We love Hummus! It’s Just a Yummy Bean Dip!

We love Hummus! I’ve never had store bought Hummus before. I had it once at a restaurant and fell in love with it! keep-calm-and-eat-hummusAfter I saw how easy it was to create things with Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans) I decided to try my hand at Hummus! I found a recipe, I used it as a starting off point, then I did my own thing! Have you noticed a pattern with that yet?? Back to the recipe – I gathered my

Ingredients:hummus1

  1. 1 can  (15.5 – 16 oz) of Chick Peas
  2. 1/3 c of Tahini
  3. 1T of garlic, minced (2-3 cloves)
  4. 1t of salt
  5. 1T of Olive Oil (I used sesame oil)
  6. squirts of Lemon Juice (Close to 2T) or juice from 1 lemon.
  7. Seasoning to taste. I like Cumin in mine. Parsley to Garnish.
  • Throw EVERYTHING except Parsley into the food processor. You can see mine all fits into my mini-prep. hummus3
  • Grind until smooth!
  • Garnish with Parsley
  • Sprinkle more Oil on it, if you’d like!hummus2

 

 

 

 

Remember, NO LEFTOVERS!! You can eat Hummus on just about anything! Vegetables, crackers, chips, bread. I prefer it on Tostitos or the chips shown in the picture. I like to keep things safe in case Lovey Levin wants some. My Guy likes his on pita bread or Tostitos. My mother spreads Hummus on her sandwiches… How do you like your HUMMUS??hummus

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Gluten Free Play-doh or GOOP?! Which do you Prefer??

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Play-Doh

Lovey Levin is sensitive to messy hands. By sensitive, I mean he goes nearly ape shit whenever his hands are dirty! “BIG MESS!” “I NEED WIPEY” “QEEN MY HANDS”  That’s what I hear whenever he is dirty. Now it’s amusing when he starts to get messy then later realizes that he’s gotten messy.. His face is priceless, think, “How the heck did this happen?!? GET IT OFF ME!!!”1969890_10152263234595505_1018354283_o

That said, we made Gluten Free Play Doh with a recipe I modified from Pinterest. It’s NOT edible. So if you have young ones that still put things in their mouths, please don’t use this recipe. 

1973028_10152263192710505_264817040_oI used 1 part hair conditioner and 2 parts cornstarch. I had to mess with it a little to get it right. If it’s too wet, add cornstarch – if it’s too crumbly add conditioner (in VERY small amounts!).  If you want to have color, you can add food coloring or Kool-Aid powder. We did white because I don’t like more mess than what I need. 1924546_10152263245230505_2104634139_o

We started with 1c cornstarch and 1/2 conditioner, for a very small ball of dough. It is the perfect size!

This didn’t stick to his hands too bad. It did leave a powdery residue, which washed off easily. It also vacuumed up VERY easily. Overall, we were very happy with his first Play-doh experience. He was a happy camper and stayed busy for well over an hour, which is AMAZING for a two year old!

GOO

When Sissy came home from school she saw Lovey Levin’s Play-doh and the ingredients and she asked if she could make goo!1939333_10152263912400505_669309052_o My toddler is sensitive to messy hands and gluten intolerant so here is a craft I NEVER thought he would do!!

To make Goo (which is also Gluten Free Fun) you only need a bowl, 1 cup of cornstarch, and a half cup of water! Mix with your hands then ENJOY!

1972829_10152263909945505_1667288676_oLevin and Sissy enjoyed this, which REALLY surprised me given Levin’s distaste of messy hands, and they really were messy this time. He like to drizzle the Goo over Sissy’s arm. Luckily she LOVES to get dirty and messy and she didn’t mind AT ALL!

All hell broke loose one Lovey Levin realized his hands were messy. He started to cry and shake his hands back and forth trying to get the mess off of them.1972947_10152263909090505_492210507_o Imagine a wet dog shaking it’s fur…. now imagine that fur covered in cornstarch and water… Yep. That’s what he did. It’s a good thing he’s such a Lovey!!

Let’s do the Twist! The Pretzel Twist!!

