Cole's Moveable Feast

Cole's Moveable Feast

Monday, February 13, 2012

Labor of Love

I love baking for my children. I love every step and moment of it. It is one of few times that I am completely present and in the moment. I mean, May 29th is my birthday and yet my favorite part of that day for the last eight years has been baking a cake that I know Chase (who shares my birthday) will love. I enjoy it so much, as a matter of fact, that I'm usually somewhat insensitive to others, like my dear mother-in-law, when they offer to do - or even help with - the cake. I feel such a connection to my children when I prepare something special for them, and that feeling is only intensified when I'm making something for Cole. To make something for a child who has to say "no thank you" every single day - to macaroni and cheese, to ice cream, to pastries, to pizza day in the cafeteria, to the beautiful treats a parent might bring to kindergarten for a child's birthday. Yesterday, at a birthday party with the coolest Lego Ninjago cupcakes you've ever seen - he smiled and took the plain chocolate cupcake I brought for him. A child who already does without every day, is told by his mother, "Now I also want you to stop eating gluten and food coloring" and he says "okay" without hesitation. He scrambled under the pinata with every other kid yesterday, then brought me the whole mess of Now and Laters and Snickers and Jolly Ranchers and didn't complain ONCE. I know there are children with worse problems, and every day I thank God that I have healthy children. But the fact is, I wish Cole Seevers could eat every bit of food out there. So when I get to make him something like chocolate covered peanut butter hearts for his Valentine's Day, it's a gift to me. I know it sounds corny but I don't care. The smile on his face when he loves the taste of something is worth so much.

*3 generous cups powdered sugar, sifted
*1 stick melted non-dairy margarine (I used Fleischmann's for this)
*2 cups all natural (no sugar added) peanut butter
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Whole Foods and Wegmans brands are non-dairy)
*1/3 cake paraffin wax

Combine sugar, melted margarine, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Cut into desired shapes or roll into balls and place on wax paper-lined cookie sheets. Refrigerate one hour. In a double broiler, melt chocolate chips with paraffin wax. Remove from heat. Using a fork, carefully submerge peanut butter shapes one at a time in melted chocolate and remove to wax paper. Cool and store in fridge.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Thank you, Aunt Ashley, who gave us Lori Sandler's wonderful Divvies Bakery Cookbook (see link to the right under RESOURCES). The "Divvies Famous Chocolate Cupcakes" adapted beautifully to gluten-free flour. For the glaze, I melted some vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips in a pan, whisked it smooth with a few tablespoons of almond milk, and iced the cupcakes while they were still warm. Beautiful and delicious. The extras go in the freezer to go with him to birthday parties and the like.

1 1/2 c. gluten free all-purpose flour (make sure it has xantham gum as an ingredient, I used Namaste Foods Biscuits & Piecrust flour)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
5 T. canola oil
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c. water

Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl. In a stand mixer, beat together oil, vinegar and water. Beat dry ingredients into water mixture at medium speed until very smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake on center rack at 350 for 19 minutes, rotating halfway through. Immediately remove to a wire rack to cool so excess moisture can evaporate from the bottom of the baking cups.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Gluten-Free Corn Muffins

This was a big hit with the whole family, and gave me several days' school lunches for Cole.

2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 c. chopped onion
1 green pepper, chopped
2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz. ) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can red or kidney beans
1 (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic salt
cayenne pepper or chopped jalapenos to taste

In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey, drain and place in slow cooker. Saute onion, pepper and celery in the skillet for about 3 minutes until just tender (add a little olive oil as needed). Place in slow cooker together with all other ingredients, cook on low 5 to 6 hours.

1 c. organic corn meal
1 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour
(I used Namaste Foods Biscuits and Piecrust flour, but the word on the street is Better Batter flour is the way to go)
1/4 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. unsweetened almond milk with 1 t. vinegar stirred in
egg replacer equivalent of 1 egg

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Separately whisk together oil, almond milk and egg, stir quickly into dry ingredients without overmixing. Pour into greased muffin pan. Cook at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.