Saturday, March 30, 2013

Banana Oat Bars

These tiny niblets are super-sweet in a non-sugary kind of way...

I was impressed with how just one of these little guys could satisfy my dessert craving.

One of those treats I feel great about giving my kid.

Recipe can be found in the Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free cookbook.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Apple Quinoa Salad

In an attempt to let go of at least some of the dairy in our diet, I have been reinventing some of my favorites. The goal here was to still have my mid-day apple. I don't know what it is about that apple, but if I don't have it I can feel it.

I recommend apples.

With the apple I need protein to balance out the fruit sugar and keep blood sugar stable. Typically I have used cottage cheese to do this and call it a Walking Salad. But protein doesn't have to come from dairy or even meat. Protein can also come from nuts, seeds, and grains.

Enter quinoa.

I started messing around with my Apple Salad lunch and knew quinoa needed to be part of it. Quinoa is my new favorite. It contains NINE amino acids and tons of minerals and tastes awesome and is so versatile... Tonight I made a pizza crust with it and it was amazing... but that's another post...

Introducing my New and Improved Apple Salad. :)

A little creativity goes a long way.

1/2 c cooked quinoa
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1/4 c raisins
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 Braeburn apple, chopped
1/2 orange, peeled and chopped
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tbsp coconut oil, liquified

Mix everything in a bowl and enjoy the day. :-)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why Bother God?

At the end of each church service they have people available to pray for anyone who needs it. They stand in the front, so you have to go up there, where everyone can see you. Then you have to tell someone your problem so they can pray for you, out loud.

I do not enjoy being in front of people. What I do not enjoy even more is being the center of attention, which is what happens when you tell someone your problem. I get nervous and blotchy and would much rather stand in the background or pray for someone else. I barely made it through my own wedding...

But I am also deeply convicted to keep asking Jesus for healing.

There once was a super-annoying guy named Bartimaeus who did the same thing. Except he was even more annoying than me because he was blind and was yelling at Jesus to heal him. Next time I quietly ask you to pray for me you think about that. At least I am not yelling.

"Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'" Mark 10:48

But what we call annoying, Jesus calls faith.

"'Go,' said Jesus, 'your faith has healed you.' Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road." Mark 10:52

So I go up there and ask for prayer for the same old thing. I do it because God has showed me that he loves to act through spoken prayer, through one person speaking prayer over another. I do it because I know God's timing is good, and this might be the time. I do it because I believe Jesus is the Son of God, the one who can do anything.


Sometimes I look at those people standing up there being available to pray and think, Why are there not long, long lines of people wanting prayer every Sunday?

Have you ever wondered that? God tells us to pray for one another, to pray continually. Even if you don't have a sickness you still have SOME need.

I think it's just a sign of the times and our culture in general: "We don't need anything. We already have everything we need. We can take care of ourselves." Most of us already have food, shelter, and good health. So why bother that guy in the front with my petty prayer request? Someone else surely needs something worse than I do... Surely God has better things to do... Why bother God?

Do we really need a crisis to prove our frail nature?

The moment we develop this mentality, we lose our dependence on God. We don't lose our need for God; we always need him whether we realize it or not. But it is our choice whether to depend on him. In all of our blessings we become so self-sufficient that Jesus is no longer someone we live for but instead someone we live with and whom we occasionally acknowledge. Like the family dog. You just walk by him and pat him on the head, glad he's there.


Do you know this downward spiral of self-sufficiency that I'm talking about? I don't want my faith to turn into that. Even when I'm healed completely, I hope I will still run to the front of the church so I can bare my need to God. I hope I continue to be embarrassed and look like a fool. Because in every season -- healthy or sick, rich or poor, skinny or fat -- we each have equal need for God.

God, the one who made us and the one who sustains us and meets our every need.

We need to be so annoying with our prayer requests that God remains the famous one. If everything really is okay in our world, we need to get over ourselves and our near-perfect lives and get up there and cry out to God to make our world bigger and send us where others are not okay so that we can bring them that living gospel that saved and delivered us.

