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About FoxersArtist

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  1. This has been an amazing week for discovering the newest, latest & greatest in the world of cooking. With great sadness, I had figured that surely there could not be any more shocking discoveries of how to cook allergy free foods. The cookies, the breads, the lamb, the buffaloaf and finally, the corn free marshmallow blob of goodness. (By the way...I ordered some cornfree marshmallow creme online just to compare it to what I made and I tell you - it was sub standard but it might have been acceptable in a pinch if I could have actually gotten it out of the container. No joke - I pryed and pryed at it with a spoon to try to remove it from it's plastic tub with absolutely 0% success. They surely expected the plastic tub to be edible too, I suppose.) Anyway, I should have known that there must be more discoveries out there waiting for me - but I had already learned so many amazing ways to create alternative foods. A few weeks ago, I decided to make a second batch of goat's milk fudge to sell to people in the community. I had a few people interested in buying it and felt proud to know that MY corn free, cows milk free, soy free, gluten free fudge was extra special. Unfortunately, I did not cook this batch long enough to allow all the sugar to desolve and the fudge was mildly crunchy. Not only that but I also neglected to add vanilla extract at the end. This is a critical part of cooking with red palm oil shortening (that and butter flavoring), because even as it is better for you than butter, it kind of causes a void of flavor, similar in size to the giant pits that can be found on Earth's moon, and will make whatever you are eating taste much more like nothing than something. Some food fanciers use the term "cardboard" to classify this lack of explosive flavor whereas others who have a more refined tasting system would prefer to use the term "foot." I quickly added vanilla extract to my fudge as soon as I realized I had left it out, and before the fudge had time to cool, but then realized in dismay that after the initial (extra, extra) burst of vanilla flavor had exploded onto the tongue, that foot void was still lurking in the background. Dissapointing. Or was it? Messing up 5 lbs of fudge meant that I would have to buckle down and endure eating it myself since clearly it was not suitable for sale. I think I could close shop on those discriminating taste buds for a little while and enjoy my mistake so that no one else would have to "suffer" the dissapointment of crunchy vanilla fudge with a waxy after flavor. So - even though I had gone to a lot of trouble to make special goat's milk fudge for my community to enjoy, it was not as enjoyable as the first batch I had made and ranted and raved about. I was just plotting to create a new batch, one of which I would be sure to boil much longer, when hubby came to me with some horrifying news. The goat's milk he had been eating was starting to upset his stomach. I had just perfected this recipe so that we would have something special to share at Christmas time (and whenever my sugar/chocolate addict was flairing up - shhh, don't tell). I could still make the goat's milk fudge to sell...but what good would that be without gracing your wonderful partner with a taste of your creation. I guess I would have to modify the recipe again but I felt like I was running low on options. The creamy factor in fudge, in my opinion, is what will make or break a good treat. I have had fudge that claims to be fudge but the cold hard facts are that this cannot be fudge unless it's creamy and soft. No cream, no amazing moistness, no fudge. No one wants to eat a dry, crumbling, chocolate brick and pretend they are really eating delicious, melty, rich fudgy goodness. This is a boundary that the brain and imagination simply refuse to compromise on. In fact, I am sure that it must be a requirement for humanity and if it isn't, well, it just should be. It wan't but several days later that I had a fantastic idea. Yes, yes, I know. My brain takes just a LITTLE time to warm up, but hur-rah, I got there eventually! I opened up the cupboard and noticed a little can of coconut milk in the pantry with the canned fruit. I purchased it quite a while ago because it said it might be good in stir fry. I was making a lot of rice noodle stir fry at the time but soon stopped when I learned that I would no longer be able to use those little baby corns anymore, unless I wanted my husband to suffer road rage for a week following the meal. Stir fry just wouldn't be the same without those little corns, so I mourned my losses and cut ties with my noodle dish and moved on, feeling very smart for