Green Pancakes, Hold the Ham

IMG_4017.jpg

I never thought we would be riding the gluten-free train in my house. I come from a family of bakers and the gluten-free variety of pretty much any baked good makes me cringe. However, we recently began taking my oldest daughter to a doctor who specializes in Chinese medicine. After a hair test, it became clear that she is sensitive to wheat and a couple dozen other things. We have resisted major diet changes for some time but when a recent flare up led us to topical steroids, i knew it was time for some root cause analysis.

IMG_4012.JPG

So here we are. Four weeks into the 8 week diet restrictions and my zest for cooking was seriously flagging. Turns out I'm not so creative without wheat or dairy (and the other two dozen things). Enter The Green Kitchen At Home. I had been following their colorful IG posts, thanks to a recommendation from a dear friend. She mentioned that she was really enjoying their most recent cookbook. I went back to their website and youtube videos. Eureka!! Gluten free, often dairy free. I never thought I would be so excited about those two things. The best part is that when you flip through their book, these two qualities don't seem limiting at all. A whole new world opens up of forgotten, healthy grains - spelt, buckwheat (which is apparently not related to wheat), barley and millet. A sprinkle, make that a handful, of veggies or fruit in EVERYTHING. The recipes look beautiful and taste even better.

IMG_4020.jpg

Thank you GK family. We love you!

IMG_4014.JPG

Dropping Bad Habits in February

FullSizeRender.jpg

The title is a little challenge for myself for the month. Being an overachiever, I couldn't choose just one habit. I'm choosing at LEAST three.

1. PUT. DOWN. THE. PHONE.

We try not to overdo the tech in our house. We are trying to raise our little ones so that they use their inner resources to entertain themselves. I am reluctant to turn on the TV for them, often offering creative or playful alternatives. I try to be a good example. I don't watch TV in front of them and try to limit screen time, generally. That being said, I still find myself glued to my phone in quiet moments. Naptime - Youtube. Nursing - Instagram. Gaaaaaaah. So I deleted Instagram and downloaded this app for accountability.

2. No refined sugar and sometimes a coffee substitute.

I like coffee. Really like coffee. It's a daily ritual. I enjoy the smell of the beans. Like taking the time to actually make the cup. From grinding, to stove top, to hand frothing. But I also have sugar in each cup. As I have yet to break this habit, I'm switching to a dash of maple syrup this month. And NO sweet treats with my coffee. Also, instead of an afternoon cup of coffee, which has become a recent habit, this grain drink.

IMG_3454.JPG

3. Home baked bread

8-EB_BreadSequence-6422_WEB.jpg

VIA EDIBLE BOSTON

A dear friend sent me this link to no knead bread. It's a game changer. I'm not saying I will never go back to store bought bread, but it's so easy, that we could easily go several weeks without a special stop at the bakery.

The Perfect Cup

Good morning! Today I want to share my favorite cup of coffee - low tech cappuccino. You will need: ground french roast coffee or espresso, a stove top espresso maker, a stove top frother, secret ingredients: ground vanilla and ground cinnamon, whole milk and sweetener (optional).

If you're a Nespresso kinda gal and you've never seen a stove-top espresso maker, this is what it looks like.  The base is filled almost to the top with water.  Don't fill it over the water line or over the gasket, if your coffee maker does not have a water line.  Then, the coffee is heaped into a metal filter, which fits into the base.  Next, you screw the top on and put it on the stove top to percolate.

 The espresso maker and frother side by side

The espresso maker and frother side by side

Fill the frother about one quarter to one third of the way with milk and cook until a film forms on top, with little bubbles around the edges.  Do NOT boil.  Remove from heat.  The espresso is ready when the top is full and coffee is no longer spewing from the spigot.

Voila espresso.

 The frother pictured with the top.

The frother pictured with the top.

The top looks just like a french press top. Pump the handle up and down for about half a minute.

Frothy goodness.

When our powers combine...

Finished product.  Please excuse the glare.  These photos were taken under duress, with two hangry (hungry/angry) little ones vying for my attention. Enjoy!