New and not so improved

hillibs

I have been gone awhile and really feel bad for that but for the record things have been going on….. First and the biggest is the fact that I have been put on a new diet. Because of new happenings with my body as I have been saying I am on a no dairy no soy no fun diet now. After reading ingredients on EVERYTHING i have decided the only things I could eat were fresh. This popped my naturally ” i am always ready to bake” bubble. After listening to the doc and cutting out a few things i was still in pain so I decided to put myself on a FODMAP diet. It seemed really easy at first until I realized that also meant giving up gluten. So here we are no dairy, no soy , no gluten, no chocolate and no alcohol. Like I said before no fun diet.

After I finished my pity party I decided it was time to man up. People have been having this problem recently and now is the best time to start having it considering all of the alternatives there are in the world. So here it is….my page is changing from look at all the things you can make lactose free to lets see what I can make that fits in a no fun diet. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s bound to get interesting. Just hang in there while I figure out how to teach myself to cook all over again haha.

As always enjoy.

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Enchiladas

Enchiladas

I know it has been awhile, but I made the best Enchiladas tonight. Lately I have not been liking my food….the reason….I am following the recipes :(. I hate it when I do that. So the other day while looking through my recipe books, I ran into a recipe for easy enchiladas. I was instantly hungry because why wouldn’t someone who is lactose intolerant want enchiladas. As I am reading this recipe though I realize a few things….

1. It calls for Chicken sausage…..

2. There is no enchilada sauce…

These are big “not going to happens” in my book so here is what I came up with.

2 lbs Ground beef (we used deer meat) It has less fat and well my husband is awesome and hunts!

1 red bell pepper chopped

1 onion finely chopped

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

2 large tomatoes chopped

1 can black beans

1 can pinto beans

1 can enchilada sauce ( i use a red medium sauce)

10-12 flour tortillas

1 year aged sharp cheddar cheese (the longer the cheese ages the less lactose it has in it) I found this in the deli

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 glass pan with cooking spray

2. Brown your meat in a large skillet (i use cast iron). While your meat is browning add your red bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes. When your meat is brown and your veggies are soft, add your chili powder and cumin. Cook for one minute making sure the seasonings get cooked in thoroughly. Stir in your Black beans and Pinto beans. Mix well continuing to cook. Add your enchilada sauce and mix well.

3. Place your tortillas one at a time in your glass pan, filling one, rolling it and facing the seam side down. Then add another and once it is rolled push it up against the next one so they do not unroll on you. Do this until your pan is full, mine fit 11. With all of the left over stuff in the pan spoon it over the top of your enchiladas including the juice. Shred your cheese on top as much or as little as you like.

4. Bake your enchiladas until the cheese is melted.

I know your asking what all I changed.

I changed the meat from chicken sausage to ground beef (deer meat).

It called for stewed tomatoes I used garden fresh.

It called for fat free cheese…..Not even going to explain that one haha.

I added enchilada sauce to the recipe…they just can’t be enchiladas if there is no sauce….sorry.

As always enjoy.

So many things I usually would not have added like the beans but was really good.

Lactose free Cheesecake

Ok here we go this one is going to be an overload but if you are like me and miss being able to eat cheesecake without getting sick I have found the trick.

First of all do you remember those wonderful drops I told you about that take the lactose out of milk, you are going to need those and Mesophilic culture.

lactase dropsMesophilic culture

Buy 4 quarts of Heavy whipping cream and put the drops in them. It will take 24 hours for the lactose to be removed from the cream. Once your 24 hours is over pour all of the cream into a glass container (I had to use two). Each quart of cream needs 1/8 tsp of the culture. So I put 1/4th tsp in each of my two containers and lightly covered them…they have to be able to breathe so do NOT seal these containers. From there it sits for 12 to 14 hours or until it is a yogurt consistency.

From there you pour your cream which will be thick now into cheese cloth. I took a large stock pot and put a strainer on top of it then put my cheese cloth in the strainer. This will slowly drip out for the next 8-12 hours. The longer it drips the thicker it is. DO NOT put this in the fridge at any time up to this point. If it goes in the fridge the culture stops working. After it has drained if you want to you can add sea salt to taste. This will also get more of the liquid out of your cream cheese so if you add salt let it drain a little while longer. Once you are ready scrape the cream cheese out of the cheese cloth and place it in the fridge. Everything that I had read said that you would get about a cup of cream cheese from a quart of heavy whipping cream…..I got 8 cups from 4 quarts! Here is where I found the recipe for the cream cheese.

