Friday, June 3, 2011

We're back in business...halfway anyway!

So, I'm a week and a half out from surgery and feeling much better.  The recovery is going very fast in comparison to my C-section.  However, I'm learning I'm not quite back to my old self just yet.  I'm pulling/overextending abdominal muscles fairly easy and then my body forces me to slow down.  :/  But, I'm well on the way back to 'normal' and I'm hoping I'll feel better than before.  I think I will.  :)

I needed a chocolate substitute and two friends recommended I try carob.  I managed to find plain carob powder.  Last night I felt very ambitious/determined to partake in  a 'normal' activity so I tried baking a carob cake. As far as allergy baking goes it was a fairly simple and quick recipe.  If you're not aware of what carob is, I know I wasn't several months ago, it's basically like pure cocoa.  It even tastes incredibly similar.  I added a little dash extra of this and that and changed some of the ingredients around to make them appropriate for Duncan and *Wa-La* we ended up with a fantastic cake!

This was a miracle!  For every ten Duncan allergy friendly baking recipes that I try 6-7 are inedible, 1-2 are edible, but really not that good - after you eat the first piece or two so you're not being incredibly wasteful the rest gets tossed, 1 more might turn out 'fairly well' and when we're lucky *like last night* we get one that is stellar.  There was no grittiness (which is a huge problem when baking gluten AND corn free), the cake was not dense (a lot of extremely allergy friendly baking turns out very very heavy and a brick) but better yet it was light and fluffy!  And the topper was that it actually tasted very yummy!  It wasn't too sweet - but just enough.  With Duncan we always try to name everything a different name so we will be able to distinguish which recipe he's referring to when he's making special requests.  This one we're calling "Carob Muffin Cake" or just "Muffin Cake" for short.  It tastes like a very moist and fluffy chocolate muffin.   

And yes, for the record, I am VERY proud of myself!  I grew up baking with my Grandma and I was very good at 'traditional" baking pre-Duncan.  So, it's been my slow going quest to be just as good at allergy friendly baking as I am at traditional baking.  It's a whole different way of thinking and preparing ingredients.  It takes a lot of time and effort as ingredients can be expensive and more scarce to come by - but it's proving to be an extremely rewarding challenge!  :)

Hopefully this Sunday we'll take Duncan to his first Farmer's Market.   I am VERY excited.  Duncan loves vegetables and fruit and it's his favorite part of the grocery shopping.  On Wednesday he actually watched a documentary with me on Farmer's Markets.  Who knew?  I thought he'd fall asleep (which is why I put it on) but he was enthralled.  "Why food outside Mommy?"  "Why music outside Mommy?"  "What doing basket Mommy?"  And the questions went on.  His asthma is much better this year and pollen season is on it's downward slope finally here in NOVA so, to Market we shall go; hopefully.  

We'll keep you posted on the Farmer's Market.  Bread and Preserves are next on my 'to try' list.  Hopefully both will get a fair shake this weekend.  

Until then, happy baking, and I'm open to any suggestions or recommendations.  Whether it's recipes, advice or websites: any are appreciated!