Archive for September, 2013

When I found out my son and I had a gluten intolerance, especially to oats, I started experimenting with favorite recipes. Peach Crisp is one of the many I’ve worked on and though our family really enjoys it, even my husband who isn’t gluten intolerant, I’ve never shared it with anyone else. So if you end up trying this, let me know how you like it!

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Tiffiny’s Gluten-Free Peach Crisp

Peach ingredients:

2-3 sliced fresh peaches (or more if you like)

1 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

 

Topping ingredients:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sweetened almond butter (use crunchy style for more texture)

1/4 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract

1-1/4 cup brown rice flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts (optional, for more texture)

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Placed sliced peaches in a baking dish (9×9 or 8×8 or comparable). Combine the maple syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon and pour over the peaches. Dot with the 1 Tbsp of butter. Set aside.

Mix all the topping ingredients together until well mixed. Then dot small bits of the topping onto the peaches until the peaches are covered. (You may have extra topping leftover.)

Bake for 25-40 minutes, until peaches are bubbly and topping is browned. A shorter cooking time will make your topping more cookie-like, while a longer cooking time will make it crisper.

Let cool until firm, and serve warm. Yummmmm!

(If you use unsweetened almond butter, you may want to increase the brown sugar.)

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This will be my last peach recipe this season. I was going to do peach pie next but why? There are a million peach pie recipes out there so what’s the point. I’m not doing anything new or even trying to make a gluten-free pie. Nope, just using the recipe straight out of my 1956 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.

Also I’ve realized since my daughter’s condition has been stable and she’s in remission, instead of trying to find a new normal, I’ve tried to go back to the old normal, which is basically impossible. I’m not sure if I’ve been in my usual overachiever mode or if I’m in denial. Maybe both. Either way, I’ve been really stressed and need to back off on some of the things I’ve been doing. Extra cooking, extra blogging, extra anything, I’m cutting back on. So I may not be blogging as much but I’ll still be here, so don’t give up on me… = )

Until next time, Happy Peach Season!

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One of my favorite peach dessert recipes from childhood is Peach Cobbler, eating it fresh out of the oven on a brisk fall night… Never mind that the evening I made it this week it was still in the 90s, it was still delicious in our air-conditioned house, though not quite the same ambience as I remember.

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Taken from my 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook handed down from my maternal grandmother to my mom to me, and held together, yes, by duct tape, I converted the original recipe to gluten-free and updated it a bit (like using butter instead of shortening.)

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Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

(original recipe from 1956 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, Revised and Enlarged)

 

2/3 c. plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 c. water

3 c. sliced fresh peaches (or more if you like)

1 c. all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Mills)

3/4 tsp. xanthum gum

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

5 Tbsp. butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)

Cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, mix 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and water. Gradually stir in peaches. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour into 1-1/2 quart baking dish and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Mix together flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder, salt and xanthum gum. Cut 3 tablespoons of butter in “with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture looks like “meal”…” Stir in milk. Drop by spoonfuls onto hot peaches. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6

(If you want to make this a non-gluten-free recipe, just substitute regular all-purpose wheat flour in the same quantity, and omit xanthum gum. Also, Betty recommends using up to 1 cup sugar mixed in with peaches. I went with the 2/3 cup myself.)

ENJOY!

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My favorite time of year is approaching. Autumn, you say? Well, I do enjoy autumn, but actually no, my favorite season is Peach Season!

I missed Peach Season last year being in the hospital with my daughter. So I’ve vowed this year to make the most of it! No peach will be left behind!

This week I made a Peach Galette, one of our many favorites. It’s based on a Nectarine Galette recipe (shown below) I found on RealSimple.com. Sugar content is relatively low which is a plus. And it doesn’t take long to make. It’s so delicious as a dessert or even breakfast. Or, let’s face it, anytime of day. We love it!

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I planned to make this in the afternoon, but the day got away from me and by 7:30 I still hadn’t made it. My husband works at night and getting everybody in bed on time by myself doesn’t always go well. Even on a good night, cooking during bedtime isn’t a good idea, but I really wanted to use the lovely peaches we’d picked up from the farmer’s stand the day before. Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t going very smoothly. At 8:30 I was no closer to getting anybody in bed than I was at 7:30 so I decided, what the heck, I’ll make the Galette now.

Preparing the crust, slicing the peaches, sprinkling the sugar were all a small escape from the chaos. I put it in the oven, happy to have something yummy to look forward to, and felt ready to conquer bedtime again.

Bedtime was getting back on track when I took the Galette out of the oven. Perfect! But when I tried to move it to a pretty platter to take a picture, it started cracking. Agh! I hadn’t cooked it long enough! It was now 9:30 and whether it needed to cook longer or not, I was done. After a brief series of expletives I took a few quick close-ups, used the wonders of photo effects to cover my errors, then sliced the Galette. I carefully scooped a slice onto a plate but it ended up a lumpy pile of peaches and crust. Oh well. Two slices later and I finally felt I could handle getting the kids to bed. Very little went as planned but, you know, sometimes life isn’t very pretty but still delicious.

