Friday, November 15, 2013

School, Cheese, Dessert - It's my life

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

1.

We just finished school for the day. My brain hurts. Seriously? After all, we're talking preschool and kindergarten. Not exactly mental gymnastics, folks.

Usually I just work on reading with Iain (5) and call it a day. However, for a change of pace, I had Lydia (4) working on the alphabet, identifying vowels, and ordering numbers 1-20. She did great! I love realizing how much my little sponges have absorbed from their older sibling(s).

Iain did number ordering 1-50, counting by fives and tens up to 100 and then some clock work. In just a few minutes, he got the hang of the minute hand, as long as I said a time that was a multiple of five. Progress, folks.
Daddy's little Cricket player

2.

I'm often asked what curriculum I use for school. The quick 'n easy answer is none. That will change next year, if not sooner. I'm hoping to find a Catholic Classical curriculum that's a good fit for us. I know there are a number of options out there. If you have opinions, pro or con, I'd love to hear them. I know every family and child is different, so your cons might be my pros, etc.

3.

Switching gears, I'd like to go back a few days to my Pumpkin Seed Milk Cheese. Perhaps this has already dawned on some of you kitchen-savvy folks, but what I made was...Tofu. Pumpkin seed milk tofu (my kiddos have a soy allergy, so real tofu isn't an option in our diet). Exciting and yet so disheartening. What am I supposed to do with tofu? I want cheese, not tofu, darn it all!

Anyone with a soy allergy who wants to make pumpkin seed tofu, I'm your gal.

4.

Speaking of non-dairy cheese, a lot of vegans enjoy a cheese-flavored substance called Nutritional Yeast. Do yourself a favor and "Just say 'no' and walk away." The stuff is a neuro-toxin. Specifically an excito-toxin that overloads your brain's glutamate receptors to the point of cellular death. Lovely, eh? Thanks but I think we'll just skip that cheesy flavor and keep the brain cells.


5.

Kite Hill is a company that produces artisanal cheese made from macadamia or cashew nuts. Apparently, these are sold at Whole Foods in the cheese section. If you can eat nuts but not dairy, maybe this news will make you cry tears of joy. Your welcome! Now, if I could figure out their process and do it with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, I'd be all set...

6. 

Tired of hearing about school and cheese? Me too. How about some allergen-free dessert!

What do all these ingredients make? A really big mess...and Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow). 



COCONUT BUTTER: from flakes to final product

The clear bag contains plain coconut flakes, bought in bulk. After about 5 minutes in the food processor they become the smooth liquid you see in the picture. After cooling to room temp for a few hours, that hardens to what you see in the jar.

Simply follow any recipe for Muddy Buddies, such as this one. Substitute coconut butter for the peanut butter and butter. Hey presto, gluten-nut-dairy-free chocolatey deliciousness! 

Btw, I don't usually use organic powdered sugar and I don't plan on buying it in the future. Let's just say, now I know why old recipes specify "sifting."

7.

Do you recall my love for Trader Joe's Cinnamon Almonds? Well, apparently they're having trouble with their supplier. In lieu of being heartbroken (I try to avoid heartbreak when possible) I set out to find an equivalent. While in Menard's the other day, I thought perhaps I'd found some in their Old Mill brand French Vanilla Almonds...

Let's just say, it shouldn't take a genius to realize that almonds bought from a store that stocks roofing materials, Christmas decorations, washing machines, pasta sauce and toilets probably aren't going to be up to snuff. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about sunflower seeds cheese? Here is a post I saw and thought of you: http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/garlic-and-chive-cheese-dairy-and-soy-free/
SarahB (a friend of Jaci's in Columbus)