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http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/10/how-to-make-cream-cheese.html

If you want to, with the drippings you can throw it in a mixer and make cultured butter. I have a “how to make butter” recipe on here that will tell you how to do it but basically, I threw all the drippings into my kitchenaid mixer and covered it with a towel. Mix on medium and the butter will separate from the butter milk. When you take the butter out squeeze as much of the whey out of it as possible. The more you get out the longer it will last. And the excess after the butter is butter milk. It makes wonderful buttermilk pancakes :).

Back to our cheesecake.

Now I will include the cheesecake recipe I used by sharing the site I got it from. This recipe also calls for sour cream so you will need to purchase 8 oz. sour cream and put your drops in that also and allow it 24 hours to get rid of all that lactose that likes to reek havoc on our stomachs. Here is the website with the recipe and instructions on what to do.

http://www.ninerbakes.com/2011/10/04/the-best-original-new-york-style-cheesecake/

Now at this point you have made your own cream cheese (lactose free) and taken all the lactose out of your sour cream. This is what makes your cheesecake lactose free. Remember also that a cheesecake has to have time to set. Mine set for 24 hours in the fridge. You will also have a jello consistency when it is done until it sets in the fridge don’t panic when it wobbles! Here is what I ended up with.

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This cheesecake is amazing! I ate a very large slice and enjoyed every bit of it. The thing is, when you go years without being able to eat something and all of a sudden you figure out how to do it….yep it’s worth all the extra effort and time of making it yourself. As always enjoy. I am by no means an expert I am trying things to see if we can enjoy lactose foods again but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sausage and bean soup

This has such a great flavor and is so easy. So here is what you need.

1 package of hot jimmy dean sausage

3 cups dry pinto beans

6 cups water

8 oz of my freezer salsa…or a can of rotel.

Put your beans and water in a large pot and simmer for 3 to 4 hours.

add the salsa and raw sausage and continue to simmer breaking up the sausage as you cook it.

Mine was done in 5 hours but I will leave it on the stove until dinner time which is another 5 hours away from now. I can’t wait until dinner tonight it has such a great flavor and was so easy. Enjoy as always. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mozzarella, Ricotta, and farmers cheese (Lactose free)

Attention all Lactose intolerant people!!! I have tried nearly all of the Lactose free cheese and they are…ummm ok but lets face it if you are someone who loves cheese and you are lactose intolerant the only thing you want in a nice large slice of pizza orย  lasagna…why because it is the thing your body tells you that you cant have. So the first thing you do is try to work around the fact that you can’t eat these things. You take pills and you buy the tofu stuff and you just deal with it. Well I have something to share. I have talked about the lactase drops on here before but I will share again. What I do is buy a regular gallon of milk and then put these drops into the milk. Once the milk has set for 24 hours you can drink it without a problem.

lactase drops

I recently went to a local dairy and bought raw milk (straight from the cow). This also makes sure that there are no preservatives in the milk and makes sure that your milk is as fresh as you can get it. I bought 2 gallons in order to make cheese. I am starting with easy ones and plan to get slowly to the harder ones. My first one that I tried was farmhouse cheese. It was so easy you would not believe it. I poured half a gallon of milk in a large stainless steal pot and brought it to 180 degrees then poured a little over 1/3 cup vinegar in the pot. You then turn the heat off and wait 15 minutes once that is done you strain all of the whey off of the cheese and press it together with your hands or you can use spoons. Try to press as much juice off of it as you can. I poured mine through a small mesh strainer and it was lined with cheese cloth. I then placed it in a plastic container. I was so excited about my first homemade cheese. I made spaghetti and then chopped up small pieces of this cheese and threw it into the sauce. This cheese will not melt and holds it shape. This is the website that I got the recipe from. http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/breakfast/homemade-farmers-cheese/. Let me just say it was amazing to be able to eat cheese in a meal and not have to worry about it making us sick!

farmhouse cheee

Moving on….

