GFCF Dinner Rolls

I have been using this bread recipe for over a year now and absolutely think it is the best. It is slightly modified from Mark Englelberg's GF, Vegan Bread. Some of you asked how I made my Thanksgiving dinner rolls, so here ya go!

In the bowl of a large stand mixer combine:

1 1/2 cups millet flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
4 tsp xanthan gum
 1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp active dry yeast


4 tsp olive oil
3 1/4 cup warm water
1 egg

Mix in your stand mixer with a paddle attachment (not regular beaters or a bread hook). Mix on medium for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into well greased muffin tins. My last attempt made 24 large muffins. Alternately, you can pour this into two well greased loaf pans for bread.

Allow your bread to rise (using whatever your preferred rising method is) until the dough extends slightly above the top of the muffin pan.

For rolls: Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for any additional 15 minutes (may vary depending on oven).

For bread: Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 40 minutes (or so).

The rolls could be broken apart and enjoyed as soon as they were cool enough to touch. The bread will slice much easier if you let it cool most of the way before handling it. I slice it and freeze it in a zip-lock bag and just use the pieces I need individually...though it never lasts very long!

**If you do not have the pleasure of living near a quality health-food store (as is the case with us)...I have been able to buy all of these flours on Amazon.com for a swinging deal. You typically have to buy in bulk (several bags at a time)...but it is worth the investment.


Yummy Oatmeal Recipes!

I won't even comment about how long it has been since I last posted...ha. I had some friends request yummy warm breakfast options so I thought I would share a few. Here are some of our favorites...

This is a recipes my mother-in-law passed down to me...
Baked Oatmeal

1/2 Cup Oil (could be canola, olive or coconut)
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk (we use almond)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
3 Cups Oats (we use certified GF Oats)
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Add: 1/2 cup raising, chopped apples, bananas, nuts, or flax seed per your liking...

Directions: Beat together oil and sugar. Mix in eggs, milk, salt, baking powder and oatmeal. Beat well then stir in raisins, apples (etc). Pour into lightly greased pie pan or 8x8 pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon (or pour a little pure maple syrup on top).

You can refridgerate this overnight before cooking (this helps it set a little)...or you can cook it right away. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Eat it warm with milk poured over the top...or let it cool and cut it into squares to enjoy on the road!

This is another favorite recipe of ours. I do not know where I got it from...I usually put the "author" on my recipe card but did not this time. Please forgive me if I have hijacked your recipe without giving credit...it was not my intention to do so!

GFDF Oatmeal Bars

1 1/3 Cups GF Oats
2 1/4 Cups All purpose GF Flour (We use Mama's Almond blend)
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 2/3 Cups Light brown sugar
2/3 Cup Oil
2 eggs
4 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 tsps vanilla extract (make sure it is GF...not all are)
2/3 Cups Raisins (or we use Craisins) soaked in warm water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9x 13 pan.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
3. Combine wet ingredients in a separate med. bowl.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix with a fork or wooden spoon until blended.
5. Drain raisins or craisins, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.Add reserved liquid a little at a time until the batter is smooth.
6. Pour into baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
7. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars.

We wrap these in saran wrap and freeze them individually. That way you can grab one and throw it in a lunch box. They are a very yummy and Josh approved!


On Saying "STARS"

I have so much to update on this blog that it is almost pathetic...
I promise I will get to it...soon...

But I did want to share a precious story from Joshua's therapy the other day!

I was commenting to Amy (our wonderful, amazing, super duper SLP) how well Joshua was coming along w/ his "s" blends and how I had caught him saying "school" very nicely that day. She decided to informally test him on the word "stars." The conversation went like this...

Amy: "Josh, what are those things called that come out at night and light up in the sky?"

Joshua: "Fireflies"

Amy: "You are right, Josh. Now how about the ones way up high in the sky..."

Joshua: "Ummm, aliens?"

Amy: (laughing) "Well, maybe. I mean the lights that make pictures in the sky..."

Joshua: "Oh, you mean constellations!"

Amy: "Yes! Now Josh, can you please just say STARS for me?"

Joshua: (in perfect clarity) "STARS"

And they once said my boy wasn't smart! Love you Joshy!!!


GFDF Cinnamon Rolls

This is my version of a wonderful gluten-free cinnamon roll. The original recipe (which I have modified quite a bit) was posted here: I Am Gluten Free. I highly recommend doubling this recipe as it only makes one pan of cinnamon rolls. This BARELY fed my family of 5 as everyone wanted more! Even my hubby (who is not gluten-free) loved them! Please let me know if you try the recipe and have any suggestions...