not having purchased a $150 wok I had been eyeing at the store. My first thoughts regarding this new dairy replacement option went back to my childhood. (Doesn't everything seem to go there?) Mom and dad would buy a coconut from the store a few times a year and it was a real treat. The best part was the coconut milk we would get from drilling a hole in the shell and allowing the sweet clear stuff to drain into a glass. I would lean over the counter and watch the milk run out and down the side of the glass like a hazey miniature waterfall. I would watch, keeping my eyes fixed on the stream until suddenly: Drip, drip, drip!!!! drip, drip! drip. drip, drip. drip. Will this thing ever stop draining?! It truely seemed like an endless process and I was alway torn down the middle. The more that drips out of the nut, the more milk I will get to enjoy. But, the more milk that drips out, the longer it will take and my patience may not survive this adventure long enough to get any milk at all. Milk. Milk seemed like a funny word to me, considering this stuff was clear and not white. It looked like sugar water enhanced with little bits of brown protien floaties that bobbed up and down in the top of the glass. I always expected it to be sweet but the explosion of milky flavor always took me off gaurd. It really did taste creamy like any milk should and it was always the very best part of the coconut. So back to present day. I had never opened up a can of coconut milk before but I expected it be similar to my childhood experience with the hazey waterfall and floaties. To my utter amazement, I peeked into the can after hacking at the lid with our semi-usable can opener only to see a thick river of pure white. Now THAT'S milk. My very first round with this stuff ended with a steaming cup of creamy chia latte tea, and boy was it ever creamy! I gave Andy a sip and he hugged me, telling me he had feared he would never taste anything creamy again. After this little ego stroke, I had a brilliant, mind blowing thought. Someone, somewhere must have thought of this before us and what if there was coconut milk ICE CREAM!?! AHHH! That would be nothing less than amazing. 5 minutes later Google had shared a whole new world of "Coconut Bliss" ice cream with us and the best part? They sold some in Santa Fe!!! Santa Fe? That's where Andy's new job is! What's even funnier is that Andy drove to pick some up after work the very next day. Oh boy, what a hit! Mmmm. In fact, I'm enjoying the thought so much that I may have to visit my freezer in a brief moment to remind myself of what it tastes like. So this new milk worked in chia tea, and it worked to make ice cream. It also made a mean banana cream mush that was a delightful after dinner treat. I decided it was time to go for the gold and prepared to make another batch of fudge. The only thing is that my recipe called for evaporated milk and coconut milk had not already become condensed. It was a tad bit thicker, but I didn't want to risk spoiling the recipe, so I boiled a can until there was only about 75% left. The fudge looked questionable until the marshmallow cream and dairy free chocolate chips were added and then I took a deep breath to make sure it would thicken. It worked beautifully and the fudge is soft and creamy just as it should be. It is true dairy free fudge and I have been nibbling on it all week without feeling guilty for cheating. My next adventure will be to try to make pumpkin pie for thanksgiving and we'll see how that works out. I'm so glad I have found such a cool alternative. It may be higher in saturated fats than regular milk, but for the first time, I don't feel tempted to cheat when I am offered things with dairy in them. Coconut milk is awesome! Thank you celiac disease for opening my eyes to amazing and tasty new wonders! -Anna
  2. ...To those who feel like you will never eat another tasty meal again. It IS possible if you can find it inside yourself to explore new possibilities. Collectively our family is allergic to: Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn, Some Nuts, Most Grains, Preservatives, dyes, & Refined Sugars. Tonight we enjoyed speghetti and meatballs made with rice pasta , ground buffalo, & hardy tomato sauce with red wine. For dessert we had cinnamon-garbanzo battered banana slices deep fried in olive oil with honey drizzled on top. Many of these things are just as easy to make as hamburger helper and just as fast too. So, for those feeling hopeless, have hope. Some of the most tasty things out there are gluten free. -Anna
