Archive for October, 2011

baking class goodies

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Cookies, biscuits, brownies, muffins, cupcakes, tarts and cakes are on the menu for this Sunday 23rd october at Boghill Ctr.I am offering a baking for mothers of autism who have been prescribed a diet free of gluten, dairy, sugar, corn and soy. There are 2 spots left for anyone who wants to join us, the group is open to anyone who would like to learn how to bake fabulous treats that are good for you! email me at mary_sheehan@comcast.net for details. Slan020

Live simply

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

so that others may simply live… today is 15 October Occupation day worldwide and tomorrow is World Hunger Day. What a world we inhabit. So full of hope, fear, joy, sorrow, anger, love, desperation, hate. So many of us find it so hard to take action. Where do we begin? How can I really make a difference? It often seems too overwhelming. But, hopefully, the world is at crossroads. People are standing up to put an end to poverty and hopelessness. If not you, then who? Do something, anything to join in and make your unique voice heard. Start the conversation. You have something to offer. Peace.

sunset

baking for chidren with autism

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Always up for a challenge, I jumped at the opportunity to teach a baking class for mothers of children with autism. As a cook who specializes in vegetarian menus that are often gluten and dairy free,  cooking for people with food sensitivities is just what I do. But, throw in the ever present corn,  soy and sugar and it’s time to get creative.  Research has shown that some of the behavioral characteristics of autism can be alleviated with the elimantion of gluten, dairy, sugar, corn and soy. So, I’ll be taking these mothers through the maze of flours, rising agents, oils, natural sugars and non dairy alternatives so that they can create tasty treats at home and for the lunch box.  Is it possible to have chocolate pudding, yummy cookies, scrumptuous cakes and tarts without these traditional ingredients? Absolutely! Here’s a recipe for chocolate pudding cake that is easy peasy and delicious!       

Sift together 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour with 1 tsp. gluten free baking flour and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Add 1/3 cup xylitol*. Whisk 2/3 cup almond milk, 2 Tbl. sunflower spread and 2 Tbl. gluten and dairy free cocoa powder. Heat until spread melts. Set aside and let cool. To the flour mixture  add 1 egg and  slowly add liquid mixture and blend well in food processor. The batter will be thick. Pour into a greased 5 cup ovenproof dish. Whisk together 1 -1/2 cups boiling water with 2 Tbl. molasses and 2 Tbl. cocoa powder and pour over batter. Bake for 35 -45 minutes or until tester comes out clean. *xylitol is a 100% natural sweetener that was first researched in Finland. It comes from berries, fruit and vegetables. It has a significantly lower glycemic response than refined sugar, has 40% fewer calories and 75% fewer carbohydrates. In recipes, use a 1/4 cup less when substituting for granulated or caster sugar. cake2

What’s in a name?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Why do we have such silly names for food?   Snickerdoodles, hermits, flapjacks (in America they’re pancakes, in Ireland granola bars). Cookies are biscuits in Ireland, biscuits in America are well, biscuits! Serve ’em up with gravy, all buttery and warm. My cousin in Dingle has an old label on his pub wall from Pegs Leg, a favorite candy from the past. I’m always looking for new variations on old treats so I created one of my own – the Burren Stack. As I’m living and cooking in the Burren, I get a lot of inspiration from the organic gardens, the berries and herbs that  grace the hedgerow, the goat farmers making their cheese.   The Burren is a unique, diverse landscape in North Clare that is full of  erratic rock formations left over from the Ice Age. choco-bar1

Well, I know it’s a stretch to go from the Ice Age to a variation on a Hermit, but why not! Here’s the recipe I use at Boghill for a nice sweet dessert which is gluten and dairy free. It will appear in Coming Home to Cook Part Two, or maybe I’ll come up with a crazy name for that too!

THE BURREN STACK

Preheat oven to 180c or 350f. Butter and flour a 10″ baking pan.

Cream 1 cup soy butter with 1 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs.  Add 2 tsp. gf baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. cloves, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. Mix in 1/3 cup soy milk. Sift in 2 2/3 cups gf brown rice flour. Beat until well mixed. Add 2/3 cup raisins, 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, 2/3 cup chopped dairy free chocolate bits or chocolate chips.

Bake for 35 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack, remove from pan and eat immediately! Or, if you have willpower, it will keep well wrapped for a week.