We need to drag our friends up front for prayer. Remember that paralyzed guy whose friends wanted him healed so badly that they literally carried him to Jesus? And when they got there and it was so crowded, how they physically dropped him down through the roof, right in front of Jesus?

Faith is an action and it can be annoying... socially inappropriate... politically incorrect. These men who carried their friend to Jesus, they were sweating and they didn't care what anyone in that crowd thought and their adrenaline was faith. Jesus healed their friend "when he saw their faith."

This is why we bother God: As we persevere in our asking, our faith becomes strong. God sees -- and rewards -- our faith. So next time you have an opportunity to get prayed for, try this drama on for size (Psalm 18:6-16):

"In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
    and the foundations of the mountains shook;
    they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
    consuming fire came from his mouth,
    burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
    dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
    he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
    the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
    with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.
 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
    at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rice Pilaf

Shane's aunt made this delicious pilaf for a family gathering once and I just had to get the recipe. We used to have it with chicken, but it's so good that now I just make it as a meal on its own. This is my (simple) adapted version of Aunt Step's recipe.

1 c brown Minute Rice
1/3 c butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
onion powder
1 c Imagine chicken broth
salt & pepper
10 oz frozen peas
mandarin oranges

Melt butter in a wok. 

Saute the rice until it turns orange (about five minutes). 

Add the garlic and onion powder.

Add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper. 

Stir and bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is almost gone.

Stir in the peas, cover, and cook a few more minutes until the peas are done.

Fold in the oranges before serving.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Why the Pain Does Not Own Me

After church a couple weeks ago, my friend said the most encouraging thing. She told me that my worship is beautiful to God, because even though I have been through a lot and it's not over, I still choose to praise him. What a needed word of encouragement from God that was for me.

Sometimes when I pray or hear others pray for me regarding life with chronic pain, these words are spoken: "We thank you for all the good days."

Indeed, I do thank God for all of the "good" days (ie. "good" as I have rated them: the days with little to no pain, the days when it is not debilitating). But I am learning to thank him on the "bad" days, too.
"This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

More than that, I am learning to thank him FOR the bad days. And for the pain. Before you start rolling your eyes, please let me explain. :)

It is not easy to thank God for pain, especially the kind of pain that has at any time kept a mother from her child physically or emotionally.

Nevertheless, God uses all things for the good of us who love him. He uses all things, including pain. Including physical pain. 

Sometimes pain is the most effective tool God can use for our well-being.

For he so loved us and wanted us to be with him, that he himself was willing to suffer the greatest pain of all.

While pain is happening to us, we do not often know or understand its benefits, but people have attempted to grasp them. In his book Pathways to His Presence, Charles Stanley quotes C.S. Lewis from The Problem of Pain. "One dynamic benefit of pain is that it shatters the illusion that what we have, whether good or bad in itself, is our own and is enough for us. Without pain, humans revert to an innate sense of self-sufficiency. We find God an interruption, or as a friend of mine said, 'We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it's there for emergencies, but he hopes he'll never have to use it.'"

Stanley goes on to say, "God is not a parachute. People do not have a ripcord with which they can pop God out of a neatly packed backpack to help with a temporary crisis, only to be refolded and stuffed away. Without a personal, active, growing relationship with God, no one's life is complete. Sometimes, even though it hurts, it takes a dose of pain to help us to remember that."

Sometimes it takes a dose of pain to remember that our lives depend on God.

Have you ever heard someone distinguish being thankful IN all things, from being thankful FOR all things?

It is true that God's Word tells us to be thankful in all things:
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonions 5:18

So often when this verse is taught, it is immediately followed by: "We don't have to be thankful FOR all things. God doesn't require that. It just says to be thankful IN all things."

But, while God certainly does not enjoy our suffering, his word does in fact tell us to be thankful for everything.
"Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:19b-20

After all, there is always something for which to be thankful. There is always something going on that can be called good, and God does want us to look for those things because he knows that thankfulness is what produces our joy. This is for our joy.

In addition, we don't serve a God who calls us to just "be positive" or "have a good attitude." He calls us to accept the cup he gives and drink it with thankfulness in our hearts, and -- dare I say this -- that cup may include suffering and pain. We can drink it with thanksgiving only because we know that God has a greater purpose in it; if he didn't, being a loving father he would take it away.

