Friday, July 22, 2011

Peanut Butter & Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

I remembered just because it's hotter then all get out here (heat index right now 108) it doesn't mean I can't bake.  I just can't use my oven, but I can use my slow cooker!

So out came my favorite slow cooker cookbook Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with Your Slow Cooker [FIX-IT & FORGET-IT CKBK].  I was going to go with my stand by Hot Fudge Cake when I turned page and found Peanut Butter and Hot Fudge Pudding Cake.  So I mixed them together and came up with the following recipe.

Hot Fudge and Peanut Butter Cake
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 TBS Almond Flour
2 TBS White Rice Flour
2 TBS Tapioca Flour
3 TBS Potato Flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
5 oz can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp almond extract (i'm out of vanilla)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup boiling water

Mix the first 10 ingredients together.  It will be very thick.  Place in a little greased slow cooker.

Mix cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of sugar together.  Sprinkle over cake mixture.

Pour boiling water over everything.  DO NOT STIR!

Cook on low 2-3 hours.  Serve with ice cream.

Note: If you don't eat gluten free replace the first 5 ingredients with 1 cup of flour.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Oh I wish I could answer with something great like a European vacation or a cooking adventure crisscrossing the country.  The truth is, I've been obsessed with Big Brother.  I watch every year and spend the first week doing nothing but watching the CBS show and the live feeds.  It's a critical time to learn about each house guest.  Ok, So I don't have a life. lol

Anyway, the first week is almost over and life will go into BB mode.  Thursday, Sunday, and Wednesday I'll watch the CBS show.  Sometimes in the afternoon I'll watch the feeds.  You can get your feeds here.  It's my favorite BB site in all of interwebs.  Hamsterwatch is also a favorite of BB HG Adam.  He's got good taste.  I'll spend my late evening in the chat room and watching BBAD on Showtime.  In between, I'll get back to crafting and cooking.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gluten Free Cooking - It's a way of life not a fad

For those with Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten intolerance the gluten free diet is the only way to maintain their health.

I'm writing this blog while the butter softens and fruit thaws out for a recipe.  I started with that sentence because I want you to keep that in mind while reading the rest of this post.  This is now my life in the kitchen.  The days of making cookies in 20 minutes or kneading bread to remove frustration are gone.  Replaced are all day cookie recipes, bread that is more like cake batter and numerous non-traditional bags of flour.  Do I want to toss it all in the trash and go back to 3 types of flour? (all purpose, bread, cake)  You bet.  That's my comfort zone.  Will I? Absolutely not!

When I got married my husband told me that he was a Celiac.  I had not clue what that was and hadn't seen anything that he wouldn't eat besides pasta.  I knew what gluten was, there are times you want it, like making breads and pizza crust, and there are times you don't, like making pie crust.  It didn't effect or affect me.  I didn't make pasta for dinner.  Other than that I continued cooking as I had always done.  That would all change in about six months.

My husband had a health episode.  I call it an episode because I can't think of a better word for it.  He collapsed in the yard but I wouldn't find out for a week.  When I finally did find out I drug him to the doctor.  After a battery of blood work the results were in, he had a heart attack.  So off for EKG and stress test.  He passed both which made us all scratch our heads.  There was no heart damage, no blockage, and he beat the stress test with flying colors.  The only other things that could cause the blood work results, muscle damage, was MS or Lou Gehrig's disease.  My heart sank.  How was this happening?  My husband was a fit 41 year old man.  He didn't have any fat, he was muscular, he was active.  After a battery of tests he was diagnosed with extreme exhaustion and  dehydration.  I thought it was a bunch of bull.  There was something wrong with him.  So off to Google I went.

That's where I found the answer.  It was because his Celiac was uncontrolled.  So I started reading, studying, and learning.  About the time I was finding this out my husband told me, "I need to go back on the diet."  I had a lot of learning to do. So I'll flashback so you can learn what I did.

Celiac is an auto immune disorder.  IT IS NOT AN ALLERGY!  It's similar to diabetes.  Gluten is found in all kinds of things that people don't think about.  It takes an average of 13 years to get diagnosed after the first time you go to the doctor.  My husband was lucky it took 3 weeks.  95% of Americans that have Celiac are not diagnosed.  Celiac can lead to cancer and even death.  Joe C. part of Kid Rock's group died from it.  Symptoms very from person to person.  Here is a list of those symptoms.

So what is gluten?  The standard definition is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.  Oats are sometimes listed but they contaminated.  There are gluten free oats on the market.  I tell people that gluten is what makes bread and pizza chewy and yummy.  It's what holds cookies together.  It's what thickens soups and stews.

Here is a list of UNSAFE foods.  It's really more ingredients.  Look at it and then go look at a few things in your pantry.  I bet you find lots of gluten in things you never thought it was there.  It's not easy to start tossing out staples in your cooking.  No more cream of mushroom soup, no more soy sauce, no more bread crumbs, or crackers.  It took some adjusting and I'm still adjusting and working on it.

My big pet peeve is when people think this diet will be a cure all.  I'll be thinner, prettier, healthier, ect.  That's what makes the general public think this is a fad like no-carb diets.  It's not a fad.  This is a way of life without it people suffer.  There's no concrete proof that it helps any other issues.  Normally people gain weight on the diet.  There's no trying in this diet.  Gluten-free doesn't mean for the most part.  It's all or nothing.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Why I'm Here Part 2 - I'm living out my dream!

Today The whole weekend was really busy.  Shields Photography is showing as part of First Friday Art Walk.  It's also been too hot to even think of baking so that's out the window.  So I thought I would finish my story.

I've never been formally trained in any of the crafts that I do.  Well, unless you count a few classes/lessons here or there.  I have also had a need to create but not the space as I got older.  The need to create something with my own hands is so deep it's almost painful sometimes.  I never buy gifts for friends.  It's always a hand made custom gift for them.  It's more personal that way I believe.  I didn't grab something off a shelf, I took the time to make you something.

My grandmother lived with me for 29 years 11 months and 19 days.  She passed away at the age of 98.  She had seen it all.  She never sewed on a sewing machine, it was all by hand.  She had the most even hand stitching I had ever seen.  She hand stitched the binding on every quilt my mom made.  We didn't have a dishwasher, still don't, because hand washing was better.  No bread machine would ever grace the house while she was alive making bread by hand was the only way.  I don't own a bread machine and I'm not sure I ever will.  Do it with your hands, it'll be better that was her motto.  I believe it, never have had wheat bread turn out right unless it was by hand.  Just before she passed away she told me I should take her bedroom when she was gone and make it a sewing room.  So I would have room to create.  She knew I needed that outlet.

I didn't take over her room.  She had a closet the room we slept in didn't.  So our old bedroom got converted.  It's nothing special, not a lot of storage in there but it's mine.  It's all mine.  I bought a table at Goodwill for 15 bucks and a can of spray paint at Wal-Mart for a buck.  I spray painted the legs glossy black.  I have an old dresser full of fabric, a card table that my sewing machines are set up on, and a small shelf with odds and ends.  I have a couple of tubs things have been tossed in, a floor with piles, and stacks of containers to be upcycled into storage.  But I have my own sewing/crafting/woman cave.

I've got plans and they are going slowing.  But together we'll leave out this dream.  I may never be as famous as Martha Stewart.  I know I'll never be as perfect as she is.  I just want to have fun, help a few people, and maybe even make a buck or two.

Happy 4th of July!
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