Monday, November 4, 2013

MyHodgePodgeLife: Gluten-free Mimi

MyHodgePodgeLife: Gluten-free Mimi

Gluten-free Mimi

I disappeared from the blogging world to work on my new business - Gluten-Free Mimi.  What started out as baking at farmer's markets and filling special orders is evolving.  I have developed some healthier gluten-free baking mixes - yet another ingredient in the hodgepodge of my life! Stay tuned...
In the meantime, feel free to visit my Facebook page
or my webpage:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Things that rise and fall…

"You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Anonymous

Most of my blog entries have something to do with water.  As I was reviewing some of my favorite quotes, I thought the above quote was appropriate for today's post.  Every time I "lose sight of the shore," it allows god to move in and accomplish great things.  Whether it's stepping out in faith to go on a mission trip during a time of unemployment - and watching God raise the funds to send my family of six to Venezuela - or it's applying for a job and sending the wrong documents by mistake and thinking "I blew that!" only to have God step in and show His grace... God is faithful in all things at all times - in HIS time.

During these past four months of unemployment, I have attempted to cross various oceans, and IN SPITE of myself, God has deposited me on a new shore.  I start a new job as a financial secretary at a local church next week!

Crossing the oceans of life and losing sight of the shore - and arriving at new shores - has its share of wave crests and troughs.  When researching the diagram of a surfer's wave, I learned that "surfers try to stay in the pit (close to the breaking whitewater) where the face is the steepest for the greatest speed potential."

I've always thought being in the "pit" was a bad place to be, but if I were a surfer, being in the pit is a good spot.  I love the part of the definition where it states "where the face is the steepest for the greatest speed potential."  Makes me think about phrases like "it's darkest before the dawn," "things have to get worse before they get better" and "when you're at your lowest, the only way to go is up."

However, even the surfer doesn't stay in the pit.  His/her ultimate goal is to get out of the pit and into that tube - riding the crests & troughs of the wave to the shore.  

Other things that rise and fall?  BREAD!  I've used a vegan French bread recipe consistently for months without any issues.  All of a sudden, this past week, my reliable recipe has let me down - in more ways than one!  I have made this recipe four times in two days and each time it looks like this: 

In the world of bread baking, I'm currently at the trough part of the ride, but prayerfully, I'll be at the crest again soon.

Surf's Up!

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook

The majority of my posts have some reference to waves, ocean, water, etc. but, just like a surfer who needs to take a break from the waves, this post will be taking a break from that theme.  We'll  be chilling out on the beach so to speak. What do you do when you chill out on the beach?  I like to read a book.

I'm so excited to share this book review with you! This month, I was honored to be chosen to test two recipes from the now-released (early!) "Everything-Gluten-Free-Slow-Cooker-Cookbook" written by Carrie S. Forbes - aka Gingerlemongirl.
I had a few delays in getting started.  First delay - I had loaned my large slow cooker to a friend in June and had to wait to get it back from her.  Next delay was realizing that during the summer, I don’t eat much canned food, and both recipes I was testing required the use of empty 15-oz cans.  After jotting a message to Carrie, I decided to try wide-mouth canning jars.  Off to Wal-Mart to buy some canning jars, get home, and realize the pint-sized canning jars really are not as wide-mouthed as I needed.  But, since I was running “behind” I proceeded with the recipes anyway…
The first recipe was the Millet Bread on page 45 of the cookbook.  I greased three pint-sized mason jars and divided the batter evenly among the jars, and voila - 3 ½ hours later, I had delicious millet bread!  I loved how the house smelled as this was cooking! 
Since my jar was not truly “wide-mouth”, I had to cut the bread into fourths, like pickle spears, and the sections came out of the jar easily.  This is not what Carrie intended for her recipe, so please do use the cans as she suggests.  Plus, it’s cheaper to buy a bunch of canned beans or vegetables and make a soup with the contents, than it is to buy the canning jars that don’t yield the shape loaf you’re wanting here.

However, the shape does not affect the taste and texture.  My millet bread “spears” had a great texture and crumb factor.  The flavor reminded me a little bit of sweet cornbread, like the Jiffy brand in my pre-gluten-free days, but it was not overpowering.  I will definitely be making this again!

The second recipe was the Easy Chocolate Cake on page 269.  Anything with “chocolate” in the title gets my attention, so I was really glad Carrie gave me this recipe to try.
I again used a pint-sized canning jar for part of this recipe, and I used my 1-quart slow cooker for the remainder, which made this cute “personal size” cake. 

This size slow cooker makes two very generous servings of cake or four regular size -a perfect sized cake for those celebrations where the celebrant does not want a lot of cake left over.
I added the mini chocolate chips per Carrie’s “tip box”. After all, you can never have too much chocolate, right? I also love Carrie’s suggestion at the top of the page about using this mix as a “gift in a jar”.
This cake was definitely easy, and oh-so-moist!! Not runny like some “moist” gluten-free cakes.  It held up to the frosting.  It was delicious and satisfied that cupcake craving and chocolate craving at the same time.  How exciting to think you can mix this up before you leave for work, and when you get home, dessert is ready!

BOTH of these recipes "travel well" - I threw them in "ziploc" bags and took them to various functions over the weekend, and they held up nicely.  They did not fall apart or turn into crumbs, and they only "protection" they had was the bag.

A few days after testing the recipes, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that cookbook orders were shipping early from Amazon.  I started tracking my order, and then anxiously looking out the window all day long on the day of delivery.  It felt like Christmas!  As soon as it arrived I started leafing through the recipes.  My first thought was - “so many recipes - where to start?” and my second thought was “I need to buy more slow cookers!”

I love everything about this cookbook!  I love that Carrie uses easy-to-find ingredients and gives dairy-free ingredient substitutions.  I love the trivia, tips and suggestions she peppers throughout the book.  I LOVE that the nutrition information is included at the bottom of the page for each recipe - so helpful for those who are on diets where they need to know that information.  I even love the index of this book! You can find recipes very easily. For example, the “Easy Chocolate Cake” is found under “chocolate”, “desserts” and “easy chocolate cake” sections in the back.  This may sound trivial, but believe me, there are some cookbooks that make it very difficult to use their index.

Even if you don’t have to eat gluten-free, you’d enjoy this cookbook.  As of today’s blog post, this cookbook is available at Amazon for an unbelievable price - less than $10!  So hurry on over to Amazon or your local bookstore and buy this cookbook for yourself and several to give as gifts!
As for me, I’m off to buy or borrow more slow cookers so I can try more recipes!
"Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8