Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gluten Free, Vegan Naan Flat Bread

You guys. I am completely addicted to this stuff.  I've made 4 batches in a week.  There's 12 in a batch.  Don't even do the math.  I just made a double batch and froze them between pieces of wax paper and they work even better from frozen.  I'm doomed.  They're fluffy and delicious and totally devious.  Beware.

Gluten Free, Vegan Naan/Flat Bread

Makes 12

2 1/2 cups GF AP Flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tsp yeast

Pour the boiling water in with the coconut milk (almond should work fine here too), then add the yeast and stir.  Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Once the yeast has proofed, add the wet into the dry ingredients and mix well--scraping down the bowl a few times to make sure everything is incorporated.  Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 4-6 minutes until moving fluidly.  Let rest for at least an hour in a warm, dark place until puffy and increased in size.
Using a generous dusting of flour, roll out small balls of dough into 1/4" thick rounds.  Everyone rolls dough out differently, and this dough will be sticky.  I pat the whole ball with a bit of flour, then roll it flat, dust it again, and roll it to final size.  

You can either stop here and place each piece between wax paper and freeze for later OR preheat a pan over medium heat with oil.  Fry on each side until golden, air bubbles will form and it will fluff up.  2-3 minutes per side, depending on your pan and stove temperature.  

Serve warm.  I highly recommend serving with a good hummus, a bowl of good olive oil, and za'atar spices for dipping.

NOTE: I fried these in bacon fat on my 3rd round.  Jesus take the wheel, I can't go back.  So just a thought.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Appocalypse: Can I Get a Freaking Break, Please?

I'm so overwhelmed during the last month. I just can't even think of all the stuff we have gone through in the past few weeks. It's been madness. And so expensive. So expensive. I have been in near tears so many times. So many! I need something to improve! It's just beyond my brain's processing abilities right now. So I'll start at the beginning. 

During Lloyds routine dental visit a few weeks ago (which was problematic in itself because he can't have any of the products because they contain things he is allergic to), X-rays showed quite a few large cavities. Several between teeth. The dentist recommended several crowns on the rear teeth, the ones he will have through his early teens, and about 5 (!) fillings. Also, since all they can do is polish his teeth with pumice, the doctor was tentative to fill anything in the office because of what ingredients could lurk in any of the other products since we already had to pull the fluoride rinse, cleaner, and varnish due to allergens. So he recommended we do all the fillings and crowns simultaneously, in the hospital under general anesthesia — not only because of his age, but also to ensure that if Lloyd did (God forbid) have a reaction to something they can immediately control his airway during a reaction. As you can imagine, this scared the crap out of me but what are you doing to do?  One delightful side effect/symptom of celiacs is we have no enamel on our teeth, leading to lots and lots of dental problems—something I've had loads of as well. Talking to other celiac mommies and doing some research, hopefully Lloyds permanent teeth will be ok since we caught his rather young—albeit long after his baby teeth were in. This disease never fails to make life more "interesting"; insert massive eye roll here. 

Things continued to get more fun the week of his dentist appointment as Asher somehow got, then shared (aren't kids so sweet) a virulent stomach bug that took our whole house out for almost a full week. The boys breezed through with about 12 hours of vomiting, Coach suffered for about a day, and I was laid up for 4. Mostly, we think, because I was still nursing through even the worst hours of it since Asher was completely back to normal by the time Lloyd and I were tandem bathroom dancing. 

THEN as we all recovered our hot water line between our guest/2nd bath and kitchen decided to bust a leak. We caught it in about 24 hours ("why does this floor look bubbly? Why is it so HOT where the wood is bubbling?") but the flooring in the center of our house/hallway is a disaster, and the laminate wood in the kitchen is also buckled. Yay!!!! So father-in-law to the rescue came and helped put some holes in the walls to find "plumber things" and other "important plumbing things", so the plumber friend could come actually reroute the hot water through a different way and prevent having to jackhammer our floors on Saturday. So at least there was that. Flooring people come for the estimate next week because I couldn't even deal with that until after Lloyd gets better.