  3. Pan searing steaks & lamb chops takes about 5 minutes and it's super easy - anyone can do it. And if you are a typical batchelor, you probably like steak! Just turn the burner to medium and flip the steak every 30 seconds to 1 minute until cooked the way you like it. I used to hate cooking meat because it took too long to thaw it, but then I started buying fresh meat and not freezing it and now I love cooking meat. Good luck. My husband would be lost without my gluten-free cooking so I feel for your situation. -Anna
  4. That's Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free (but only Casein A Dairy Free - not lactose free), & Corn Free! I was having trouble coming up with a marshmallow creme that did not contain corn syrup. I tried to follow a recipe but ended up with sugar water so I decided to create my own. It is TASTY! Agave Marshamllow creme - 4 egg whites (beaten stiff) - 1 cup white sugar - 2 Tbsp gluten-free Vanilla extract - 1 Tbsp Potato Flour - 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum - 1/8 cup water - 200 mL light agave nectar Beat eggs with mixer until stiff and set aside in large bowl Mix together agave nectar, potato flour, and xanthan gum Cook all ingredients except eggs in small sauce pan on high, stirring constantly until thick Use electric mixer to beat boiling mixture into eggs until firm Allow to cool 5-10 minutes for thicker consistancy Measure out 14 oz of marshamllow creme and set aside for fudge. Fancy Marshmallow Creme Fudge - 24 oz SF, DF semi sweet chocolate chips - 6 cups white sugar (brown sugar has worked for me in the past) - 1 1/2 cups Jungle Shortening (Red palm & sunflower oils) - 1 Tbsp gluten-free butter flavor extract (does contain yellow food dye) - 14 oz corn free marshmallow creme - 10 oz (1 1/4 cup) evaporated goats milk (not lactose free) - 1 Tbsp vanilla extract - 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (raisins are good for those who are nut free) Boil sugar, milk, shortening, & butter flavor on medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is totally desolved Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips & nuts Stir in marshmallow creme and vanilla extract Quickly pour into 2 foil lined rectangular 9 x 13 cake pans & let harden for at least 4 hours Enjoy!!!
  5. I have considered glutening myself on purpose so that I know what I am up against. I have been gluten free since may and to date, I don't think I have had any encounters - though SOMETHING is continuing to cause me inflammation at times - preservatives and food coloring I believe. That is still a theory to be proven. I want to know what might happen to me if I accidentally glutened myself and I was just talking with hubby about it the other day. I worry that the reaction could be really bad since my original symptoms were already quite bad but I really worry for hubby who swears that he has gotten CC from time to time and his throat and face swells. I make him carry an epi-pen wherever he goes now... -Anna
  6. I had just gotten finished explaining to my mom how frustrated I have been that no one seems to feed Gabe only the foods I pack for him. They insist on feeding him some of their food too. She agreed that it sounded like a valid frustration but hours later she fed my son some "rice" cereal. When I came back to pick up my baby he was wandering around with a bowl of the stuff in his hand and my mom informed me that he was eating rice cereal and all it was was puffed rice. She got out the package to proudly show me that it was gluten free. "Wheat free" I read out load on the front of the box. OH NO! Wheat free almost always means NOT gluten free. Sure enough I flipped the box over and the SECOND ingredient was BARLEY MALT! AH! I totally panicked, watching Gabe closely to make sure he wasn't going to have an instant reaction. No breathing problems, no swelling...whew. I have to say, despite the relief I felt that Gabe was not going into an allergic shock, I cried because I knew that I would have a monster on my hands for the next week, and sure enough, the past few days have been miserable. When my little 2 year old son gets glutened, he reverts to a semi-autistic state and becomes quite irritable, crying at every tiny little thing that does not go his way and a few things that do! In the past few days he has stopped using his words, he staggers when he walks and falls down a lot, he refuses to make eye contact and stares off into the distance as if lost in thought or half awake. He hasn't been eating - just playing with his food or staring off into nowhere land. He screams to go down for a nap and then screams when I put him down for a nap. He screams when I pick him up to be put down and screams to be picked up as soon as he is down. He follows me everywhere acting sooo clingy but then doesn't want me to comfort him. He hits his baby sister repeatedly, shouting "NO, NO, NO!" or rips toys away from her while scolding her (usually he is very gentle with her.) Last night