Monday, February 8, 2010

Ice Cream, Thoughts, and Sleuthering

My friend Jennifer recently made a nice coconut ice cream and gave me some. It was tasty and I just finished the last of it this evening. I have been playing with a recipe of my own, which I will share here. It is another of those Aunt Lorena method concoctions, so adjust the ingredients to taste.

Chocolate Cinnamon Coconut Almond Freeze
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
1 heaping teaspoon cocoa (to taste/SACO's is gluten free)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or Agave nectar
2 tablespoons of Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Toasted almonds, slivered or smashed, however you like
1 tablespoon milled flax seeds (optional)

Put about 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk in the bottom of a small mixing bowl. Add the cocoa and cinnamon and mix well, adding a little more coconut milk if needed.

Mix in the rest of the coconut milk well and then the rest of the wet ingredients.

Next add any of the ups and extras you like, in this case, chocolate chips, almonds, milled flax seeds and mix it all up well.

Finally, scoop it into a container that can tolerate the freezer and cover it tightly. Put it in the freezer for about a half an hour, then remove it and stir it up. Put it back in for another 15-20 minutes and then stir it up again. Do this maybe another time or two and then just let it be until you are ready to have some. My freezer works very well, so I usually let it sit on the counter for about 15 to 20 minutes before I eat some. Obviously you can go a lot of different directions, flavor wise, so do experiment. Let me know if you come up with a winning combination.

Hmm..I am thinking of some new flavors even now. I will let you know.

Play-Doh: The Dilemma
My husband often needs to go into church at 8:00 on Sunday mornings (our service starts at 9:00) and I really like to be ready and go in with him at that time. Yesterday I did that and I went down to the Sunday school room where I teach the preschoolers. There is a storage cupboard in there with lots of supplies, but it hasn't been sorted for a while, so I decided to spend the hour cleaning it out. I was really surprised when I found a plastic grocery bag with a hand-written for homemade play dough stapled to it and assorted ingredients inside, including a bag of flour. I disposed of it and wiped down the cupboard.

The children are always asking to play with Playdoh, of which we have an abundance, but besides myself, one of the little girls who attends has celiac, so I will not get it out. I have been told that there is a commercial product that is gluten free, but that it tends to be dry and kids don't like to play with it. I am going to experiment with some homemade recipes and here are the ones I have found on the web:

Cel Kids Recipes, their White Goop recipe just above that one looks interesting, but I don't know if I could use that with several children at once...we will see.
Daharja from New Zealand at Cluttercut has a promising recipe with a great review to boot.
Daharja linked to another recipe on Nikki's blog, A Delight-Filled Life, which makes a smaller batch.
Both Daharja and Nikki say that the dough dries out fast. Keep that in mind. I anticipate that if I make it for my preschoolers, it will only be usable for one Sunday.

This article by Clara Ogren has links to gf playdough to buy and to make. I was pleased to see that the last of her homemade links was to A Year of Slow Cooking! Her recipe looks like it would work fine for my purposes.

The Gluten Free Life
When I first read this article on how to have a gluten free kitchen it made me cry, but at the same time, I was grateful for the information. When dealing with the dangers of gluten, the more we know the better.

I Was Wrong: In the past I have stated that Blue Diamond Almond Milk has dairy in it, but I was not correct in that statement. Here is the company's FAQ's concerning dairy, their FAQ's concerning gluten and their FAQ's concerning all things Almond Breeze.

General Mills not only has a number of gluten free products for sale, they have recipes as well.

I mentioned these barbecue sauces before, but I wanted to give more details. Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce, currently available in a beasty-sized bottle two-pack from Costco, is gluten and dairy free. Go to this page and click on allergen; they do have some packaged meatballs of some sort that have gluten. We like this stuff a lot and it is a nice alternative to Cattlemen's (all flavors are gluten free except for their Golden Honey flavored barbecue sauce).

Sorry for such a short report this evening (the recipe just makes it look longer), but I have been really eating simple foods recently and have been sleuthing a lot less than I normally do.

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