Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The MOST Amazing Sorbet

Last weekend our family had game night - a monthly activity with the families of two close friends. It's an awesome time where we eat too much, laugh hysterically, and the kids completely destroy the house of whomever is hosting that month.  All go home happy and utterly exhausted.

For such an event, you can imagine most of the food brought is not allergy friendly. So, I am always prepared with special treats/dinner for Doodle. This past weekend, we wandered down the ice cream aisle at our local grocery store and discovered something new - Talenti Gelato and Sorbetto.  We bought the Gelato for some adult beverage making (with a little Kahlua -- YUM!) and the Sorbetto for Doodle.  I have to say, both were some of the best ice cream/sorbet I have ever tasted (and I work for an ice cream company!)  Doodle tried the Roman Raspberry version of the Sorbetto and fell in love. She asks every night "Mommy, can I have some of that delicious ice cream for dessert tonight."

My first taste of the Sorbetto reminded me of plucking a fresh, sweet, juicy, perfectly ripe raspberry from the bush and savoring the flavor as the juices tickled down my throat. The flavor is absolutely phenomenal! I also LOVE that the ingredients list is so simple:   Raspberries, water, sugar, dextrose, lemons, and carob bean gum. The simplicity and boldness of flavor is so astounding, I may pack up my ice cream maker and call it good. Doodle and I have found heaven in a pint.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hiding Vegetables

When I was first recovering Doodle from Autism, she had a serious aversion to vegetables...really, have you ever met a child that didn't? What is a mother to do? When I started baking Gluten and Dairy Free, I decided to hide vegetables and protein in her favorite snacks to up her daily doses. Hiding vegetables is super easy. I ran some zucchini through my food processor until it was pureed. I then packaged this up into small batches and placed in my freezer for later use. Whenever I baked a batch of brownies, I threw in several packages of zucchini and Voila! Doodle was enjoying vegetables without even knowing it!

We love to make these brownies from Elana's Pantry modified to include zucchini. The zucchini makes the brownies turn out super moist, the almond butter gives Doodle added protein, and the Agave nectar ensures the brownies are sugar free. It's the perfect snack any time of the day! Here's my version of Elana's fabulous brownies:

1 16 oz jar Almond Butter
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Zucchini - pureed
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1. Beat almond butter on high speed with a mixer until smooth. Add in eggs and beat thoroughly.
2. Add agave nectar, vanilla, and zucchini and mix until well blended.
3.  Add cocoa powder, salt, baking soda. Mix together.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Place in a seasoned, square glass baking dish (I use corning ware) and bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Doodle loves these brownies slightly warm with a scoop of my Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream on top. Mmmm - the ultimate bedtime treat on a hot summer day!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Northwest Natural Products

I can't say enough good things about Northwest Natural Products L'il Critter Gummy Vites. Doodle takes several varieties of their vitamins a day including: Gummy Vites, Omega 3, and Vitamin D.

Several weeks ago I decided to write Northwest Natural Products President Kate Jones because I wanted to express my gratitude for the tremendous impact NNP's vitamins have had on our family. I credit most of Doodle's recovery with the addition of Vitamin D taken in the form of Gummy Bear vitamins to Doodle's diet. It's comforting to know that Doodle can consume a vitamin that is free of gluten, casein, dye's, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. It gives me peace of mind.

To my surprise, I received a response back this week in the form of a letter and package on my doorstep! How wonderful! Ms. Jones sent a package of 3 different vitamins and the following letter:

Dear Ms. SL:

Thank you for sharing the inspiring story about your daughter. It's wonderful to hear that Doodle is progressing and doing so well! 

Our main mission when we began making the gummy bear vitamins was to ensure that children would actually take their vitamins and also to provide them with the best quality product available.

Please enjoy the enclosed L'il Critters Gummy Vites and Omega-3 Gummy Fish. And since all busy moms need their vitamins, too, we're sending a bottle of our Vitafusion Multi Vites just for you. (How thoughtful!)

Wishing you and your family a bright and healthy future!

Best regards,

Kate Jones