Sunday, April 25, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream

Ok- so life is super busy this spring time. I'm so enjoying the early spring that has arrived in Minnesota this year. It's such a rare treat, that I haven't spent much time thinking about this blog. Well, today is rainy, cold and pretty dreary, so I thought I would catch up.

First, we had an awesome IEP conference with Doodle's Special Ed team. I'm happy to report that she will not need OT and Speech Therapy next year (but am appreciative of all of their help the past 2 years!). She will continue with limited special ed intervention next year and physical therapy 1 day a week. I'm so pleased with her progress!

As I mentioned the other day, we made the best dairy free strawberry ice cream. It was rich, creamy, and tasted just like the real thing. Here's the recipe:

Strawberry Ice Cream

3 Cups Coffee Rich Non-Dairy Creamer
1 small package Rich Whip
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum
3 Cups Strawberries - sliced
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
1/2 Cup Sugar

1. Add Sugar and Agave Nectar to the sliced strawberries. Macerate for 1-2 hours.
2. In the mean time, combine Non-Dairy Creamer, Rich Whip, Sugar, and Xanthan Gum in bowl and mix thoroughly.
3. Mash strawberries and drain juice into cream mixture. Set aside strawberries
4. Place in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instruction.
5. About 5 minutes before ice cream is complete, add in strawberry mixture. Once complete, remove from bowl and freeze for 2 hours.
6. Let thaw slightly before serving - enjoy!

On a final note, I was very brave this week and asked the food company I work for if they were considering developing any Gluten Free products. To my surprise, the CEO admitted they were behind the times on these products! I volunteered to talk with the marketing organization about my experience. We'll see if it helps them understand the need for natural, allergy friendly foods! Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kindergarten Transition Day

Doodle had Kindergarten Transition Day today. Her entire pre-school class (and parents) were able to experience kindergarten by attending a half day with an actual kindergarten class. We all met in the cafeteria, the pre-schoolers were divided up into 2 groups and we had a tour of the school. One group went to one classroom and Doodle got to attend Ms. Davidson's class. The parents stood on the side lines and watched as their children participated. I was particularily proud as I watched Doodle manuever her own scissors during the art project portion of the day. Six months ago this would have been an impossible feat for her, instead she followed instructions, sat nicely in her seat, listened careully, and made me a beautiful picture of a cow jumping over the moon!

The best part of the day for me came while we were playing out on the play ground. Her teacher pulled me aside to comment how far she has come. She remarked that she had been her substitute teacher several times last year and saw how she was (basically in her own world, un-social, poor eye contact, unable to follow directions, and unable to focus for any length of time.) She stated she was surprised how far she had come in that one short year and "If you had told me a year ago that diet had an impact on developmental delays, I would never have believed you. It's a great testament to you as a parent." Thank you for the validation, kind words, and for acknowledging the TREMENDOUS impact that diet has on all of us! Well said.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

GF DF Apple Crisp

The smell of apple crisp is currently wafting through the house and it is delightful! I created a Gluten Free and Dairy Free version for our Easter dessert tomorrow and may have to dig in and enjoy some tonight. On top of it, we will make our first batch of home-made ice cream today - Doodle says it will be strawberry flavored. Watch for a recipe to come later.

Our Easter menu this year consists of the following:

Nitrate Free Ham from Trader Joe's - thanks Mom for picking it up for me
Oven Roasted Organic Sweet Potatoes - with some kosher salt, there's nothing like it
Organic Salad Green's
Green Bean's
Apple Crisp with Home-made Ice Cream

GF DF Apple Crisp

4-6 Organic Granny Smith Apples - Peeled and Sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Dairy Free Butter - chilled
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sweet Rice Flour
2 T Cinnamon
1 cup GF Oats

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Layer sliced apples in an oven safe glass dish. Sprinkle with sugar.
3. In a small bowl, place butter, brown sugar, sweet rice flour, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into dry ingredients until butter is the size of peas.
4. Add oats to the butter/sugar mixture and stir.
5. Place oat mixture on top of apples and bake in oven for 1 hour.
6. Let cool slightly and top with DF ice cream - enjoy!

This is the perfect dish for Easter this year, as it already feels like summer outside. Nothing better on a warm summer night than a slice of hot apple crisp with fresh ice cream melting on top. Enjoy!

P.S. If you're looking for some GF and DF Easter Candy, most Jelly Beans fit the bill. That's what we'll be filling our Easter eggs with this year - should be a fun hunt tomorrow morning!