Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas cookies

Click on the pictures to make them larger.
mmm, we made Christmas cookies today and I had to share the decorations. I was happy with white icing but the kids really wanted some color so we were inventive. They put green spirulina powder in some and made some light green, then they took acceptable fruit gel bars, cut them up, and used them for more decoration. We also had some acceptable chocolate chips. Powdered sugar "snow" topped it all off. Interesting to say the least, LOL.
A sugar cookie tip to share with you all, whip up the fat, sugar, and eggs a TON till they look like frosting, then add the rest of the ingredients and just stir enough to incorporate. chill that for at least an hour before rolling. They turn out so good. Same with the frosting, beat the heck out of it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

pumpkin pie candy-so easy! let the kids play with it

I don't know why but I'm having problems with these pictures today. One is the dough straight from the mixer, one is the dough after it was kneaded, which made the texture much better, and one is a few finished pieces.

I just had an extra sweet potato and I didn't want to feed it to the chickens so I invented something instead...YAY a new recipe! This was so fun and the kids are playing with it right now. It feels like a playdoh and tastes so yummy.

1 sweet potato
powdered sugar
pie spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, etc.

stuff to roll it in, optional, chopped nuts, coconut, cinnamon sugar

in a food processor or just smoosh it up if you don't have one,
mash up the sweet potato (cooked well in the jacket tastes best, it naturally carmalizes) then add powdered sugar slowly until you have a very stiff dough. Add spices to taste.

For my size of sweet potato (med) I used about 2 lbs of powdered sugar and about 2 tsp of a pumpkin pie spice mix that I made before.

I used the food processor until it began to get a little too stiff, then I moved it to the mixer with the dough hook. The kids took it from there. They're making balls to roll in chopped pecans, coconut, and cinnamon sugar. These are very rich but I'm going to have a hard time not eating them all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heather's meals

Some recipes from my friend, Heather...as always, remember to use approved oil or sub butter or coconut oil instead. For gluten free, sub tinkyada noodles and gf flour

Okay here are a few to start with:

To make the following recipes, you will need to know how to make a roux (Most of you probably know how to do this, but I understand these recipes might go into a cookbook for young women, so I'm including the instructions). It's easy - melt one stick (1/2 C) butter in a pot over medium-high heat (I use the 7 on my elecrtic stove). Once it's melted, whisk in 1/2 C white flour and let it bubble for a minute or so. This is your roux. If you want to double these recipes, you should also double your roux - it's always equal amounts butter and flour.

"White Soup"
(Chowder base)

about 8 cups of milk

Once your roux has bubbled for a minute or so, keep the stove on medium-high heat and add about 1/2 the milk. Whisk it in and then stir just every now and then until it starts to bubble. The soup needs to bubble a little, but not boil, in order to thicken. Stir it all the way down to the bottom so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. When you notice it start to thicken you can add the rest of the milk - keep it bubbling and keep stirring.

With this chowder base you can make all kinds of different chowders. Cook your other ingredients in a seperate pan and add them to the chowder base when it's ready. These recipes are the way I make them, and you can add or subtract anything you want.

Basic Potato Chowder:

4-5 potatoes, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg bacon, chopped small (use approved or omit)
1 can corn
seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic, etc)

Cook the bacon first - then you can either drain the grease or cook the other ingredients in it. Add the potatoes, celery, onions and seasonings and cook until the veggies are done. Add the corn, then add the whole thing to your chowder base. Let it all simmer together for at least 10 minutes.

For Clam Chowder, add 2 cans of clams. I like to use the juice as well, but you run the risk of getting sand in your chowder :) If you don't like that idea you can dump the juice and rinse the clams first. You might also add some spinach to the recipe.

For Chicken Chowder, add 2 cans of chicken, or cook and chop at least 2 chicken breasts.

For Hamburger Chowder, use at least 1/2 lb of ground beef and don't use the celery or celery salt. Flavoring the meat with Worchestershire sauce and seasoning salt while it's cooking is very tasty. I like peas or spinach in this chowder, in addition to the corn. Corn is a chowder classic.

And since I think it's a crime to eat chowder without corn bread, here is an excellent Western corn bread recipe (as opposed to a traditional Southern corn bread "cake" that is made with bacon fat and sometimes fried on the stove top):

Homesteader Cornbread

1 1/2 C cornmeal
2 1/2 C milk
2 C white flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 C white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pout the batter into a greased 9 X 13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

The next recipe also uses the roux, and comes with a story :)

This is called "Wild Horses" in my husband's family (and now ours), but it's really just biscuits and gravy. They call it "Wild Horses" because whenever the kids would come into the kitchen while my mother-in-law was cooking and say, "what are you doing?" she would give some ridiculous answer, like "wrestling greased pigs" or "rising wild horses." In the case of this recipe, the name "Wild Horses" just stuck :)

No, they don't have any recipes called "Greased Pigs" ;)

"Wild Horses"

about 4 cups milk
seasonings to taste

Make it the same way you make the chowder base, but you want it much thicker so you don't use as much milk. Cook your other ingredients in a seperate pan and add to your "gravy" when it's ready.

Some of our favorite "Wild Horses":

scrambled eggs and sausage
tuna and peas
hamburger and corn

Once your gravy is ready and full of yummy things, you break up biscuits in your bowl and pour the Wild Horses on top. It's very hardy and warm and filling.