Gluten Free Pretzel Bites

1090348_10151815327400505_1328555186_oThe red is what I modified in the original recipe. Find the original recipe HERE!

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cups warm water (+/- 2t)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 and 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons xanthan gum (if not included in your flour mix)

3 quarts water

3/4 cup baking soda

For the egg wash:

1 large egg

1 tablespoon cold water

Coarse sea salt, for garnish

Oil, for prepping your bowl to rise the dough in

Instructions

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the water, brown sugar, yeast and melted butter.  Stir to combine, and then let sit for about 5 minutes, or until slightly foamy. I don’t have a mixer, so I did everything by hand. I proofed the yeast in a separate bowl.

2. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the salt and flour until just combined. I used a much larger bowl to mix the salt, flour and poured the yeasty mix in.

3. Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl, about 3-4 minutes. I kneaded everything by hand. Lovey Levin really didn’t like this part. He HATES being dirty. Especially his hands. He was baffled as to why I wasn’t upset that my hands were a “lucky mess”.

4. Roll the dough into a bowl gently with your hands, place in a pre-oiled bowl, and cover with a light tea cloth or towel.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. The mess went down as the dough kneaded together and now it was a neat little ball. You may need up to two more teaspoons of water to make it the right consistency.

5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

6. Punch down the dough and, on a clean and lightly floured flat surface, divide it into 8 equal portions.

7. Roll each portion into a long rope, about 18-20 inches in length.  I had Sissy (Levin’s older sister) help me with this! she loved rolling it out and breaking it up! 

8. Cut each rope into 1-inch portions and place each one on a lightly greased baking sheet. Set aside.

9. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil.

10.  Very carefully (the water will spray and foam up), add the baking soda.

11. In small batches, boil the pretzel bites for about 30 seconds or so.  (Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water and place them back on the baking sheet, about 1 to 2 inches apart.)

12. To make the egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water.

13. Lightly brush the boiled pretzel bites with the egg wash and lightly sprinkle with the coarse sea salt.

14. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.

1090831_10151815695575505_1508758855_o(1)Most of them are gone from the tray because we ate them. They don’t look very pretty, the texture isn’t perfect. But they taste great! I can tell you from experience that they also freeze extremely well! So don’t be afraid to try it and freeze some for later.

Before we went gluten free, we’ve made pretzels many times before. We always have a blast! Levin’s older siblings, Sissy and Drew like to make things with their pretzels. They stay pretty well, during the dip, wash and bake! So try making balls, actual pretzel twists, braids, etc. Don’t feel like you are tied to nibs!

Poosents? I like Poosents!

Subscription Boxes! YAY!!! I love them! I’ve tried a few. Some for myself (The monthly box that comes full of tampons and chocolates!! That one was great, but pretty expensive.) Some foodie ones (Gluten free, that I cancelled right away! How dare they say GF but be manufactured in a facility that also manufactures wheat?!?) I’ve tried some for Levin (Bluum, Honest Company). But my favorite box is the one I get for Lovey Levin every month. It’s called Citrus Lanecitrus laneJanuary’s Citrus Lane box                                                                                                                                              Lovey Levin loves play food, so getting Plan Toys three piece “cut” food was wonderful ($8.30 + $7 shipping = $15.30 – Plan Toys) . Faber Castell Duo Tip markers in such a beautiful array of colors ($10 – Amazon) did not come amiss. We used them to color on wooden race-cars (from February’s box)!  Zig Zag Zebra, which is a beautiful coloring book, a little bit old for Lovey Levin, but beautiful still ($6.29 – Amazon) We put this item away until he’s old enough to use it. Finally, Mommy’s Bliss for Kids, is a homeopathic remedy for an upset stomach ($9.74 – Amazon). We haven’t had to use this yet, but I didn’t think it would hurt to have on hand given Lovey Levin’s intolerance and reaction to Gluten. Maybe it will help him! The total value of January’s box is $41.33, I paid $16.33. That offered me a $25 value over what I paid. So it may not seem like I got much in my box, but it had good value. Plus, Lovey Levin LOVES LOVES LOVES his fruit and his markers. I know he will love his coloring book and hopefully, the Mommy’s Bliss for Kids may be helpful to him, as well.