he suddenly whipped his head to the side toward our livingroom windows that were at the front of the house. He looked afraid like he saw something out the window that took him off gaurd. I looked and didn't see anything, but he just kept his eyes pinned on that window, motionless. It was enough to scare the heeby-jeebies outta me since hubby was at work! How on EARTH did I do this for so long before we found out he had celiac?! I made my mom come over this afternoon so that she could see how miserable he was. I don't want her to feel guilty but I do want her to understand what her grandson goes through when she is careless. She promised never to give him any of her food again without my permission first. I hope she holds to it and I hope Gabe gets back to normal soon. -Anna
  7. I sure wish I could give you the recipes but I am terrible about remembering things and writing them down. I have it all in my head and nothing is measured out. I have so many people asking for recipes for things I make and I have to tell them, I just don't know how I made it! LOL. I'm pretty mad at myself for making a really tasty breading a while back for fried squid but was not able to re create it the second time. What I can tell you is that I mixed Olive Oil, with apple cider vinegar to taste. Then I mixed garlic powder and a little onion powder, oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil rosemary, sage and then agave nectar added to taste (until it evened out the bitter vinegar taste). Sorry if that's not helpful. Agave nectar is well worth finding if you have a sweet tooth. The sauce had all of the veggies I mentioned plus a little water and olive oil, garlic powder, and again agave nectar to taste. -Anna
  8. I made a salad dressing out of olive oil and vinegar with some added spices and I also made a "speghetti sauce" out of veggies, not including tomato. Believe me when I say that the sauce was rather....ummm. Ok, I'll just be blunt. It looked like puke. But it tasted pretty good over noodles and included sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, carrots, lettuce and mango with some added spices. I am sure it will take some time to perfect all of this. I will do my best! In the meantime, knowing that your coworkers are probably giving you funny looks is helpful enough. -Anna
  9. I certainly hope that this is not the case as I have really been getting into the groove of cooking exotic new dishes, especially the kind that are sweet, doughy, and satisfying. And besides all of that, I was just getting to a point where I felt I had mastered the art of defending my kitchen accessories against the evils of the garbanzo mafia. Unfortunately, I fear that it is true. My world of ingredients has come crashing down, become worthless - layer by layer - like a masterpiece lasagna in the hands of the lover of Mexican cuisine. Ok, forgive me, that was overly dramatic and a bit cheesy, wasn't it? I did try. Ok, ok, let me start over. When I first realized that I would have to vow to abstain from all gluten containing products for the rest of my life in order to save my life, my future of cooking was in a state of crisis. I had just perfected my skills in cooking every day foods as well as many tasty pastries (if you don't believe me, please see my previous post regarding how to make a pear pie). Admittedly so, I was wildly addicted to candy or any sweet thing and found myself stashing away mounds of goodies so that I had a variety of deserts to choose from after every (single) meal with room for snacking between. Somehow, I thought that God had graced me with the amazing ability to process the number of calories in any given meal as if each item was the low-fat Atkins menu option. I could order a side salad at my favorite restaurant OR a triple cheese pizza, with 4 different types of pork topping, and 3 lbs of tomato paste, garlic, onion, preservatives, & RED # 40 all heaped onto a deep fat fried crust and served with sugar loaded cinnamon bread sticks and a 64oz soda and the results would be the SAME either way!!! For those who may not know...the red paste found on pizza does not actually contain a REAL tomato ingredient! That's what the RED # 40 dye is for!!! Ok, well - maybe that's not entirely true, but I bet it's at least partially true for some food items. Ingredients should be required to rate for content the way movies do! Rated "E" for Edible or "P" for Poison. Better yet, "P" for Poo - as in, don't eat this, it will surely kill you. All of this to say, I was rather shocked by the changes my body started to make when I began cooking those healthier gluten free dishes with less fat, less calories, less preservatives & dyes, and less highly processed miscellaneous flours, sugars, and starches that seem to be lurking