April 14, 2010

Gluten-Free Pride of Iowa Cookies

Growing up, my grandmother always had cookie dough in the freezer.  Pride of Iowa cookies were always there...I thought she called them Pride of Iowa since my grandfather is from Iowa.  Turns out, it was a brand :)  Anyway, Andrew grew up loving these cookies too. 

Gluten-free Pride of Iowa Cookies

1 c. butter or shortening (I've used both, prefer the butter)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
2 c. gluten-free flour mix 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. oatmeal
1 c. shredded coconut
1 c. dried cranberries

Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs and beat.  Sift together flour mix, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Add flour mixture and oatmeal gradually to creamed mixture.  Stir in coconut and dried cranberries.  Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to wire rack. 

Notes: I have also used pecans, almonds or chocolate chips.  They all taste good!


April 13, 2010

Naturally Knocked Up

The title is stolen from a blog with the same name...check it out.  It's a great blog on fertility by someone who also has PCOS!
Photo taken December 19th, shortly after conception :)
Speaking of PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, I was diagnosed at 15 (as discussed before).  Within the next few years, I decided there was no way I was going to have children.  For one, I'm not terribly fond of most kids and for two, PCOS was going to make it difficult if not impossible to get pregnant.  Well, we know what usually happens when we say "never" but I digress.  I've never been fond of artificial fertility stuff either.  So, no children.  And, with poor self-esteem/body image I "knew" no guy was going to be interested anyway.

Then, I got a bit older and my cousin had her first kid.  Then, I joined the Mormon Church and everyone was having babies.  It started to not seem like such a bad idea.

Then, I got married (so much for no guy being interested) and eventually left the Mormon Church.  Married life was stressful and children again seemed like an unreasonable idea.

As we know, different things are important at different points in our life.  Suddenly, I became health, both physical and mental became important.  Over a 2 year period, I lost over 60 pounds, became physically active, ate healthier, and worked hard to make strides in my self-esteem/body image.   

The PCOS was still there...but a child seemed like a possibility again.  So, Thanksgiving 2009, Andrew and I decided we were open to the idea of a child, through natural means, but that we weren't really going to "try."  Ironically, I was pregnant by Christmas.

I still have issues.  I still have problems with poor self-esteem, eating foods that make me feel like crap, not getting enough exercise, etc.  But, most of the time I know the difference.  I know things or issues aren't permanent...they ebb and flow.

On one hand, I joke that with how quickly I got pregnant, it is a good thing I wasn't promiscuous in high school.  On the other hand, I firmly believe that without the changes I made this would have never happened.

April 12, 2010

Yummy Mounds

I'm not especially creative when it comes to recipes.  I do like adapting others recipes to my style or ingredients.  Having said that, I think this is the first recipe posted by Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet that I've tried.  She calls them Mounds but hers are really Almond Joy.  I think I would leave the almonds off myself since they seemed to have been more of a pain then anything...but I also didn't have whole almonds.  I also didn't feel like taking the time to melt honey so I used agave syrup which is liquid at room temp.  I think they came out a little different but were easy and tasty.

Andrew's reaction was "Damn, this is good."  Ed's was "You can bring this anytime," and the ladies at work all wanted the recipe.  So thank you Kimi for an awesome treat!

Yummy Mounds
1 1/3 c. unsweetened coconut flakes (seriously folks, unsweetened!)
1/2 c. of coconut oil
1/4 c. of agave syrup
1 tsp. almond extract

Muffin tin or 12 silicon muffin cups (this is what I used and they just peel back to get the Mound out).

Melt the coconut oil in the microwave.  Add the agave and almond extract.  Stir well.  Then add the coconut.  Mix well.  Use about 1 T per muffin tin and tamp the mixture down with your fingers.  Freeze for 15-30 min.