We are secure in his love for us. 

On his way to the cross, Jesus was secure in his father's love for him.
"Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'" Matthew 26:39

Coming to a place where I can thank God for even pain. Even accepting pain as a part of his will for me today. This is the hardest thing I've ever done, but probably the most worshipful and God-glorifying. It is what Jesus did.
"For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2b-3

Jesus' focal point in high pain was the joy set before him. The joy of our salvation. The joy of knowing that God is bigger than the pain, the joy that comes in believing that God has a plan to make something beautiful out of it. There is no other way to consciously give thanks for pain than to consider Jesus, who endured such painful opposition.

I am not very good at this kind of thankfulness yet, but I am learning it, practicing it as often as the Spirit enables me, and that is the only way I can stand up and still praise and thank God even when the pain goes on. Because this truth I know -- all that he gives me is good.

The treasure of darkness I have now is that God loves me, even when it hurts.

A subtle lie creeps in when we spend our energy distinguishing "give thanks IN all things" from "give thanks FOR all things." Both are true and both are needed. Giving thanks for all things does not mean God enjoys human suffering; our suffering brings him sorrow just as our children's pain hurts us parents. Thanking God for pain is simply our act of faith, in that he is in control of our lives and we trust his good will to be done, that he will not let this pain be wasted.

Granted, most of us fall short of this act of faith everyday. We whine and complain to God about all the stuff that makes us FEEL bad, and give thanks only for the blessings that make us FEEL happy.

There are many blessings in life that don't produce happy feelings, and we need to be careful not to depend only on a good feeling or "mountaintop-experience-blessings" to be able to give thanks.

I can only say this now because I have practiced it. I have not practiced it enough; more often than not I have whined and complained instead of giving thanks. But there is always something to be thankful for, even in the midst of pain/bad feelings, and often without pain the gift would not be possible. I am talking about both physical and emotional pain. Too many times I have had to go to the lowest of valleys to be able to know this truth.

Furthermore, God tells us to endure hardship as discipline. We are quick make sweeping statements like, "What you are going through is not your fault." Sometimes that is true, and sometimes it isn't. No one but God can tell you the purpose of the specific pain you are going through. I am just saying that it's not always wrong to look at pain as discipline, and if that happens it doesn't mean God is a mean dad. It means the opposite: He loves us! What loving parent does not discipline his children? And our father is most definitely loving. Sometimes we have to go through breaking in order for him to get through to us. I am not saying that discipline has been the only reason for the pain I have endured; but God has used it to teach me certain things. And because of that I know that some of the pain has been so that God can discipline me. You can read about this for yourself in Hebrews 12.

This is what I want my friends to know... that our God is loving even when life hurts. That the only reason I am able to stand up and still praise God even when I have not yet been fully healed is because I practice looking for the gifts he gives in the darkest places I have been. I could not worship him like that before. I spent a long, long time in bitterness about having to spend days (sometimes weeks) lying flat in a dark room, and I still struggle with the thoughts that come when pain consumes. The temptation is to think about all that I am missing and how much it hurts. But when I fix my eyes on Jesus... when I purpose to think of SOMETHING for which I can give thanks, even if it is just the bed, and I decide to make those thank-words come out of my mouth even when it is not what I am FEELING... joy never fails. Joy springs up out of nowhere, and I know that God is right there with me and he is constantly giving gift after gift. Even now in this pain, he hasn't stopped giving good things to me and my family, and what more could I want?

This is why the pain does not own me... I am his.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Who To Thank For Healing

We were studying the story of Naaman last week and the character quality "thankfulness." You can find the story in 2 Kings 5.

Naaman was an army commander for the king of Aram, and Naaman had a terrible skin disease called leprosy. He heard about Elisha who was a prophet of the God of Israel and could "cure him of his leprosy." That was the rumor.

I, too, have heard rumors about spiritual people and ministries...