2/3 cup warm milk (we use almond milk)
1 packet active dry yeast

2 Tbsp dairy free margarine (we use Earth's Balance)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (at room temperature)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups All-Purpose GF Flour (we use GF Mama's Almond Blend)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp xanthan gum

For filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
chopped nuts - optional

For glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
milk to desires thickness

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine warm milk and yeast (be sure all the yeast dissolves) and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until it is foamy.

In the bowl of stand mixer, combine margarine and sugar until smooth. Add proofed milk/ yeast to bowl. Add egg, oil, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl combine gluten-free flour and remaining dry ingredients. Stir to combine then add to mixing bowl. Beat on high for 2 minutes.

Lay a piece of wax paper on the counter and sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp sugar over it. Scoop dough (which will be quite soft) on to wax paper. Cover this with another piece of wax paper and roll out into approximately 9x11 size rectangle. Remove top piece of wax paper and cover rectangle with filling. Use the bottom piece of wax paper to lift edge and start rolling dough into a long cylinder. Cut into 8 or 9 even size slices (about 1" wide). (Original poster suggested trimming off irregular ends but I just leave them on there). Place rolls into a greased pie plate or cake pan.

Bake approximately 20 minutes (or until the tops are golden brown). Top with glaze if desired.

And ENJOY....I know we did!


Learning with Apraxia

I've been a little anxious ~ ok a lot anxious and for a long time ~ about starting school with Joshua.

When he was 2 years old and was referred to speech therapy, there were a lot of assumptions about his cognitive abilities. We were told things like..."If he can only speak in 1-2 word utterances then he can only understand 1-2 word phrases. Instead of saying, "Joshua, go upstairs and get your shoes..." we should say, "Get Shoes." This was a very sad time for me and very difficult for our family as a whole. We drove to San Diego twice a week for speech therapy that just didn't seem to be getting us anywhere. By 2 and a half the speech therapist considered using an alternative communication device for him as they thought he might never speak intelligibly.

Flash forward to his 3rd birthday...we found a speech therapy office much closer to home and decided to give it a try. Joshua was evaluated and the SLP mentioned that he might have "Apraxia of Speech." I balked assuming that this was some new "fad" diagnosis. She went on to explain that Joshua's "receptive language" was extremely high for his age. Huh? What? He understood and could identify vocabulary up to 2 years OVER his age. On the other hand, his "expressive language" (what he could SAY) was at about the level of a 9 month old. I had to ask her again..."so you are saying there is a chance he is smart?!?" Yes. He was and still is very intelligent. But based on the previous speech evaluations and our own interpretation of his speech - we were assuming he was, uh er, not so smart.

The more I began to research Apraxia ~ the more I realized it was exactly what Joshua was experiencing. By definition, Apraxia looks like this:

a child with the diagnosis of apraxia of speech has difficulty
programming and planning speech movements.

In other words, there is a disconnect between what the brain wants to say and what comes out of his mouth. Much like an adult that has had a stroke. Many times they don't even realize what they are saying is wrong. They just can't make the right sounds of words come of the mouth.

When Joshua turned 4, I accidentally discovered that he knew all of his letters. I had letter flash cards out to work with Nicole and I asked her to point to a certain letter. He showed her the right answer. He couldn't SAY the name of the letter...but he knew what it was. And then I discovered that not only did he know all 26 letters by name ~ but he could identify them by the sounds they each made. He had absorbed all of this knowledge 2nd hand...by me working with Nicole. But he still couldn't SAY the names of the letters. Mostly because he is physically unable to link a consonant to the "E" sound. Think about it...B C D E G P T V and Z all have the "E" sound in them. But they all come out sounds like "E."

Midway through last year I discovered he could segment the word to make it easier to understand. We used this method for working on letters. This looks like: buh-E (for B) and tuh-E (for T). It helped but it was still frustrating for all of us. And so, you can imagine, I was nervous about this year.

Joshua started "kindergarten" 2 weeks ago. I decided to ease the frustration of the alphabet...we would learn to sign (American Sign Language) our ABC's. After 2 weeks he can sign all 26 letters to the "tune" of the ABC's. Whenever I ask him to identify a letter, he says it the best he can AND he signs the letter. Somewhere along the way I also read that ditty's and repetition are life-savers for kids with Apraxia. So I looked up some Calendar songs on the internet and we started singing them 1 week ago.

