About Me

My name is Christine. I'm a visual artist, musician, traditional storyteller, DV survivor, and have been a fulltime caregiver for an individual living with various diagnoses. After my marriage, I learned how to play various instruments, started exploring various means of creative expression, worked with at-risk teens/families, volunteered with the local crisis lines, participated in starting up a family resource center, completed my BA, furthered my studies towards becoming an art therapist, managed homes for adults living with disabilities, and facilitated therapeutic music/art sessions. I was doing everything I could so my children and I could have a brighter life, present and future. My physical health, however, continued to show evidence of too many chronic stressors over many decades. This blog is about my journey in discovering peace and better health by meeting life in the most basic and, in my opinion, the most rewarding of ways - by focusing on the riches of simplicity. If you're a new visitor to my blog, you might be interested in starting here: Finding the Riches.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Treats

Gluten-free, Casein-free

I was reminded this morning that there are folks looking for quick and easy gfcf holiday recipes. At our house, quick and easy is a favourite when it comes to treats. I've done quite a bit of experimenting with food to find what works for my son's needs as well as our finances. Here are some of our favourite sweets....

Melt bakers chocolate with a bit of natural honey to taste (I usually do 2 squares of chocolate and a dollop of honey that just covers the tip of a regular wooden spoon then add as needed. Don't overdo the honey though or you'll just end up with chocolate-honey soup. Add enough honey to "just" sweeten the chocolate)

 Drop by spoonful onto waxed or parchment paper and enjoy! These can be eaten as is OR wait til they're cool enough to roll into balls then dip them in chocolate and roll in hemp seed, coconut, crushed gfcf cereal, crushed nuts, cinnamon, or whatever else your heart desires.

Chocolate Cereal Drops
Melt whatever you usually use for melting chocolate. Because we're very careful with our shekels and have become used to eating few sweets, we can afford to purchase a nice bar of fair trade, high cocao, cane sugar chocolate for these. For the cereal, we use gfcf puffed millet or gfcf puffed rice (both of which we've been able to find on sale for 99cents a bag so stocked up). Gently stir cereal into melted chocolate and drop by spoonful. Try not to eat them all before they've set.

Potato Candy

Potato candy is very simple to make - and if you've never made it before, it's also an interesting process to observe. This has been a tradition in our family for generations.

Ingredients: Mashed potato, icing sugar, optional peanut butter, optional peppermint extract

Although the bulk of the food preparation in our home is gfcf, I do not purchase gfcf store products. I view them as being in the same category as any other boxed/ prepared/processed food. We have, however, occasionally received gfcf icing sugar from our food bank. I've also recently learned that icing sugar is just sugar and cornstarch blended together, so will be experimenting in the new year with cane sugar and gfcf cornstarch. All in all, we generally don't use sugar or icing sugar. Potato candy, however, requires the latter.

I use about 2 heaping tablespoons of mashed potato, then slowly continue sprinkling in icing sugar til I have a firm dough. This sounds simple enough, and it is, but if you're new to the world of potato candy, you'll likely be surprised or possibly even concerned when you first start adding the icing sugar and realize you have what looks to be a liquid mess in your bowl. What's happening is that the sugar is breaking down the starch in the potato. Bravely carry on.

Once the dough is ready, sprinkle some icing sugar onto waxed or parchment paper and place the dough onto the paper. Knead, adding more icing sugar as necessary. Once you think the dough is firm enough, roll it out into a rectangle, spread with peanut butter (or other nut butter), roll it up as you would for a jellyroll. Some folks then wrap the roll in waxed or parchment paper and refrigerate then slice. I just let mine sit for a bit on the table before cutting it into deliciously lovely little slices.

**Alternative 1: I usually put a couple of drops of peppermint extract into the palm of my hand then gently rub my hands together then knead the dough. If I forget, then I just gently rub my peppermint hands over the finished roll before slicing. The roll is good without the peppermint as well.

**Alternative 2: Instead of rolling dough out into a rectangle, just form small balls. These can be eaten as is or dipped in chocolate.


1 comment:

  1. Christmas treats I will make this year are Indian sweets. Ladoo and Burfi. Both made with besan (chickpea flour), ghee, confectioners sugar, nuts and cardamom. Delicious and gluten free. We do not normally eat sugar of any form, but will make an exception at Christmas in a small amount.


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