So the king of Aram sent a letter to the king of Israel saying that he was sending Naaman to him, and asking him to cure Naaman when he gets there. Kings have a lot of power, but healing power they do not have. The king of Israel knew that. In fact, it says
"As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, 'Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!'" (verse 7)

The king knew that only God has the power to heal. The king ended up sending Naaman to Elisha, who directed him to dunk himself in the Jordan River seven times, then added that he would be healed after he did it.

I, too, have received strange directions from people, doctors, health practitioners...

Naaman's response was
"But Naaman went away angry and said, 'I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?' So he turned and went off in a rage." (verses 11-12)

How could the Jordan River possibly be used for his healing? This is not at all what Naaman was expecting or hoping for. He thought the idea was ridiculous and started to leave.

I, too, have thought various kinds of treatment have seemed too ridiculous, too simple, or too weird.

But Naaman's traveling buddies urged him to try it:
"Naaman’s servants went to him and said, 'My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, "Wash and be cleansed"!'" (verse 13)

So Naaman tried it and was healed.

Naaman went back to thank Elisha, but Elisha told him that it was God who healed him. And so Elisha would not take the credit or Naaman's money. The whole point of this story is that God is the only healer. God is the only one who has healing power. God may use something tangible for our healing -- like a person, a set of directions, surgery, medicine, mud, or the Jordan River. He has, in fact, used all of these things to heal. He has also used intangible things, like a prayer of faith, to heal.

But the point is, God wants -- and deserves -- the credit for all true healing. He wants his people in awe and worship of him, not a doctor or a prophet or a river. He is the one who made us and he is the one who can fix us.

"I am the LORD who heals you."

I am not against medicine but in all our seeking of medical attention, I believe it is imperative to remember that humans. can't. heal. And if we Christians are paying money for health care, that can get fuzzy. When we get well, inquiring minds want to know: "What helped?"

God wants us to say, "It was God."

Because it was. Every good and perfect gift comes from him. And if I ever am completely healed, do not be angry if I won't tell you what God used to do it. ;-) I want him who can do it to get all the publicity!

This is what I have learned and this is what I want us all to remember:

A doctor can't heal you.

A medicine can't heal you.

A chiropractor can't heal you.

Food can't heal you.

You can't heal yourself.

Your body can't heal itself.

These are common lies that we hear every day.

God can use ANYTHING he chooses in our healing. But the fact remains that the only one with the power to heal is God. Only God and only God through his Son, who died on the cross for our healing. By his wounds, we are healed. Truth.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How to Beat Jealousy and Self-Pity

Recently I recognized self-pity and jealousy messing with me and I kicked 'em to the curb.

It all started when my sister had her baby girl. At least ten of my friends had babies this past year, and someone asked if that was hard for me since they know we would love to have more children. The question took me by surprise because I have never struggled with jealousy too much. I think I said, "What do you mean?" Hard for me? Why would other people's pregnancies be hard for me? (Clueless...)

Jealousy isn't usually a big issue for me because I'm usually too interested in whatever it is I'm doing to notice what anyone else is doing (maybe that's another issue?). I have never really been into competitive sports, fashion, movies, pop music, or wanted any of the mainstream culture kind of things. I have gravitated toward and become a fan of horses, skiing, praying for ethnos, drum corps, dog training, language tutoring... tiny Bible training schools... gluten-etc-free cooking... homeschooling... learning how to play strange instruments... I don't know why it always happens that way but it does. I am not trying to be "different" -- I really am not that different -- I just seem to get interested/involved in things that are not popular to the majority.

But having babies is popular and I do like being a mom.

Anyway, no, it was not hard for me at all to hear of my friends' pregnancies. I was so excited each time! Really, I get so busy raising my boy, scheduling doctor appointments, health research, cooking, and writing that I don't spend much time thinking about what other people "get to have." Even when my sister got pregnant I felt nothing but joy. A new niece! I loved hearing pregnancy updates, too.

But after she had the baby, it became more real to me. We have done so many things at the same time in life, and not this time. After the initial excitement for them, this feeling of incredible disappointment came over me and I just cried.