Then Friday (April 3rd), we went in for the surgery. Lloyd was so incredible. We got there early with both boys in tow; Miece and Papa managed to beat us and entertain them both while I got all the minutiae taken care of. Miece to the rescue with the coolest new toy for Lloyd that completely beat out my little personalized dragon stuffed animal. We had to wait considerably longer than planned but between the iPad and his new toys we did pretty well. We also could not give him the "happy juice" because it contained dye (sensing a pattern?), but he was so calm and happy we decided to forgo it. It is often the reason kids wake up combative and cranky, and because I react so poorly all around to anesthesia I was pretty ok with avoiding it since he was being such a champ. Luckily we had also been talking to Lloyd about how he would be breathing into a Darth Vader mask and the nurse overheard and found out he loves Star Wars. She gave him her phone loaded with light saber battles he watched going back, he was in heaven as we saw him rolled down that hallway. He was cool as a cucumber. I was a wreck.  The doctor had to not only do the planned crowns but once he got in it he could a tooth so badly damaged he had to do a root canal and cap that one too. Good grief. 


He woke up cranky but the second we got back he calmed down. I climbed in bed with him and he curled right up and pretty much fell back asleep. He was so comfy he got upset when we made him get dressed to go. He felt better and was eating sweet potatoes and watching tv happily the rest of the day. Which made me feel like less of a general failure for putting him through the entire ordeal.  


Saturday he was feeling great and playing well then started a fever that night. A high fever. The doc didn't think it was related when I had to call after hours (on a holiday weekend!) to report it. He was fine—eating and drinking, just a high fever and super lethargic. By Tuesday he started to improve but any playing and he would zip back up to a high fever that night. It was just bizarre! But since it was obviously just a viral fever with no other symptoms, bringing him in was pointless. 

Then yesterday (Thursday) we did our trader joes run and he did super well; crashed on the way home and did the sleep/tv thing again. Then at 6, as I was starting dinner, Lloyd walks out of my bedroom (where he was watching tv in bed) and says his belly hurts. I do the typical "do you need to fart/poop/pee/eat/drink/etc". No. He points, without prompting, to his right side and says it hurts really bad. Every mom knows what that could mean. So I change a diaper, put shoes on, grab snacks and electronics, and scoop both boys into the car to go to the Cooks Children's Urgent Care here in Mansfield. Coach left his meeting and met us there right as I was finishing registration. Oy.


3 hours and a flu, strep, and urine test later we have a positive test for flu B but no explanations for the pain. He's running a 102.5° fever and they are upset we can't give him any of the dye-filled meds they have (seriously hospitals, get with it). So they send us to the big Cooks hospital ER to have his abdomen sonogramed. It's 9:15, so Coach goes home with Asher to get him fed and in bed while big boy and I drive to Fort Worth. They had us already in the system, thank gosh, but it was still a long night by the time we got there, went through the whole vitals routine, again with refusing the dye filled tylenol (then them calling their pharmacy, wanting to do a suppository which I refused, then bla bla bla), then waiting with 800 sick kids in a giant room (where most should have been at an urgent care NOT the ER), then being pulled back for registration, then waiting, then a sonogram, then waiting, then getting into a room and changing him into a gown (pointless since the doc didn't even touch him, so all this did was wake him up), then waiting, her coming in for 5 seconds and saying she wants an X-ray to rule out pneumonia in a lower lobe which could be making his belly hurt (but never said anything about the appendix results), getting an X-ray, then waiting, then her coming back and saying he's fine and he can go home, then waiting, then signing the discharge paper, and finally leaving that disease ridden ER. I wanted to douse us in disinfectant. I was bone tired, I hadn't eaten since my tiny lunch at 12:30, and was thirsty as all get-out. It was 1:15 and Lloyd was incredible. Just incredible; I am in awe of that child. 


Then the second I got on I–30 home the dude in front of me is so drunk he almost slams into the barriers getting onto 287S so I had to sleepily call that into 911 because he was all over 3 lanes and baking randomly. So scary. I'm sure I sounded super reliable to that poor dispatcher but I was BEAT. 