in everything. If we couldn't pronounce it in a single try, we refused to consume it. I started losing weight along with my bodies tolerance for these inedible items. Was it possible for this already thin girl with the athletic build to lose weight? The very same girl who could not gain an ounce during pregnancy even after scarfing down entire deserts such as brownies, bread pudding and ice cream on a daily basis? Now keep in mind, I did gain some weight here and there over the years and did not lose that weight easily, but this is very typical in adults with my type of build. Either way the weight was minor and seemed to hide itself well both on the scale and on my body. When I was a kid, I was almost always the top choice among my peers for receiving abuse of all varieties for being the "nerdiest" looking classmate in school. When they were not focused on my visual impairments, one of their secondary targets was directed toward my rear which has always seemed to protrude a little farther than might look natural to a pack of insecure 10-year-olds. This was by all means an unfair topic to tease about, especially since I never considered myself to be large anywhere and was always an active kid. My parents had explained to me that my spine was curved in such a way that it caused my bottom to stick out but it had everything to do with my spine and nothing to do with my weight. I had always looked that way. Now, back to present day, and with all respect to mom and dad's theory, I looked into the mirror several weeks ago after losing a considerable amount of weight and lo-and-behold my spinal deformity was healing! AND to top off that discovery, I had recently noticed while sitting in church that the pews were feeling a bit harder these days. Heck, the sofa was feeling a bit harder. My insta-padding was gone! The secret was officially out today when I took my macaw, Peggy Sue, to a friend for her monthly beak trim. My friend always teases me about my "spinal deformation" or "continental shelf" as she calls it, but today (in shock) she wanted to know where it went and why the world was ending! After all of these years, I have learned something new and amusing about myself. I finally know where all of that childhood candy went! As is a habit of mine, I have strayed quite a ways off topic here. What I was trying to say is that going gluten free had been a very big shift for us and had changed our eating habits, as well as some other things, in ways we could not have imagined. But what is even more unimaginable is that the changes did not stop there. Shortly after my diagnosis, we learned that Andy was not as healthy as we had previously thought. Dry itchy skin, rashes, acid reflux, bad breath, weight gain, frequent gas, short attention span, forgetfulness, excessive sleepiness at inappropriate moments, moodiness - sorry sweety. I thought these were all pre-requisites for being a man. Was I wrong! These are all things that MANY people suffer from in today
  10. The bathroom trips have been increasing in frequency over the past 6 weeks from once every other week to once a week to twice a week to every other day to every day to multiple times a day - which doesn't seem like a bug to me. Either way, I have been trying to push fluids on him. Losing fluid no matter the reason is never good. As far as the colors, he says no odd colors. Just greasy looking runs or soft stools that float. -Anna
  11. No kidding?!? I am gluten free. We both have celiac. Not a crumb of gluten in our cupboards and we have been changing ouyt animals diets too. Andy is a pretty big guy, well over his weight range and has beem losing weight being gluten free. Now that you mention it, the faster he loses weight, the more sick he seems to be. I'll keep this theory in mind should his elimination diet not help with the sickness and try not to panic. As far as risks...yes but not with gluten. He had a stress related eating fest last week where he scarfed down snickers bars and Mountain Dew. He had been getting progressively more sick before the slip up, but I told him that this kind of eating surely made it a lot worse. Thanks for your help -Anna
  12. Thanks a bunch!!! It sounds like we are already headed in the right direction since hubby is going to start an elimination diet which includes the foods you listed. Hubby read along with me, laughed, and said "well, I guess we're in it together. Partners in crime." As far as excercise, I'm trying to avoide that right now anyway as I have lost tons of weight and am getting down to a critical weight and want to hang on to every calorie I can get. I'm sure there is room for healing and I hope it doesn't take too long, but at the same time, I'm totally afraid it'll only get worse until I can't swallow at all! Ahhh!
