Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake

Whether you are gluten free or not, this cake is amazing! It definitely does not last long in my household. This recipe is super easy to make and is a guilt free treat when you need something sweet!

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake Recipe: 

  • 1 Cup Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 12 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

First, I measure everything out so i'm ready, this is a time sensitive recipe. You'll need to measure the sugar in two bowls of 3/4 Cups each. You will use the sugar separately. Once everything's measured you can combine the flour, xanthan gum, and one bowl containing 3/4 cups of sugar. Seriously, be sure to leave out the cream of tartar and one bowl of sugar! I made the mistake once of mixing in the cream of tartar and had to dump everything! And when you're using gluten free flour that's not cool!

Next you probably want to preheat your oven to 325 degrees. You want to let your egg whites get to room temperature. This will help the maximize the volume of the egg whites. So go ahead and separate your eggs and let the whites sit in a stainless steel bowl until room temperature. This is the trick to getting the fluffiness of angel food cake. If you have to let your egg whites sit out for a few hours, go ahead. Once you've conquered this task, now comes the fun part. Using a whisk attachment, you'll need to beat the egg whites on medium-high until soft peaks form. You then stop the mixer, add your cream of tartar and salt, then beat until hard peaks form. This is much easier with a visual so if you need to refer to the YouTube, I found this video that really explains it well. Specifically watch the video from 1:50 seconds to 4:55 seconds. You can find the video HERE

Once you've gotten your eggs to hard peaks, move the bowl away from the mixer and fold in your flour mixture with a spatula. It's very important that you softly fold this in, too much whipping can deflate your egg whites. Once it's all mixed together, pour into an angel food cake pan and bake on 325 degrees for 55 minutes. You can choose to put icing on it or leave it plain. Ours rarely makes it to icing because we eat it so fast we don't have time to ice it. I will post recipes for icings a little later. Enjoy this gluten free angel food cake!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

UPDATE to Healthy Natural Homemade Dog Food

It's been a while since I posted the tutorial for 'Natural' Homemade Dog Food, but this is a long awaited and much needed update to my previous post. You can find my original post Here

I really probably should just delete the whole original post, but I want people to see that I am not perfect. I am always learning new things and always updating things as well. I have learned and experienced that the original recipe for my dog food was terrible!

So here's what happened. My dog really loved the food I made her. She chowed it like it was going out of style! I put her on a feeding schedule, so she went from eating the hard store bought food whenever she wanted, to getting fed real food twice a day. With this schedule and this recipe, she gained a ton of weight. She is only 4 and she looked like an old dog. Her fur was not as soft and silky, it was dry and actually starting to lighten to like a gray color! Also, the most important side effect, all around her ears was starting to peel! Her skin was so dry and she was breaking out all over! If I tried to pick or flake it away her hair fell out in those areas! The cause of this, in my opinion, was the gluten! The original post contained a salt substitute and wheat germ! Clearly, I made this recipe before we became gluten free.

What I changed since then, I only feed her Real natural food! So I still cook up the ground beef, and the vegetables. I also use any food that is leftover in the fridge. So if we haven't eaten all our leftovers, they go to the pup. And since we only eat legitimate healthy food, I know its all good for my dog.

So a typical batch of food will mostly consist of, ground beef, red kidney beans, peas and carrots, any leftovers like steak, vegetables, mashed potatoes, meats, etc. I also will put egg yolks in her food almost every time. This is because we make an awesome gluten free angel food cake and use 12 egg whites so I always have leftover egg yolks. I just cook them up and store them separately in the freezer so when its time to make dog food I just add them in the mixture.

I can proudly say that my pup eats very good! Since I have changed her diet, she still eats twice a day and after dinner she usually gets to play the role of the household 'dishwasher'. She is much happier, has tons of energy. Her coat is amazingly soft and silky and immediately after I took her off the gluten, her dry skin and flakiness went away. She also dropped the weight she gained and is a very healthy weight now.