Today I made Mozzarella. I was really worried about this one because I have read if your milk isn’t fresh enough it wont turn out at all. I would hate to waste my time making something that doesn’t work but I figured it was worth a try. So after my drops had been in my milk for 24 hours I tried it. One full gallon of milk poured into my large stainless steal pot and add 1tsp citric acid. I turned my heat to medium low and waited until the heat reached 90 degrees.ย  While that is heating up you dissolve 1/4 rennent tablet into 1/4 cup water and once your milk reaches 90 degrees your pour your mixture into the pot over a slotted spoon. Turn the heat off immediately and stir in mixture for 30 seconds. Wait 8-10 minutes then go cut your curd into a grid. Then stir slowly for 1 minute. Take your slotted spoon and place in a microwave safe bowl…I used a large measuring cup. try to get as much of just the curd as you can and pour off any excess that ends up in your bowl. Once you have most of the whey out of your cheese place it in the microwave for 1 minute. Pull it out stir it and pour excess whey off it again and place in the microwave for 40 seconds. Put it back in the microwave for another 40 seconds and pour excess off again. At this point your curds should be sticking together and becoming sticky. At this point you will need to salt your cheese with 2 tsp cheese salt. You will kneed the salt into the cheese and then stick it back into the microwave for another 40 seconds. When it comes out it will be hot but at this point you will need to start stretching it and kneading it so that it will become shiny and stretchy. Once it is shiny and stretchy place it in a ice water bath for five minutes. This is amazing Mozzarella, it’s taste is wonderful and the fact that it is lactose free is amazing. I am making Lasagna Saturday for the first time in over a year.

http://allthingsblog56.blogspot.com/2014/11/homemade-mozzarella-cheese.html

mozzarella

Finally last but not least all of the drained off whey from your Mozzarella that you just made can also make Ricotta. But it has to be made within 3 hours of the Mozzarella or it cools down to much and it wont work. Take the whey and place it back into the stainless steal pot then add 1 quart milk to the mixture and heat it to 200 degrees. After it hits 200 degrees turn off the heat and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for five minutes. Then in a cheese cloth lined strainer pour the liquid through. You can let it drain in the sink or use a pot to catch the whey. I use the leftover whey for bread and pancakes…or anything that calls for milk or water in the ingredients. The ricotta will have to drain for a while mine took 45 minutes. After it was done I placed it into a container for my Lasagna that I am making Saturday.

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There is nothing more this week that I am more excited over than tasting my lasagna…that wont make us sick. Yay to being able to make my own cheese for recipes that is Lactose free! As always enjoy…I hope this is helpful to someone.

Sunrise Wanton’s

Well I had a great idea for breakfast this morning. I had some wanton wrappers on hand and thought I might try doing a breakfast thing with them. So in a hot cast iron skillet. I cooked 6 eggs (scrambled) 3 pieces of bacon then chopped into small pieces, 1 avocado chopped up, and 1/3 cup of my homemade salsa. I then threw all of this into a bowl and mixed it all together to make the filling of the wantons.

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From there I separated my wanton’s so that I could fill them easily and quickly. ย I took 1 teaspoon of filling and placed it into the center of the wanton.

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Wet all four sides of the wantons with water. I use a brush so I can do it quickly. Then pull all four corners together at the top and seal the open sides to seal in the goodies.

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Once that was done I sprayed them with liquid butter so that they got a glazed look to them when they were done cooking and placed them in the oven that was preheated at 425 for 12 minutes. Three out of four of us really enjoyed them. I put extra hot sauce and salt on mine just for some extra flavor. You can also add cheese but with all of us being lactose intolerant I try to stay clear. This will re-warm in the microwave in about 30 seconds and they can also be frozen for another time. I made about 30 of them and had some filling left over and we just threw that in a tortilla and ate it so that nothing would go to waste. As always enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Neptune science project Paper mache

Hayleigh had a project to do Neptune any way she could figure out. So after looking at pinterest and feeling like i could do anything we decided to tackle paper mache….which I have never done.

So we blew up a balloon and mixed up paper mache liquid.

Paper Mache paste recipe: ย Mix 1/2 cup flour and 3/4 cups water. 1/4 tbs. salt for mold prevention and/or 2 tbs. white glue for strength which is optional but we did it.

Then we dipped paper into this liquid and placed it on the balloon.

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Then because I had never done this before we waited…and waited…and waited….seriously why does nobody tell you paper mache takes so long to dry. You have to wait to do a next layer until the first one dries…..so fast forward.ย IMG_9335

We got all of the layers done and made sure the entire thing was really dry and hard. Then we poked a hole into the paper mache and popped the balloon that was inside of it…it made the best sound and I really wish that I got a picture of Hayleigh’s face when we did it. From there we took 2 days to paint it so that our colors would not run and combine.

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Once it was painted and dried we cut the top of a gallon sized ice cream bucket around the ring and spray painted it silver for the ring on Neptune which consists of small dust particles and rocks.We placed that around our Neptune ball and connected it with hot glue and toothpicks. The we took one of my cake boards spray painted it black and Hayleigh added white and yellow stars….ta da you have Neptune!

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This took us two weeks! After we were done Hayleigh told me about the other kids projects….one kid brought a bouncy ball…..Nothing like feeling like an overachiever on a 3rd graders project…Oh well we had fun. ๐Ÿ™‚