So done. This whole thing is just awful. We don't even know how much the floors will cost us and Lloyd's medical costs have me dying inside. Our health insurance is awful. Thousands. I can't even. 

We need prayers. And healing. I'm so sick of being in this house. And we have a whole other week of isolation before it's safe to not infect someone else! Shoot me!!

So that's where we are at. I'll post fancy floor updates whenever that happens when we deal with insurance for THAT. *cries* as we hemorrhage money we do not have.

I NEED A JOB. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bible Study Launch Team!

I, among many other women, was invited to be a part of the launch team for the new Seamless Bible Study by Angie Smith. I'm super excited to see the stuff they put out for us to share. So I'll be putting some up here occasionally too. Angie's book about her daughter Audrey really helped me start to heal after losing our baby the Christmas before we had  Asher. I read it and cried and cried but it helped. So I'm excited to see what this brings for a small bible study as well. She's so approachable. 

Stay tuned! 
#Seamlessbiblestudy 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Frustration

I discussed this in depth with Coach and on facebook but I'm still irritated.  I bought an old serger off a facebok buy/sell/trade over a year ago.  I love it.  It was perfect, and I really loved the way it serged (sergered? no idea).  But the knives (if you don't know what a serger is, check this out and it'll kind of explain why those knives are important) are dull.  This wouldn't be a problem if I hadn't totally become accustomed to using it for a wide variety of things I never thought I'd want it for.

I got spoiled.

Then I also tried to find new needles for it.  They don't exist unless you special order them.  Aka $$$$$$$$$$$. So I put it off hoping I wouldn't break one.  Then the knives stopped cutting through much and then the machine would jam up as the fabric got stuck.  This almost ruined a custom order dress or two.  So I got frustrated.

I spent the hour I got alone Tuesday as Coach took the kids to the park making random phone calls, then decided to use The Google to find a shop that could service it.  It should also be able to gather fabric but doesn't, which wasn't a big deal but if I was going to have to haul it to a shop for repairs might as well get it serviced.

WRONG.

Six shops around the metroplex, and all quoted me this:  service on a serger begins at $99.99 but could cost up to $139.99--not including parts.  New upper and lower knives cost about $40-60.  I just.... WHAT!  A service on my fancy-pants pilot-the-space-shuttle Bernina quilting machine only cost me $75!!!  How????

I had a freak out.  Do I sink money into this old thing or just buy a new one.  Which, by the way, would only cost me $190 and come with a warranty.  And needles I can buy anywhere and replace easily.  And it would gather fabric.

I really didn't want a new machine, I like this one.  But I did it; I bought the new one.  The gamble was too high fixing a 20+ year old machine to buy it time to possibly die.  But why did a service cost that much? I'm just flabbergasted.  Do they not realize that you can find a brand new machine for that?  I'm clueless.

Poor Coach. I had promised no new machines after the 440QE and the embroidery machine at thanksgiving.  I had just started turning profit enough to put away for the trip I'm so desperate to take to NOLA.  Now I'm back at square one.  I mean lucky I'm already booked with orders in the shop through June, so it'll be fine, but I'm still really sad about this.  Poor old serger.  You lived a good life, boo.

This came in Thursday and I set it up yesterday, which is good because I have a stack of things I couldn't serger with the old one.  Sorry buddy, you have been replaced.

 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tuna Cakes

I really struggle with Friday's during lent, it's just not at the forefront of my mind to remember to not eat meat. And fish is so expensive these days. Lloyd can also put away a shocking amount of shrimp, so making that every week is $$$$$. I found this recipe online, edited with what I had on hand, and it worked really really well with my egg substitute. And quick. Super quick to throw together. 





Tuna Cakes

Makes about 10 patties

2 cans tuna, packed in water
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 tsp capers
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp homemade egg replacer, mixed with 2 Tbsp of boiling water

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a baking sheet with oil. Mix all ingredients together with your hands until well incorporated, but careful to still keep the tuna in good sized-chunks. 

Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, or your hands, place rounded balls into baking sheet then flatten lightly. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden and sides are beginning to crisp. 