I truly apologize for posting a recipe that wasn't the best possible choice for our loving animals. With the new food, I don't have a recipe, I just put food together that's healthy for her. I did recently have someone laugh when I was cooking the food for the pup. I asked why she was laughing she replied I just can't believe you feed your dog that. I said well we eat it, why shouldn't the dog eat good food too, would you eat hard dog food? Good Point! I know some people would object to 'table scraps', but we don't feed the dog at the table, we wait until we are done and anything leftover either goes into her food stash in the fridge or we put some in her food bowl. She is very good about not begging for food. I hope your pets are eating as good as they should be!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My First Piyo Class

What the heck is 'piyo'? That was my first thought too! Piyo is a new low impact, high intensity workout that combines pilates and yoga. Teaching 2 yoga classes a week myself I thought, sure lets try this. So I attended my first class, and survived. The familiarity of yoga was nice because I didn't feel totally out of place, but the endurance was amazing. We were constantly moving and doing repetitions of amazing sequences. At first my coordination was a little off and I was lagging behind with the movements, but I quickly let go of my mind and let my body do the thinking. It ended up being a blast! I will be attending a piyo class every week now, on top of my regular yoga of course!

A little about Piyo: It is designed to create lean muscle mass to burn fat quickly. These classes are great for anyone who wants to slim down or tone up. Since it's low impact it is friendly on the ankles and knees. There are no weights, no jumps, no props, just your body doing continuous series of movements.

Now, obviously I am not a Piyo guru, but I did do my research before I attended the class so I knew what to expect. I highly recommend trying a Piyo class near you!

Please comment if you have tried a class and what you thought of it! I would love to know! Namaste!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fresh Basil Lemonade

You're probably thinking one of two things, 'that sounds amazing' or 'yuck'. I promise you, I would not be posting this if it wasn't the most refreshing drink of the summer! Just as well, it's always a plus when you find use for something from your garden. We are overwhelmed with basil this year and this was just the recipe we needed to make use of it.

Basil Lemonade Recipe: 

  • 2 Cups Basil Lemon Syrup (will tell you how to make this below)
  • 2 Cups Cold Water
  • 2 Cups Ice
  • 5 Lemons

As I said above, you first need to make the Basil Lemon Syrup. This consists of:
  • 4 sprigs of fresh Basil
  • 2 lemon zests (this is the lemon peel
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Cups Water

Let all of this come to a boil for about 30 minutes. You will see the basil start to sort of deflate, thats a good sign. Once this has cooked, take off the stove and bring to room temperature. In the meantime you can prepare your lemons. I use 5 squeezed lemons. Since you brought the syrup to a boil we won't need to add sugar to the lemon juice. Add 2 cups of water to your lemon mixture. When the syrup is room temperature, add 2 cups into your lemonade. Store the rest in a mason jar in the fridge. This will keep for 5 days. You now have delicious, refreshing Basil Lemonade. Please comment if you try this!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gluten Free Recipes

Many people now days are jumping on the No Gluten bandwagon. As you may have read in my previous post about My Lifestyle Change Journey I not only went gluten free, but I also went chemical free. I am an all natural wild woman now. In that, I lost 10 pounds in my first month and I am more healthy now than I have been in my entire life. I will make another post updating everyone on how my diet and body is doing. For now, I am going to kindly provide you with some of my favorite recipes that I like to make now. Everything is 100% gluten free and healthy. No chemicals, nothing bad for you.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins: 

These are a hit at my family's weekly Sunday dinners. If I show up without these muffins I will hear the wrath of the family. Super easy to make and great with a glass of milk.
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Cup Smuckers Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup all natural Honey
  • 1/2 tsp. aluminum free Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
Super easy, just mix everything together in a mixer until incorporated and put into a muffin pan and bake on 350 for 15 minutes. I like to lather some butter on top when they are fresh out of the oven. >br>

Chocolate Chip Cookies: 

When you have gone gluten free it seems like all you crave are those darn chocolate chip cookies and a huge glass of milk! Well, these are the worlds best cookies. These are a hit with my family and friends as well. Even my non gluten free friends love them!
  • 1 3/4 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, I use Bob Mills
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. aluminum free Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 Cups Chocolate Chips. I use Enjoy Life brand's mini chips.
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
Mix together Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt. Set aside in a bowl. In a mixing bowl, incorporate Butter and Sugar together. Add egg. Slowly add in the dry mixture until everything is mixed together. Add in the chocolate chips. Scoop spoonfuls on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes on 325. If you have an electric oven you may need to alter this. Probably on 350 for 6-8 minutes. Store excess batter in the fridge while the rest is baking. Enjoy :)

These are my two favorite recipes. I will share more at a later time. I hope you enjoy these. Please comment with any success you have had. Or failure. . Also, if theres anything you want me to try to make gluten free, let me know. I love experimenting. I actually have a gluten free angel food cake in the oven right now! Namaste! :)