As an added bonus (lol) here is my favorite drop biscuit recipe:

4 C white flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C oil
2 C milk

Preheat oven to 450. Combine dry ingredients, then stir in oil and milk just until it's all moistened. Use a spoon to drop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 until the biscuits are golden brown around the edges - about 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 32 biscuits, depending on size.

Leftover biscuits can be used for dessert, warmed up in a bowl in the microwave with butter and honey, syrup, jam or brown sugar and maybe some fruit on top. MMMMmmmmm.....

I'll post more recipes later - I just got a houseful of visitors :)

- Heather McKay

a success story from Christina

This is a great success story from Christina on the yahoo Feingold group.

My son is in 1st grade (barely 6 and the youngest in his class). He testes above
grade level in all subjects and reads as well as his 8 year old sister.

However, we had him tested at the teachers request for autism and they
officially placed him on the autism spectrum. He has a slightly modified
schedule where he gets to leave class for 30 min. and take his work to a smaller
classroom to work on it without the classroom distractions. He also has
permission to do his work laying on the carpet when he needs to.

He has been a very extreme child. He gets upset easily and cries easily about
the smallest things. He is socially immature and groups have a tendency to
completely overwhelm him. He has always loved trains and when we filled in the
aspergers questionaire I was convinced Aspergers was our diagnosis. We also have
tourettes on my side of my family (my father and brother) and have seen the
beginning of what we believe to be TS.

Back on 2 months....we started him with chelation the middle of October. Within
2 weeks, we had eye contact (where previously we had had NONE ever...), he was
calmer, able to read for content, left his trains behind and joined friends and
his sister in almost any game. He started falling asleep quickly instead of
kicking the wall for an hour each night to calm himself down. We rarely have any
temper tantrums, although he is still easily upset, he now calms down quickly.

We started soccer this year and the first couple of games resulted in him
melting down in only a few minutes and sitting out the rest of the game. You
could sometime hear him screaming 2 fields away. It was the end of soccer
season, and we had a 2 week break due to rain, and on his tenth game (the last
one of the season) it was a NEW kid. We had started "watching" artificial colors
and flavors at this point but had not started Feingold at that time. He ran when
he needed to, walked and waited for the ball to come toward him. Previously he
had never been able to slow down and would exhaust himself within 5 min chasing
the ball...and then meltdown. He played 2 quarters with NO time outs or
complaints. When it was his turn to sit out, he said "Oh man, I want to help my
team!" and then did the 4th quarter perfectly. He stopped midplay to ask a
little boy if he was okay when he fell. Usually he would leap over the hurt
child, or be oblivious to them, or worse step on them. We had never seen empathy
on the field and had only noticed some recently at home. Needless to say we were
totally amazed. The assistant coach's wife and several team moms came over after
the game and said that if they hadn't seen it themselves, they wouldn't have
believed it. They wanted to know what in the world we had done differently. I
told them about chelation and removing the artificial junk from his diet.

We went for another IEP meeting at the school last week, and although there have
been many many improvements he is still somewhat overwhelmed in group situations
school. He has difficulty sitting in his chair for more than a few min. at a
time, and interacts with most of the kids in an immature way. He is frequently
LOUD and blurts out answers instead of raising his hand. He is clumsy and most
things he picks up he drops. His handwriting is the poorest in his class. Large
motor skills he's great. He learned to ride a bike with no training wheels at 4
and is really good at soccer (now:), but small motor skills are severely
lacking. He has also suffered from eczema on his legs and arms, since he was a

He has come soooo far, but we still have more to do. I bought a copy of "Why
can't my child behave" and was furious by the end of it. I believe now that the
FDA is not on our side, but is in allegience with the food and chemical
companies! We started Feingold officially last month with Stage II...but I
wasn't seeing as much difference as I would like so 3 days ago we backed up to
Stage One. Basically we took out his grapes, raisins, apples etc. The last two
days have been intermittently HARD. He has alternated between the sweet little
boy we have come to know and being very grumpy and defiant. I am thinking that
maybe this is a salicylate withdrawal period.

I am not much of a cook but have been making most everything for him by scratch.
Luckily, he is not a picky eater and except for missing his grapes and chili, he
is doing fine. I am hoping that on this site there is a recipe list for kid safe
recipes. Changing brands has been pretty easy but we have easily spent upwards
of 500.00 switching out our foods to FG safe brands. I went a little fanatical
and just this week started eliminating detergents and toothpaste etc. I even
bought a natural bristle toothbrush!

I looked back at the Aspergers booklet I filled in, and where I checked him off
as being "highly probable Aspergers", his answers now qualify him as "not
likely". I really can't say that any of his behaviors at this point are autistic
at all. His counselor called me last week and asked what was different. He was
demonstrating eye contact and empathy and appropriate responses to most every
social scenario she tested him on. The beginning of the year he tested "little
to no eye contact" and last week he tested "normal eye contact".

I attribute his success so far to REMOVING the toxic heavy metals from his
system as well as removing all the Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
from his diet. I expect to see more changes as we continue with Stage I. I am
looking forward to the day when they ask to remove the label of "autism" from
his classification at school.