And then it was like someone flipped a switch. Suddenly a whole bunch of things began to eat at me, things to which I had not given a second thought before. Our good friends who have been furthering their educations and careers announced they had an amazing new career opportunity and would be moving. Our other good friends announced they were pursuing adoption. My faraway friend who has a son the same age as Z is now pregnant. Someone else's husband was more sensitive. Another friend was materially blessed. And pretty much everyone (mostly) enjoys life free of chronic pain.

All these are things that I would very much enjoy at this point in life.

And there it was... "Poor me." 

Jealousy. It crept up on me, then pounced. I did not realize what was happening to me, why I was so frustrated, until my wonderful baby niece was about a month old.

As a follower of Christ, my battle is never with people. My battle is always with Christ's enemy, Satan, who would very much like to bring me down.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

So I did what all good little Christian girls do.

I got out my sword.

I told that beast that he cannot have control of me any more because Jesus supplies ALL my needs.

I renounced his power, and with the authority of Jesus I took those thoughts captive.

Oh, and jealousy's little comrade -- self-pity -- that one got the worst of it. Because then I got out my thankful list and thankfulness entered the picture, and of course joy had to tag along, so they pretty much ganged up on the bad guys and ate them alive.

BAM. Freedom from jealousy and self-pity!

We really can be content in all stations of life, but only through the one who has defeated enemies like jealousy and self-pity. Left to ourselves, we will cave. I know that this may not be the last time I face them, but he who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. Jesus has the victory!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Marriage Retreat Reflections

Shane and I did not need a marriage retreat to tell us that our personalities are extremely different. And we are usually quite hesitant about listening to advice based on psycho-babble or based on personality tests, because we know that God has made each person unique. Nevertheless, a couple weeks ago we attended a marriage retreat where our personalities were identified and categorized... and it was a good thing. Because ultimately it gave us a better understanding of how a marriage like ours could thrive.

When you're a Christian (like we both are) and you believe what the Bible says about men being created to lead and women being created to help (like we both do), and you see how God made that combo so beautiful and powerful, you want to live it.

Easier said than done.

The thing is, Shane doesn't have much experience in leading a "planner," like me, and I don't know how to help such a "peacekeeper" like him.

My biggest challenge with marriage is that I am a woman with a mission and strong opinions. I do well with structure and goals and a plan. For me, being right is most important. (Made in the image of God, reflecting his justice and order.) God made me sort of intellectually-minded, curious, and a do-er.

Shane's biggest challenge with marriage is that he is an easy-going man with no agenda whatsoever. He does well with what he has in the moment. For Shane, being nice is most important. (Made in the image of God, reflecting his love and mercy.) God made Shane more simple, playful, and a be-er.

At the retreat we were reminded that we actually do need each other and we are each okay the way God made us. He made each of us, and when he was finished he said "it is very good." And so there is a way we can fully be ourselves and perfectly complete one another.

I don't know yet what this is going to look like when we are old and seasoned in marriage, but last weekend I got a glimpse of what it could look like if we both decided to be okay with the way God made the other one.

Here's a real life conundrum. I think about stuff a lot and also am extremely sensitive to spiritual stuff. We both usually get frustrated when I come up with an idea. We both might even like the idea, but we both have this preconceived notion that Shane, being the God-ordained leader, should be the one to come up with the ideas and plans and dreams and goals, and that he should be the one hearing from God all the time. So if a thought originally comes from me, then it can't be any good. It is a threat to his manhood, and I am overstepping my bounds.

But at the retreat, God used the speakers to show us that it's okay for me as a planner to think and dream, because it's who God made me. It's okay that Shane does not come up with the majority of the ideas or plans. (He often is the one who actually makes the plans happen.) This doesn't make him less of a leader. It doesn't make me less of a helper.

"Why? How can this be okay?" we asked Jim, the speaker.

His answer was this: Shane can lead in the way he responds to me. He has the power to take my idea and do something with it... He can either respond pridefully and take offense to the idea, or receive it as a gift and possibly as guidance from God. After praying about the idea, he can even own it if he senses God's leading! After all, we are one flesh, are we not?

In this way, I have the freedom to be myself AND bless my husband!

