Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Monster Cookie Bars

This recipe is based off of my chocolate chip cookie recipe, but with a lot more goodies added and a quicker end result since there is no waiting by cooking them in bar form.  I originally made these for Super Bowl Sunday and we gobbled them up!  You could definitely do different add-ins depending on your own food allergy, but we are quite limited and really liked the combo we had anyway. 


Monster Cookie Bars:

Oven 350 degrees
13 X 9 parchment lined pan

1/2 Cup  Spectrum Shortening
1/4 Cup  Butter Substitute - we use soy free Earth Balance
1 TB.  Egg Replacer mixed with 1/4 Cup Rice Milk
3/4 Cup  Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Raw Cane Sugar
1 1/2 Cups  Brown Rice Flour
1/4 Cup  White Rice Flour
3/4 Cup  Tapioca Starch
1 tsp.  Xantham Gum
1 tsp.  Baking Soda
1/8 tsp.  Baking Powder
1/2 tsp.  Sea Salt
3 TB.  Rice Milk (may need a tad more depending on batter)
1/2 Cup  Allergy Free Pretzels, broken into pieces
1/2 Cup  Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
4 small (or 2 big)  Allergy Free Marshmallows, cut or tore into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.
To a mixing bowl add, shortening, butter substitute, egg mixture and sugars.  Cream together until well mixed, scraping down sides of bowl when needed.  Add to creamed mixture;  flours, starch, xantham gum, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and rice milk.  Mix on medium/low speed until blended.   Depending on your batter you may need to add a little more rice milk if it is not "forming", but it will be quite thick.  Mix in pretzel pieces and chocolate chips on low.  Add marshmallows pieces, but stir in by hand, as to not tear completely apart.  Spread into prepared pan.  I dipped my spatula into water to help spread the batter evenly into the pan.  Bake for 27 minutes.  Cool completely when done and cut into squares.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Autism.....and tying shoes!

Sometimes with Autism, it's the little things that mean the most.  Like, tying shoes!  My amazing youngest daughter, who just turned 11, has been working very hard at mastering this skill.  I really can't think back to how long we have been practicing it, but in the world of Autism, it isn't how long things take, it's accomplishing them that's the triumph.  The joy of seeing her proud smile when she realized she got it was priceless.  I thought I would share the learning board I made from which we practiced this skill as part of our daily learning.  We had tried many different way to learn this, but for some reason she took to this one the best.   

I just used a piece of cardboard, shoe laces, sharpie and printed instructions I thought she could relate too, printed off the internet.  I ended up going with the type of tying that starts by looping the shoelaces as "bunny ears".   At least that is what we called them because she liked it!  We first criss-cross tied the first part.  Then we made up a simple saying together about making bunny ears, crossing them and then having one bunny ear jump thru the the hole.  For some reason having the bunny ear jump "into" the hole instead of coming from under and up, was easier for her.  

I hope by sharing this, it will help another add just a little more independence to their own life!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Strawberry Chocolate Crumb Cake

My beautiful oldest daughter loves strawberries and chocolate.  And since she did me a huge favor,  what better way to thank her than to make a delicious crumb cake!   I chopped the strawberries up very small for this recipe so my youngest daughter, with food sensory issues, could enjoy it too, which ends up making it very moist.  


Strawberry Chocolate Crumb Cake:
oven 350 degrees
12 x 8 Brownie pan- parchment lined

For the Cake:

3/4 Cup  Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Cup  White Rice Flour
1/2 Cup  Millet Flour
1/2 Cup  Tapioca Starch
1 1/2 tsp  Xantham Gum
2 tsp  Baking Powder
1 tsp  Baking Soda
1/2 tsp  Sea Salt
1 tsp  Cinnamon  
1/4 Cup  Spectrum Shortening
1/4 Cup  Coconut Oil (non melted)
1 1/2 TB  Egg Replacer mixed with 1/4 Cup warm water
1 Cup  Coconut Palm Sugar
1/2 Cup  Pear Juice 
1/4 plus 2 TB  warm water
1 Cup  Strawberries (chopped or sliced)
1/2 Cup  Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

For the Crumb:

1/4 Cup  Brown Rice
1/2 Cup  Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup  Canola Oil
1/2 tsp  Cinnamon
1/4 tsp  Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12 x 8 brownie pan with parchment paper, set aside.
In mixing bowl add shortening, coconut oil, egg replacer mixture and coconut palm sugar and cream together until smooth.  Add pear juice and warm water and mix well.  At this point it may have a odd "bead" texture, but this is just fine.  Sift into creamed mixture the brown rice, white rice, millet four, tapioca starch, xantham gum, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon.  Blend until well combined, scraping down bowl when needed.  Stir in the chocolate chips and strawberries by hand.   Spoon into prepared pan.  Next in a small bowl, add  for the crumb, the brown rice, brown sugar, canola oil, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix together and sprinkle over the cake mixture evenly.  Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

This is one of my go-to recipes during a busy week.  It is simple and filling.  You can make it "as-is" or add lots of toppings and sides and turn it into a "bar" type dish.  I have made this for company and added sides like cheese, chopped onion, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, shredded lettuce, guacamole, hot sauces etc.. Then I set out warm corn tortillas and corn chips and everyone can decide how they would like to "build" their own plate!  If you add a salad you are set for a crowd. 


Spanish Rice:

3 TB  Olive Oil
1/4 large  White Onion  -chopped
1/2 large  Green pepper  -chopped
2 tsp.  Garlic   -chopped/minced
1/2 lb.   Ground meat  (beef, turkey, chicken, meat substitute)
1 1/2 Cups  Spaghetti Sauce (homemade or favorite jarred)
3/4 Cups  Water (or broth)
3 Cups  Brown Rice (cooked)
1 Cup  Spanish Olives (chopped)
1/4 Cup  Sugar (or preferred sweetener to taste)
2 tsp.  Sea Salt
3 TB  Chili Powder
1/4 tsp  Chipotle Powder (omit if sensitive to spicy foods)
Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add onion, green pepper and garlic and saute until tender.  Add ground meat and cook until browned.  Add spaghetti sauce and water to meat mixture, stir until combined.  Add cooked brown rice, Spanish olives, sugar, salt, chili powder, chipotle powder and pepper (to taste).  Stir until well mixed and simmer at low heat for 10-15 minutes.  Top with favorite topping and any extras.  Enjoy!