Months of the Year (sung to the tune of 10 Little Indians)
January, February
March and April
May, June
July and August
December...these are the months of the year.

Day of the Week (sung to the tune of Oh' My Darlin')
There are 7 days, There are 7 days,
There are 7 days in a week.
Sunday, Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday

Today, I asked the kids if anyone remember the name of the month. I was looking for the name of the current month (especially since it had just changed) but Joshua shot his hand up and started SINGING all 12 months of the year. Now....would a stranger on the street have any idea what he was saying? No. But he was was singing the tune and saying the words well enough that I KNEW he new the names of all 12 months. Amazing! I think I'll be making up some more learning songs for Joshua this year!

Most of all, I am praising God right now for the opportunity and ability to teach my son. In California, we were told a lot of things about his education...and how he would be handled in a classroom setting because of his speech...and none of them were acceptable to us. I am so thankful that God has equipped me for the work of teaching Joshua the way he learns best in an environment that will never limit his learning potential. All Glory to God for Joshy's smart little brain :)


What We Eat...30 Days Worth of Dinner

I finally did it...

I made a menu for the WHOLE month of September.

Really...I did.

I figure if I am going to travel to the city once-a-month for groceries I better be organized! And since school has started and my husband is now on midnights again...well, further proof of my need to be organized. Oh yeah - and one more...there is no where to eat out here. So I MUST cook or we don't eat.

So this isn't fancy or anything gourmet...but it is our Gluten-Free/ Dairy Free life and we make the most of it!

1 - Fried Chicken (w/ GF Bread crumbs)
2 - Tacos
3 - Leftovers
4 - Chicken w/ Zucchini & Tomatoes
5 - Ham & Bean Soup
6 - Leftovers
7 - Teriyaki Beef Sticks
8 - Bratwurst
9 - Spaghetti
10 - Grilled Lamb
11 - Leftovers
12- Spaghetti Casserole
13 - Sticky Chicken
14 - Fresh Fish
15 - Hamburgers
16 - Texas Chili
17 - Chicken Fingers
18 - Leftovers
19 - Tacos
20 - Stir Fry
21 - Marinated Chicken Breasts (grill)
22 - Leftovers
23 - Lamb Stew
24 - Oven Roasted Chicken (whole)
25 - Leftovers
26 - Roast
27 - Spaghetti
28 - Carnitas
29 - Fried Rice
30 - Homemade Pizza

Vegetables and Sides will vary largely on what's available and what we are in the mood for. We eat a LOT of rice and potatoes since those are really the only sides we can have. We will also be eating a LOT of zucchini and green beans from the garden this month.

I confess that I will not abide by this menu every night. It is just a relief to have an idea on paper...and know that I have the ingredients on hand. Our closest grocery store is 30 miles (we do have a small market in town but their selection is limited and they close at 5:30). Not always so helpful. As I was typing this I realized that I have a lot of leftover nights planned - but if we don't eat them they go to waste...so we might as well plan on eating them.

So hooray for organization! Hope you have a blessed month!


Happy Birthday, Joshua!

My little man turned 5 this month. Sometimes it is hard to believe how far we have come and how hard we have fought in just 5 short years. To be honest, there were many times I wasn't sure we would make it this far...

I was thinking the other day - as I was making a physical appointment for Joshua with a new doctor - about the three ring binder I have from when he was 2 and 3 years old...it is 1" thick and bursting at the seams. It has all of his medical records/ lab reports/ diagnostics/ x-rays/ and evaluations in it. We traveled all over Southern CA to see the best doctors we could find. There wasn't a week when we weren't going to see someone...hoping they would be the one who could "fix" him. Flash forward...Joshua had his 4 year old physical before we left So. CA last year. We have been in Montana for exactly a year now and he has not seen the doctor ONCE since we have been here...hence the appt. with the NEW doctor. Seriously...he has not been to the doctor once since we got here. Amazing. While I do dread starting over again with a new doctor...she is a D.O. with training in homeopathy. She is open to alternate vaccine schedules...and she is only 2 hours from our home! Yup, 2 hours...I hope it is worth it!

Anyway, Joshua wanted to go fishing for his birthday, so we loaded up the raft and went for a float. Lucky guy - he caught the first fish of the day!!! Like his mo-hawk? Yeah, he wears it well!

Happy Birthday, Little Man! We love you so much and we are so proud of you!