Change (and Snowflakes) are in the Air...
Katie: We've got some crazy changes going on in our family right now. Want some hints? I just loaded 18 bags of stuff onto the Salvation Army truck, I've got streaks of red touch-up paint in my hair, and I've started checking Zillow.com more often than I check my email. That's right....we're moving. :( (Anybody got a Kleenex for my mom?)
My husband just accepted a job in Oklahoma City; so we'll be living in a suburb just north of there called Edmond. Is it possible to be equally happy and sad? I'm excited about my husband's new job, excited to meet new people, excited to find a new home....but overcome with sadness when I think about leaving those we care about most...my mom, my dad, aunt, and cousins who will now be 3 hours away, our small faith group and friends from St. Mary's, our amazing neighbors...our precious little goddaughter, Ellie. Okay, now I need a Kleenex.
Anyhow...needless to say, things are a little hectic right now (has anyone seen Matthew? Hey, what's that noise coming from the back of the Salvation Army truck?)...So we'll need to put the blog on hold for a little bit.
Don't worry, though..."Eat for Your Life" will go on! While Katie and her family getting settled, I’ll be experimenting with new recipes and adding them to our site.
For now, please enjoy Honey Tortilla Snowflakes, created by Grammie and Carolyn.
Carolyn: A few weeks ago it was my turn to visit Grammie and Granddad's for the weekend. My favorite part about going to their house is that we always get to create something in the kitchen! This time Grammie had the ingredients ready for a new treat.
Barb: First you need to gather your ingredients: 1 tablespoon butter, melted, two tablespoons raw honey and cinnamon. Oh, and you'll also need some multi-grain tortillas.
Fold the tortilla in half but don't crease the fold.
Fold again. Now with scissors (that have been washed really well), start to trim the outer edges, just like you would a paper snowflake. Warning: don't cut too much or Carolyn says "it will go collapsie."
Carefully unfold the tortilla and lay it out on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Add the honey to the melted butter and shake in some cinnamon.
Stir it up!
Make sure you put on a lot of honey/butter or else (according to Carolyn) it will taste like "chopped liver." And she says to make sure you get the edges because that's where you take the first bites! Caution: this is a very messy recipe but well worth it!
Put the baking pan under the broiler for a minute or so until the honey bubbles and the edges turn up a bit. When it's cool, you can move it to a plate.
Let's see how it tastes...........
Just one more bite to make sure...... Great!
Julian's wondering what happened to that chopped liver...
Arsenic, Agent Orange...Sugar?
Barb: I was BETRAYED....
betrayed by my best friend. We used to go everywhere, side by side. She was such a party girl, she invented new names for herself wherever we went. At the movies she called herself Kit. Kit Kat. She showed up at church, mingling during coffee hour and introducing herself as Chocolate Glazed. She’d linger at the check out counter, whispering, “Just call me Snicker.” But each time we got together, I felt empty...unfulfilled. Like any abusive relationship, I finally realized that she didn't care about me. That Sugar! What a mean-hearted woman.
We hear reports nearly every day about the damage that sugar can do to our bodies. Just this month, the University of California, San Francisco Medical School released a report stating that sugar is so toxic, it should be regulated like alcohol. (You can read about the the report here). Their research was based on the United Nations 2010 study, which indicated that people are dying of obesity and preventable "lifestyle diseases" at an alarming rate. While the regulation of sugar might be controversial, the fact that sugar contributes to disease has been around for decades.After my cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy, Katie and I did lots of research on health and nutrition. The book, "Anti-Cancer" by Dr. Servan -Schreiber became one of our favorite resources. We decided that the risks of sugar far outweigh the momentary high of its consumption. We said good-bye to Cinnabon, Hershey's, and Twinkies...but that doesn't mean that we let go of sweets altogether (that's crazy talk). We found a way to indulge our sweet tooth without compromising our health...We found raw honey and coconut palm sugar. These are two excellent sugar alternatives that we've included in many of the desserts on our website. Just as a side note, while we DO like our sweets, we try to limit ourselves to one or two baked goods per month. (For our daily indulgence, we eat one square of 72% Dark Chocolate each day after lunch.) :)
First let's talk honey. Raw honey is the best choice because it has a lower glycemic level than table sugar. That means you won't spike your blood sugar and put yourself on a roller coaster ride, returning to the ticket-taker exhausted but begging for another ride. Use raw honey to sweeten your tea or coffee, or to flavor your yogurt or oatmeal. Because it's sweeter than table sugar, it actually takes less.
Buy local raw honey when you can because it contains immune stimulating properties needed for your body to adapt to your environment. I’ve been buying a local natural honey from Tuckerbee's. I've found it in several shops and at Bartlesville Farmer's Market. Before bottling, it's heated at a low temperature and it's not overly filtered.