In the same way, if Shane leads our family to be "present in the moment" by playing a game or watching a movie together or being the last ones to leave a gathering (every. single. time.)... it's not necessarily a waste of time or meaningless. (Wink, wink to all those planners out there... you know what I'm talking about.) In fact, some down time or conversation might be exactly what we should do.

The personal key to this working for me is:

Bringing my ideas, plans, dreams, goals, and opinions to Shane with humility and respect.




(Maybe I should start by learning what those are... ha.)

Likewise, instead of ignoring me and wishing he was more original instead of me, Shane can learn to value my ideas as an addition to his own personhood. Wife = great resource. As someone once said, do what you can with what you got. :)

And him with that whole "above all else, be nice" thing? It usually just annoys me, but when I look closely it's a lot bigger than "being nice." Of the two of us, Shane really has the biggest, most unselfish heart. I want to remember that his heart is an asset to me, a gift. Because, of all the benefits we have collectively, Shane's heart is what could really do the most good and bring God the most glory in this world.

And my wonderful better half will now complete my thoughts with the following:

"We really are each other's best asset. Learning to be okay with who I am plays a huge part in how I can view my wife as an asset. Knowing that I am 'justified' and 'okay' in God's eyes gives me the freedom to accept myself and her, and vice versa."


The slow cooker ketchup was a huge success. I don't see us going back to the bottled sugar ketchup after this. Not only is this ketchup healthier, but it was bursting with rich, warm flavor. The more we ate the more we liked! I used it in my meatloaf, a half-cup in the meat loaf and a half-cup in the sauce. It was wonderful! We will use it again on turkey dogs later this week.

Here I am posting the recipe as I used it from the Simply Sugar and Gluten free cookbook, but you can also find it at the web site: Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

28-oz can tomato puree
1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/4 c brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
salt & pepper, to taste
25 drops liquid stevia

Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in a five-quart slow cooker. 

Stir well. 

Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half-hour, until onions are very tender.

Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. 

Season with salt and pepper. 

The ketchup should be thick. If necessary, return it to the slow cooker for 1/2 to 1 hour.

 Transfer to mason jars. 

Refrigerate for up to two months, or freeze. 

Makes about four cups.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gulliver's Corn

Corn and dairy are two of the top allergens, but if you still eat them, this is a great recipe. My mom originally got this recipe from a family friend 20-30 years ago and has been making it for holiday gatherings ever since. This version of Gulliver's corn is gluten-free and refined sugar-free.

4 lbs frozen corn
2 c half-n-half
2 tsp salt
4 tsp palm sugar
2 tbsp butter, plus extra
3 tbsp gluten-free flour
3 c shredded parmesan cheese

Bring corn and half-n-half to a boil in a dutch oven. Start it at medium heat and gradually bring it to medium-high, stirring. When you see bubbles, turn off the heat and add the salt and palm sugar. Melt the butter and add the flour to make a paste. Stir the paste into the corn mixture until it becomes thick. Pour the corn mixture into a large, sprayed roasting pan, and sprinkle the parmesan over the top. Drop pats of butter on top of the parmesan. Broil, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is golden. Serves 16-20.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fusilli With Cream Sauce

This is a simple and tasty cream sauce that you can whip up and add to any pasta. I used corn fusilli.

16 oz corn fusilli pasta
1/4 onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp olive oil
3/4 c chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c heavy whipping cream

Cook and drain the fusilli. 

In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in the oil until tender. 

Stir in broth and seasonings; boil for eight minutes, or until reduced by half. 

Stir in the cream; cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. 

Combine sauce with fusilli.

...And you have dinner. Fresh herbs would make this even better. You could also use rice pasta, which has a milder taste than corn pasta.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chocolate Syrup

I found this recipe on someone else's blog, except it was a recipe for refrigerator fudge. It didn't work as fudge for me. In my fridge, it turned into a thick layer of chocolate on top of a thick layer of oil.

BUT, when I reheated it and drizzled it over vanilla ice cream, it made the most wonderful chocolate syrup!

1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1/3 c agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt

Melt oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cocoa, then the other ingredients. Drizzle over vanilla ice cream. Serves six.