  13. My throat has felt really irritated for a long time but I guess i never really thought there was a major problem because my doc would look into the back of my throat with his light and tell me it looked fine whenever I complained about it. About a year ago I started noticing that when I would sing, my voice would crack when I tried to hit a high note and I would feel like coughing. When I got the flu and would cough - my gosh I thought I would cough up my lungs before it would stop, and it was always one of those dry, ticklish coughs that makes your eyes water. Recently I started noticing that food was sticking in my throat when I would swallow, which quickly progressed to getting flat out stuck or going down my windpipe instead of down my throat. This obviously was alarming so I set up an appointment with a specialist. In the past month I have noticed that I am starting to get "smokers voice" a little bit, but I don't smoke. I had my appointment yesterday and the doc put a scope up my nose and down into my throat. My throat and vocal cords are irritated and swollen. The whole throat has grown a caluses to protect itself from lots of acid that apparently rises up into the throat and just sits there. People with this problem do not usually feel like they have heartburn at all. Because of the calused throat, everything is less sensitve and the throat muscles require sensitivity to function. I'm choking on food because there is a delayed response after I initially swallow because the throat cannot feel the food coming it's way at first and doesn't respond. My GI doctor had mentioned when she diagnosed with celiac that I was having major acid problems and that the acid had irritated my whole upper GI so it makes sence that my throat wouldn't be any different. I decided not to take an anti acid and just see if the gluten free diet cut down on the acid and irritation. The throat doctor commented that it has taken many years to get this kind of damage so I'm wondering if the damage was still mostly from the celiac. Needless to say, I'm going to start an anti acid, but I was just wondering if there are other celiacs who have experienced this problem. Did going gluten free help? -Anna
  14. After almost 4 months of being gluten free, hubby has recently started having sever digestive problems and is running to the bathroom after every meal. I have never seen him so sick. We have decided to put him on a diet of only meats, some veggies, some fruits and rice to see what he is allergic to by slowly adding one thing back into his diet at a time. He started his new diet mid afternoon today and I know it'll take a while for his stomach to settle down but I was wondering if anyone has any other advice for the poor guy. Thanks! -Anna
  15. I was pregnant while suffering from celiac disease with both of my children. I did have moderate complications with the biggest celiac related complications being a constant battle with pre term labor and delivered both babies pre term even after hormone injections and pills to stop labor. I have read that with untreated celiac, there is a greater risk for preterm labor. There is also a greater risk of the infant being a low birthweight baby - both of mine were 5 lbs when delivered, so they could have been better but also could have been worse. I also had more annoying complications like constant muscle spasms and charley horses in my hands, feet and legs. The good news is that you are treating yourself NOW, so if you do have celiac, your body will begin to absorb nutrition again before your baby is born which will greatly reduce the risk of complications. Eat, eat, eat! If you are having trouble gaining weight, eat lots of ice cream (a good source of calcium) and other things high in carbs. Eat bananas, blueberries, mango, apricots, and peaches which contain more essential vitamins than some other fruits. Lots of fresh veggies will help restore vitamins naturally into your body. If you can afford them, buying whole food vitamins for pregnant women will not only be easier on your tummy than the prescribed pre natal vitamin but will also absorb better because they are from real food! As far as what to do about DRs - it's time to get a little pushy! The next time you see your Dr tell them: "I HAVE celiac and you are going to send me to a prenatal specialist." You don't need any kind of test or any Dr to proove that you are celiac to be celiac. Great improvement with the diet is enough and you need to be confident about that fact. When you see a specialist just explain that you have celiac in your family and that you were terribly ill until you went gluten free. Explain that you WILL NOT take risks with your baby and tell your Dr that you need to have his full support. It's ok to be firm with Drs. and more than not - it really helps them respect you as a person and a client because you are sure of yourself and in control. I really feel for you, but you are going to do just fine! Try to relax and eat as muh as you can! -Anna
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