Coconut Palm Sugar scores a nice low 35 on the glycemic index scale, compared to 70-80 for refined sugar. It's granulated, has a caramel flavor, and can be substituted for regular sugar in all your recipes. Click here to read the many health benefits of Coconut Palm Sugar. http://www.livestrong.com/article/280219-healing-benefits-of-coconut-palm-sugar/ Hopefully you know by now we don't like sending people all over the place to buy obscure/expensive products. But this one we can't do without. We always try to find the best deals on these products. For example, you can get Coconut Palm Sugar in bulk on Amazon (with free shipping) for way cheaper than you can get it in health food stores. Check it out here
Once you have your Coconut Palm Sugar in hand, you'll be ready to try Andrea's Whole Grain Waffles. Instead of drowning your waffle in syrup, try pouring about one tablespoon raw honey on your plate and dipping each bite. Delicious!
The Secret to Sweet Success
Katie: This month on Eat For Your Life, we'll be talking about "Sweet Smarts"...specifically, how to cut back on sugar, but still satisfy your sweet tooth by using better ingredients (you can read all about one of our favorite pantry staples at the bottom of this post). These melt-in-your-mouth cream puffs are filled with a creamy, honey-sweetened pudding, and lightly drizzled with dark chocolate. You can probably tell that Mom and I like our sweets..but we try not to eat them too often (usually a couple times a month). However, Valentine's Day is coming up next week...which we think is the perfect opportunity for a little indulgence. Don't you agree?
Barb: Cream puffs are elegant and suprisingly easy to make. Besides the filling and glaze, these are the only ingredients for the pastry: Butter, water, whole wheat pastry flour and a dash of salt.
Ready to get started? Cut parchment paper to fit your baking sheet. Draw heart shapes, at least 1 inch apart on the underside of the parchment. (Discovered that the hard way when lead pencil imprinted on my cream puffs.) I use a heart-shaped cookie cutter (about 3" width) to draw around.
In a small saucepan, bring water, salt and butter to boil. Next add the flour and stir for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time. Stir until smooth.
Place a sandwich baggie in a cup. Pull the zipper top over the outside to keep it clean. Fill the bag with pastry dough. Place the baggie on a flat surface and press the dough to the bottom. Zip and roll the top of the bag so the dough is confined to the bottom part.
Clip about 3/4 inch from one corner of the baggie. Squeeze the baggie gently and pipe the hearts along the lines that you drew. Fill in the center with more piped dough. Dip your finger in water and smooth out the heart.
After baking, the heart puffs should be placed on a rack. Once cool, they can be cut in half with a serrated knife. A small spoon is needed to remove any unbaked pastry. (It happens to us all.) Here's the good part: the cream puff shells can be frozen (tightly sealed) for up to 6 weeks! Or you can begin the filling process right away. Your choice. How long can you wait?
For the cream filling, go to our recipe for Honey Banana Pudding, and make one batch. But leave out the bananas. Spoon the cooled pudding into the pastry shell and add rasberries.
Put on the top and add chocolate glaze and you're ready to roll. I would have dusted with powdered sugar with the warning "sugar for display only" but I figured my daughter would see right through that one. See complete recipe for Valentine Creme Puffs here. | |So what's the deal with "Whole Wheat Pastry Flour?"Katie: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (WWPF) is a wonderful alternative to the non-nutritive, bleached, white flour that has become the staple of American baked goods. Why?1. WWPF is made from 100% Whole Grains, and has not been stripped of its nutrients.2. WWPF is higher in dietary fiber. Fiber helps lower cholesterol & protects against disease.3. Unlike regular whole wheat flour (which is ground from "hard" grains), WWPF, is ground from soft wheat berries, and hence, does not have that wheaty, card-boardy, unedible texture.And most importantly...4. It tastes pretty darn good...and gosh darn it, people like it.When my mom first started making waffles using WWPF, I said, "Mom. Are you SURE this flour is healthy? These taste just like regular waffles." No joke. Not only do my kids LIKE the Whole Grain Waffle recipe (listed below), but they frequently request it.Check out some of these SWEET recipes, all using WWPF:Oatmeal Apple MuffinsAndrea's Whole Grain WafflesValentine Cream PuffsHow does one use "Whole Wheat Pastry Flour?"Much like regular pastry flour, WWPF has a light and airy texture, and is perfect for any kind of baking--including cookies, muffins, cakes, pancakes, and pie crusts.The ratio is 1:1, when substituting for white flour. If just starting out with WWPF, you can try using half white flour, and half WWPF.
Where can you buy "Whole What Pastry Flour?"1. Whole Foods (in the bulk section)2. Reasor's (in 5 lb. bags, in the baking section...cheaper than Whole Foods)3. Order from Amazon (Bob's Red Mill 5 lb. bag)--only .02 per ounce, (AND free shipping after purchase of over $49 with Vitacost).4. If you know where to find WWPF in your area, please share below!For even more about WWPF, visit our Tips and Tricks section.See ya'll next week!Love, Katie and Barbp.s. If you'd like to subscribe to our weekly blog, you can enter your email address on the home page. The blog features recipes, stories, health tips, and more.