We ate with Thai sweet chili sauce. Or I put mine on a biscuit and it was really yummy as a tiny sandwich. A really really good alternative to all my regular Friday lent fish ideas. Plus easy. Win-win-win. :)

Whoops

Other than a few food posts I haven't really been here since I finished up Asher's first year. Whoops, my bad yall. For some reason the spring has been flying by. 

Probably because it's soccer season and I can barely find my own children under the piles of laundry Coach creates during season. On game nights he makes a solid load of dirty, damp, smelly clothes the second he walks in the door. Good heavens the laundry. And soccer laundry mildews it's so damp from being out in the cold and muck. Our poor washer. I'm glad appliances don't have feelings.

And we have had some crazy ice/snow weather down here that has kind of disrupted our normal routines and by the time we get back into a good one it happens again. Examples:
I'm trying to think of what we have even been up to and other than being giant children with crazy appetites, I can't think of much. 

I've been embroidering more and waiting for another busy wave of sewing orders to hit. Graduation memory quilt spots are already being "reserved" but I don't have any in-hand yet to work on. I would bet after spring break I get a bunch. 

We are trying to plan a trip to New Orleans this summer. And while I generally would completely forgo a trip to the bayou during the summer months, we are well overdue for a family trip. We haven't ever taken a vacation and most of my dad's family has never met Coach, much less the boys. I'm already having anxiety about the 9 hour drive but I'll be glad to go. I'm already looking forward to it. If we survive the trip with a 4 year old (!!!) and an 18 month old (cry all the tears).

My sister and brother-in-law are also—as we speak—PCSing down to Ft. Sill in Oklahoma and it'll be nice to have them close, even if only temporarily. A few months is better than none! Plus it'll be summer so we can do lots of pool time with the kids. My niece is getting gigantic. 

And we still haven't celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! Every time, every year, we plan something the world blows up in our face. So here it is 3 months late and still we haven't had a date night. Or used our fancy restaurant gift card. We need it SO BAD. I cannot even tell you. So prayers that we can have that sometime in the next century. So need time with my man. 

And that's it. Had to get a new phone. Silly but that's a big deal in mommy-land. And the case is RED. Like yikes red. 

Lloyd picked it out. He's obsessed with the red gingerbread man in Candy Land. Serious business, playing board games with a 3 year old. :)


Monday, January 26, 2015

Dairy Free Banana Pudding

Here's the continuation of the wanted-banana-pudding-but-didn't-have-wafers saga. Part 2, if you will. 

Vanilla Pudding
(Adapted from good Ol' Betty Crocker)

1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (or potato starch)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups dairy free milk (we use Original Coconut Milk)
1 tsp real vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter 

In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, arrowroot powder, and salt together. Over medium heat, whisk in milk. Stirring periodically bring up to a boil, allow to boil and thicken for about 1-2 minutes. 

I always separate my egg yolks into the milk measuring cup to make this next part easy. Pour about 1/3-1/2 of the hot mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs don't scramble--aka tempering the yolks. Add this back to the pan and allow to come back up to a boil again for one minute. Add the vanilla and butter, stirring until butter is melted in. Remove from heat.

Pour into a large bowl, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate. I do this overnight because if not someone (my husband, cough cough) will eat it. 

In the morning:

Banana Pudding

1 recipe Vanilla Pudding
2 large, ripe bananas, sliced
1/2 container So Delicious Coconut Whipped Topping (thawed in your fridge)

I was ghetto and just sliced into the whipped topping, cutting it in half, and let it thaw on top of the pudding over night (putting the remainder back in the deep freeze to hoard for later). Anywho, gently fold the whipped topping into your pudding.  Then mix in your bananas (you can do this trifle-style, but who has time for that nonsense). I like to do this first thing in the morning so it can get nice and banana-like to serve at dinner. You could add the bananas when the pudding is still hot, you may just break them up a bit adding the whipped topping in.  

I then pushed as many vanilla wafers down the side and put a whole bunch on top. We like lots. 

There you are! I know it seems like a ton of steps but it's all easy stuff and the taste is wonderful.