February’s Citrus Lane Box

1966641_10152253297480505_331553732_o(1)Lovey Levin really liked his February box. His box contained more from Plan Toys, this time a practice shoe for lacing ($9.28 – Amazon). He enjoyed pulling the laces out of it. He got to pick out which Skip Hop bin ($14.99) he got this month, and he picked the owl. It’s a good size and will hold some of his toys! The book was AWESOME this month! Skip Through the Seasons ($6.99 – Amazon) by Stella Blackstone. What a truly awesome book! It’s a seek and find book with beautiful illustration! There was also an Apple lotion that didn’t smell like Apples to me. My nine year old daughter took it over so I can’t even price it… SORRY! I would guess around $3.00.  We also do the add ons, sometimes. 1902206_10152253353405505_2036520927_oThis month we added on Melissa and Doug Race cars. I purchased two of them because I had an email with $10 off a purchase and this total came to $9.50, they retail for $7.15 each totaling $14.30 on Amazon. So total value this month was $48.56 ($34.26 without add ons) and I paid $16.33, as I do each month. That offered me a value of $32.23 over what I paid ($22.73 without add ons).

 

March Citrus Lane Box

 

March Citrus Lane Box

March Citrus Lane Box

Look at all the wonderful things in our box this month!!! WOO HOO! We got the Skip Hop Elephant back pack ($18.64 – Amazon). This was added on this month for $20 (I happened to have a credit so I didn’t pay anything for this item!). Lovey Levin hasn’t gotten his little hands on this item yet as it will show up in his Easter Basket.  Next is the  Petit Collage Safari Animal Puzzle ($13.00 – Amazon). Lovey LOVES this puzzle. I thought it would be too tough on him but it’s not. It’s just challenging enough for him! He loves digging out the colors to sort the animals before he attempts to put it together.10148661_10152308853080505_859193918_o He must pull this puzzle out at least ten times a day! We also got Eco Dough ($6.94 – Amazon). I put this away for a give away gift. It contains Gluten and Lovey Levin will sometimes put things in his mouth. I did go to the website of the manufacturer and found out that they do make a Gluten Free option!! That’s pretty cool. While I doubt I will order any (we make our own gluten free play doh) it’s nice to know there are options! Little Adventures Power Mask Red/Blue, which were another add-on this month purchased for a total of $6.00 but I used a credit, ($3.99 + $1.99 shipping = $5.98 x 2 = $11.96 – Amazon) have been a hilarious prop in my house since our box came! Levin will run around shouting “SUPER HERO LEVIN” It’s quite the sight to see! Next is the purple10148777_10152320648535505_1913511890_o Medi-Buddy ($6.99 – Amazon). I opened this up and it looks well stocked with plenty of good stuff. I plan on keeping it in my car! Finally there’s the CleanWell Hand Sanitizing Wipes Orange & Vanilla ($6.65- Amazon). I haven’t used these or even opened them yet. These are also going to go in the car.  I love things like this for when we go to playgrounds and restaurants. Keeping it clean! YEAH! So when I add all this stuff up, my total box value is $64.18 ($38.18 without my add ons). Total paid $16.33. That offered me a value of $47.85 over what I paid ($21.85 without add ons)!

If you are interested in giving Citrus Lane a try, you can use this link https://www.citruslane.com/invitedby/citrus.lane.508057 It will get you half off (50%) of your first box! I highly recommend this subscription service. It’s been great for us!! So many learning opportunities!

 

Well, That’s a Chip of a Different Color!

I was rummaging in my freezer this morning trying to find something to make for dinner. I didn’t find anything inspiring, or so I thought. I happened to come across a bag of sliced zucchini from last fall. I was planning on making kale chips, but I wondered if I could make zucchini chips, too…

It turns out you can! Super easy, too!! I did it with two toddlers at my feet. I have no measurements for this recipe because I kind of went off the cuff.

