (GFCF) recipe for holiday parties at my children's school. All the cookies she is sending are based on the sugar cookie recipe. Here is the letter I received...

GFCF Mom, you're the winner of four dozen of my cookies. :) I'll e-mail you separately... I'll need your address!

And... my hubby ate all of the cranberry almond cookies -- well, that, and I forgot that I was the snack person at my small group, so between that event, and my hubby's penchant for that particular variety, they're all gone. :) So, it looks like it will be chocolate-drizzled candy cane cookies, triple-lemon stars, chocolate-vanilla pinwheels, and chocolate-filled sandwich cookies.

Everything, by the way, is all natural (and GFCF), except for the candy canes used in the cookies. I looked at thee different stores for all-natural candy canes, but no one had any! But, they're Spangler, and there's a note on the box saying that they use dedicated equipment, and the canes are free of cross contamination from gluten and dairy, among other things.

Let me know if you have any other dietary concerns or restrictions, and I'll try to accommodate you. :)

~www.onlysometimesclever.com

P.S. It was your Facebook posting(s) that won it for you. My 11yo son is the one who pulled your name from the very low-tech slips of paper I'd written up. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Natural Food Dyes

For years, I thought that India Tree was a line of decorating products that used only natural coloring. Then, reading the labels of the bright and festive colored sugars, I realized many of the India Tree products actually contain artificial dyes! I assumed if I went with the brand which made natural coloring that all their products would be safe. But just like with goldfish and chips, often one brand can have products that are more healthy and products that are less healthy. India Tree's "Nature's Colors" line is the line with sugars which contain vegetable based dyes. My cabinet is full of sugars by India Tree that contain dyes. I would like to move onto the India Tree products that are more natural--or probably another brand which I think is more committed to making products without artificial dyes. Reading the label closely to find out which of there products contain artificial coloring is a must when trying to find food coloring that is free of artificial dye.

Here are links to the India Tree Nature's Colors line which contain vegetable based colorants...
India Tree Natural Decorating Colors
India Tree Nature's Colors Decorating Sugars-Spring Green
India Tree Nature's Colors Decorating Sugar-Periwinkle Blue
India Tree Nature's Colors Raspberry Red Decorating Sugar
India Tree Bright White Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Chocolate Vermicelli

Here are links to Nature Flavors Food Color:
Organic Black (Red) Current Food Color (Kosher, Gluten Free, Vegan)
Organic Caramel Natural Food Color (Kosher, Gluten Free, Vegan)
Organic Food Colors by Nature's Flavors

Selectea.com has may All-Natural Vegan, Gluten Free Products:
Food Coloring (All Natural) Gluten Free

ShopBakersNook also carries ChefMaster natural food coloring
Natural Food Coloring

_________________________________________________________________
Here are links to the products by India Tree that contain artificial dye.
India Tree Hot Pink Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Holiday Red Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Electric Blue Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Confetti Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Emerald City Green Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Star Gold Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Ultra Violet Sparkling Sugar
India Tree Sparkling Sugar - Popsicle Orange

The ingredients listed on Amazon for this product don't list dye but these colorful cookie decorating balls also must contain dye...
Party Decoratifs Seurat


Related posts:
Goldfish, Allergies and Reading Labels
The Danger's of MSG in Processed Food

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cooking for the Holidays

It's only the beginning of December and I am already over my head in holiday baking and cooking. A year ago, at a board meeting for a non-profit I am involved with, a fellow board member asked if I would do the food for the holiday party. Of course I said yes and now it is year two and I am back at it again. It's kind of selfish, though. The NAA NYC is full of a bunch of people whose friendship I really treasure and if I make the food, the holiday party is a lot more fun because I can actually eat at the party. A few other gluten free friends also enjoy the evening knowing the menu is completely gluten free. Tonight, I also made several dozen gluten free sugar cookies for a cookie decorating party the following night. No pictures yet--too busy cooking. I should have a "GONE COOKING" sign (similar to a "GONE FISHING" sign) on my blog when I am busy cooking.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Perfect for Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup: Barkat Alphabet Pasta and Anellini Pasta
















What a treat to stumble upon this Anellini pasta by Shar at the Food Emporium at 80th and 3rd Avenue in NYC. The bite size o's are perfect for chicken noodle soup. My kids also love spelling out words with the Barkat Alphabet Pasta that we found at the Gluten Free Mall. Barkat makes a similar corn pasta that is animal shapes. Chicken soup is a staple at my house and the kids take it in a thermos to school for lunch. *

Related posts:
Chicken Soup Recipe

What to Pack for Lunch

*Corn pasta works best on the side if the soup is in a thermos and you can add it to the hot soup right before you eat it.