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As we celebrated Jenna’s 2nd birthday this week and as the one-year anniversary of Jenna’s diagnosis approaches, I feel nothing but gratitude

I am so grateful for Jenna, for her sweet, glorious spirit, her breathtaking smile, her delight in life and for her being part of our family.

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I am so grateful for the many wonderful doctors and nurses who have cared for Jenna, at the hospital and at home… Those hospital staff members who have made her procedures, clinic visits and hospital stays go smoothly and our experiences as pleasant as possible… The oncology and transplant social workers for their empathy and kindness… The hospital volunteers and therapy dogs who went out of their way to make Jenna’s hospital stays more pleasant… The music therapists who helped us write a song for Jenna and entertained and stimulated her with music during our long stays… Our family chiropractor who has offered supportive therapies during Jenna’s chemotherapy and for our friend Holly who has done energy work to help Jenna (and our family) process and deal with the trauma and stress of the past year… For Cindy, Jenna’s occupational therapist at home and for all those who helped with horse riding therapy this summer… For the home healthcare staff… And for modern medicine and the drugs that have healed and stabilized Jenna.

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I am so grateful for my husband, Mark, who has been so loving and supportive, who has worked 2 jobs to help pay our extra expenses and make up for me not working, even when he didn’t want to, who has bent over backward to make my life easier, for being an awesome husband and father, and for being the night nurse at home… And our son, Ryan, who has been so courageous and strong through all this, who’s been so tolerant of being shuffled back and forth between home and Gramma’s so many times, who has such a compassionate, caring heart and loves his little sister so much!

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I am so grateful for my mom who is… amazing! In the face of caring for a disabled husband, she has taken Ryan overnight many times, shuffling him back and forth between school and our home and her home, came to the hospital when Jenna was admitted as often as possible to spell me off, has kept tons of people abreast of the situation. Even now she watches Jenna 3 mornings a week so I can have a break. She brings us food so I don’t have to cook. She watches the kids so we can have dates. She will do anything she can for us. She has taken care of me when I didn’t have the energy to care for myself. She is generosity personified. She is and has been amazing!

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I am so grateful for my in-laws who have been unbelievably kind and generous during all of this, visiting as often as they could, being understanding of us being unable to visit, and providing support and love from afar.

I am so grateful for my sister, Teresa, who checks in with me regularly, making sure I’m (relatively) ok, who cheerfully visited us in the hospital on many occasions bearing dinner and chocolate and laughter. And for encouraging us to let people help us financially, helping us set up a donation site, and sharing it like crazy… For my aunt Kelly who visited us during each hospital stay, kept me company on lonely nights and watched Jenna so we could take Ryan out for some family fun.

For Heidi, who insisted I go hiking with her during that first month-long hospital stay, who brought us dinners and checks in regularly to see how things are… For Stephanie, Missa, Kristina, Karen, Natasha, Melissa, Sally, Lou, Sabina, Ka and Becky who brought us delicious, nutritious dinners and hugs, and seen our family through a lot of life over the years… For Angella, a friend of Mark’s who I’d never met, who came to the hospital, brought Jenna a lovely book and read to her so I could leave the room to eat dinner… For Melinda and Craig who took me out to lunch and listened and listened and listened some more… For Katy and Erin for driving long distances to visit and bring me fancy chocolates and nutritious treats… For countless neighbors who helped clean our house, mowed our lawn, brought flowers, helped with Ryan, and been kind, generous and compassionate.

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I am so grateful for those friends who have reached out and shared their experiences of caring for family members with cancer or similar diseases, for their empathy, love and support.

I am so grateful for my husband’s business associates, most of whom I didn’t know, who have been so very generous, providing cleaning services, donations, gifts, home improvements, organizing fundraisers and for being so caring and supportive of Mark during all of this… For Marilyn who organized donations of 3 months of frozen meals from Dream Dinners for our family.

I am so grateful for my stepsisters and their in-laws, who we’ve never met, who adopted us for Christmas and made the holiday special for our family in every way.

I am so grateful for Holly, Erin and Mark P. for working on my sore muscles… And for Cindy, Stephanie and Davi who have pampered me along the way.

I am so grateful for HopeKids, for the people who organize their events and volunteer, for the businesses who generously donate and give our family fun things to look forward to other than doctor visits.

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I am so grateful for Mark’s employer, the great benefits we have through them, the support of his team members and supervisors, and the company social workers who have offered their support since this all began… For government support which we’ve been reluctant to use but are grateful to have, and for the government employees who have guided us through the process with kindness and compassion.

I am so grateful for those people who visited us in the hospital, brought or sent treats, food and gifts, followed us on Facebook, shared our story, donated money, thought of us, prayed for us, called, texted, sent cards, sent their love, sent emails, offered to help, listened, or reached out in any way to let us know we were loved and thought of. All of you made a difference for us and lightened our load.

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There were many months I wasn’t sure Jenna would get through this, when I thought, “This will never end.” And yet here we are, not at the end, or even with an end in sight, but Jenna is well, better than ever, our family is whole, intact, solid. I am overcome with gratitude. And we, with all of you loving and supportive people out there, will continue on this journey with confidence and hope. Thank you!

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