INGREDIENTS for ZUCCHINI CHIPS
Large zucchini sliced thin
(I used my mandolin slicer on the second thinnest setting. I also took out the seeds)
Oil (I used peanut for this one)
Seasoning or flavors
(I used perfect pinch perfect, salt & Parmesan cheese)

DIRECTIONS
Toss sliced zucchini with oil.
Season
Spread on your dehydrator trays and allow to dehydrate.

My zucchini took about 3 hours.

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The kale I was VERY excited for!! Here’s what I did with my kale.

INGREDIENTS
Kale leaves of your choice (I used organic baby kale)
Oil of your choice (I used sesame this time, for the earthy flavor)
Seasonings of your choice (I used curry, cumin, dried onions, dried garlic and salt)

DIRECTIONS
Toss kale leaves with oil.
Season
Spread on your dehydrator trays and allow to dehydrate.

My kale took about an hour.
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The dehydrator I’m using is pretty old. It’s a Mr. Coffee brand. No Bells or whistles. It just makes YUMMY GOODNESS!!

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My Quiche is Damned Sexy!

One day I was pondering something new to make… Then it dawned on me! A Quiche!! I had plenty of eggs, everyone loves cheese. Now, I’ve never made a quiche before. I knew they traditionally had a crust and asparagus. That’s about it.

So I searched for ideas. I found a few recipes for a gluten free crust, but I wasn’t feeling those. Then I found some for Crustless!! So I took the parts I liked best out of a bunch of different recipes and made my own!!

BASE
5 large eggs
2-3 cups of your favorite shredded cheese
Filling
1 package of spinach thawed and squeezed
1/2 onion chopped
Small container of mushrooms chopped

Mix eggs
Mix eggs with cheese
Mix in everything else

Add your seasonings to taste! I used savories!

I greased my pie pan well!

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until set!

My Guy likes to put hot sauce on his. I like it just as is. This is a bit more dense than traditional quiche but every bit as tasty!!

Lovey Levin calls this cake and will eat it both hot and cold!! Even Andrew & Krista love it. It’s a family hit!

I’ve done additional quiche using the same base and alternate fillings such as shredded potatoes and ham, asparagus and mushroom, and bacon and sausage and ham! They all turned out great!!

There Ain’t No Wheat in Me!

Levin enjoying a GF bagel

When we found out Levin couldn’t eat Gluten, we took it with a grain of salt. He was young. It wouldn’t matter that much. Well, now he’s two. He wants to eat EVERYTHING we are eating!! More and more we, as a family, are eating Gluten Free. Thank goodness for the internet and those who have walked this path before me! I praise them! If I knew them, I would kiss their feet!

Has this been a challenge? Of course! Have we messed up? <hangs head in shame> Yes, much to the detriment of my son’s belly. The poor lovey suffers for days after being “glutened”. But after each mistake, we learn. We are a little bit smarter. We don’t make that mistake again.

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That’s what Lovey’s face looks like after he’s been “glutened” that’s just his face. He won’t eat solids or have a solid poo for 4-5 days. My poor little dude. So I go to great lengths to make sure this doesn’t happen to him.  The last time he was contaminated was a few weeks ago.  Let me tell you, I felt bad afterwards, but not nearly as bad as he did. We had Japanese – cooked at home because I don’t trust anyone else… My Guy sauteed our food in a few tablespoons of Saki (something we usually don’t do with the kids food), GF soy sauce and mirin. Levin had maybe a teaspoon of this reduction, that was cooked with chicken and broccoli and string beans and mushrooms (AKA: very diluted), over his rice. He was sick for a week. Cause of sickness – Saki. Lesson Learned.

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Levin is now nearly 28 months old and we are teaching him to start to be aware of Gluten himself. Whenever he eats anything, he will look at me and say, “Gluten Free, Levin!”

On the other hand, if he sees someone eating something he can’t have, like a cookie or a roll, he will say, “Gluten, yucky, get sick, Bleh!! Daddy can eat it!” It’s really important to me that I teach Levin how to be aware. So we have t-shirts, bracelets and stickers. photo 3

He is enjoying a GF bagel and cream cheese!photo 1 photo 5