Sunday, June 1, 2014

Adventures in GFCF cooking

So this past Thursday night, I got out all my cookbooks and recipes, looked through my pinterest and facebook posts, and set out to make a monthly menu for dinners and treats that are gluten-free, casein-free. I also wanted to make sure they were kid-friendly and husband-friendly. After a few hours, I came up with a great meal plan that I can use for each month, and even wrote out a shopping list for each week that included all the items I need to purchase for the meals. Now I don't ever have to write another shopping list or meal plan (unless there are some meals we end up not liking, but I don't think we will, because they all look really good!) I felt very proud of myself for doing this and it made me even more excited to try all these fun recipes.

Yesterday, while Nathan napped, I set to work on a few of them: GFCF sandwich bread, No Bake Energy Bites, and Homemade Rice Milk. Julianna helped me make the bread, and after that, she was done. Now I must tell you all right now...I am NOT a breadmaker. I have never successfully made a loaf of bread in my life, so I have avoided it all these years. But this recipe looked really easy, and I was so excited when I actually saw my bread rising on the stove! My bread was RISING! I couldn't believe it. But then it rose so much that it looked like it was overflowing.

Yep, my stove is not perfectly clean. I have three kids. I am not attempting to be a cool mommy food blogger here. I am just proud that I made bread that actually rose!
And since I am not a breadmaker, I decided it would be a good idea to split the dough into two breadpans and continue to let it rise on the warm stove. So I did that, and I got worried, because it wasn't rising that much anymore, but after an hour, I hoped that maybe it would still cook okay. did, but it was not pretty anymore, and only about 4 inches thick, but once it cooled, Julianna ATE IT! She ate GFCF bread that I made! (Today she wouldn't eat it, but that's another story...)
So while my bread was rising, I went on to the next recipe: No Bake Energy Bites. These sounded SOO good: peanut butter, honey, rice krispies, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and marshmallows all mixed together and then put in the fridge until they could be formed into bites. Here is the final product:
The recipe called for mini chocolate chips, but I could not find any that were dairy free, so I went with marshmallows. It worked well after giving them a little more time in the fridge to harden. And they are delicious! Fun to make, too. This is a double recipe.
And the last thing I made was probably the easiest: Homemade Rice Milk. You literally boil brown rice, let it cool, add 1 cup of cooked rice to 4 cups of water and a tablespoon of sugar in a blender and blend for 3 minutes. The final product is rice milk, and the price is a lot cheaper than buying it! Now, Julianna does not like rice milk in her cereal, but for cooking I thought it would be better to use rice milk when milk was called for to save some extra money. And since the process was so easy, I will definitely be doing this again! The cool thing is, now if we ever run out of milk and for whatever reason can't get to a store, I know how to make milk with rice. I guess if we were really desperate, we would drink it. I tried it, and it wasn't too bad.
This made about 1/2 gallon of rice milk.
So my first Saturday was mostly a success! I will keep working on the bread until it's good enough to make her toast and sandwiches with. My kids kept asking me why I was cooking so much. I guess they're not used to me doing this. And it's true...lately I have been lacking in the cooking area and allow myself to think I am too busy to make good things for my family. But in reality, I am not, and just need to put in a little more effort. Now that I have my monthly plan with 4 new recipes each week, enough to have leftovers the other nights, and some good desserts planned as well, I am looking forward to cooking again! And I will try to include the kids more in the process.
If anyone is interested in the recipes, let me know! You can also look at my pinterest page or GFCF page at the top of my blog with a link to some, too. 


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