3/4 c. cocoa powder
1/3 c. agave syrup (Kimi used a scant 1/4 c honey, but 1/4 c of agave didn't seem sweet enough; taste to see how sweet you want yours)
1 c. coconut oil
1 T. vanilla extract

Again, start by melting the coconut oil in the microwave.  Add the agave and vanilla and whisk in the cocoa (preferably you sifted it to get rid of the lumps). 

Once thoroughly mixed and at desired sweetness, use approx. 2 T per muffin tin.  Put them back in the freezer for another 30 min. 

These do need to be stored in the freezer because coconut oil can get soft at room temperature.  But, you won't care because they taste so darn good straight out of the freezer.  I think these will be my go to treat this summer!

April 7, 2010

Keeping up with the Joneses...All 10,000 of Them!

We have been talking about this for a few years...and it was just talk.  Apparently this year is the time to increase the Jones household.  Their plush accommodations have been waiting for  2 months.  Luckily it didn't take 9 months to bring these little babies home.

Yesterday was the introduction of honeybees.  We ordered 3lbs of them from Ruhl Bee Supply in Gladstone.  They were delayed by a day due to poor weather driving up from California but they finally made it.  We even managed to get them into the hive without either one of us getting stung!  That was even with not knowing really what we were doing and not using our veils properly...we both ended up with a couple in the veil.  No big deal though.  They are at their calmest right now.  This fall when the want to protect their honey stores...that will be a different story.

And for the question everyone, who hasn't had bees themselves, is asking..."Why bees?"  My flipant answer is always, "Why not!" But, let's be honest.  There's more to it than that.  

I do not harbor back to the land yearnings as my husband suspects.  Nor do I want to turn our small city lot into GreenAcres which he also is very concerned about.  No, neither of these things are the reason.  But, I do have agrarian needs.  I do worry about things like colony collapse and bee decline.  I am wise enough to know (I hope) that my one hobby hive is not going to be enough to stop the devastation.  

I do know though that I am setting a precedence for my children...the idea that nature is not to be afraid of...that nature is a nourishing part of our soul.  Its important to us. Important to remember that we are not healthy when we try to shut nature out of our lives.  We depend on nature and visa versa.  

I look forward to learning about my Girls, their habits, and their needs.  I look forward to teaching my child about nature and respect. Our bees will be just one little part of the natural world that can bring peace and interest into our lives.  So when people ask, its "Why not?" and so much more.

April 4, 2010

Cran-Almond Scones (GF)

When the first thing out of Andrew's mouth after taking a bite of one of these is "Oh yum!" I know I need to share.  Let me start off by saying I adapted a recipe from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen; I didn't create it, just made a few alterations.

It's not raspberry time of year so I used dried cranberries. I grew up in Bandon, am a bit partial to the West coast varieties, and know good cranberries.   Clearwater Cranberries is making some of the best dried cranberries to be had.  They use cane syrup and a light coating of oil to keep them from sticking together.

I think Andrew and I have gone through almost 7lbs since the beginning of February.  I'll soon be featuring another recipe highlighting these wonderful gems.  You have to buy them in 25lb boxes but Scott might be willing to sell direct.  I bought two boxes in February and sold some to friends and family.  No one has been unhappy.  In fact, I need to call Scott and see about another box!

Cran-Almond Scones

1 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. cold butter
1/3 c. maple syrup
scant 2/3 c. milk
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. dried cranberries
raw sugar

Preheat oven to 425.

Sift together the dry ingredients in large bowl.  Cut the butter in until it resembles coarse crumbs (I did this with butter straight out of the sure you have a good pastry cutter and works, really!)

In smaller bowl, mix together the maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and almond extract.

Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir.  The mixture will thicken a bit as it sets.  Add the almonds and cranberries.  Drop onto greased cookie sheet (makes between 6 and 8 scones).  Sprinkle a bit of raw sugar on top of each scone.

Bake 15-19 minutes.  Let cool a bit and enjoy with a cup of hazelnut coffee or whatever you want, I guess!

This was submitted to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free.  Go there for more yummy recipes!  Also posted at Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet.

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