Becky’s Chocolate Mousse (and Sarah’s Chocolate Icing!)

A small cross-stitch wall hanging has resided in my grandparents’ kitchen for as long as I can remember.  The artwork, carefully sewn by my grandmother for her love of over 67 years could also be my family’s motto:  “Chocolate Makes the World Go Round.”

I’m not a hard candy kind of gal.  But I do LOOOOVVVEE my chocolate.  And I was DEVASTATED to discover that for me and my new sulphite/salicylate-free diet, that meant (so I thought) no chocolate.  Forever.  And ever.

Let that sink in for a moment.  No.  More.  Chocolate.

Ever.

I must admit, I resigned myself to my depressing fate.  But not Sarah and Becky!  They were determined to find a solution for me, and find one they did!  It seems that while most Chocolates are processed with waaay too much “bad” stuff for me, raw cocoa powder (in moderation) is just fine.

And that is when they developed an amazingly delicious chocolate icing (Sarah) good for cookies and cakes (more on that in future posts) AND a decadent, delicious Chocolate Mousse (Becky).

This Chocolate Mousse is so good and so easy and so richly presentable that Becky served it this summer to ALL of her guests at her huge annual 4th of July bash as the main dessert.  I smiled to myself and cheered inside.  At long last, everyone was eating something that I could eat, too!!!!  And every single bowlful was licked clean.

Ready for this simple, old fashioned goodness?  Here are the recipes.  Enjoy!

20130712_212111

Sarah’s Chocolate Icing

1/4 cup white sugar
3/8 cup whipping cream, divided
1/2 cup cocoa powder (Hershey’s, Nestles, etc.)

In a microwave safe bowl, add sugar and 1/4 cup of cream. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cool in refrigerator. Once cooled, add the cocoa powder and stir until fully incorporated. Add remaining cream and stir vigorously until it’s a little bit fluffy and lighter in color.

20130713_102503

Becky’s Chocolate Mousse

Make Sarah’s Chocolate Icing as above. In a separate bowl whip 1 cup of cream with 2 tablespoon of sugar until stiff. Then add the chocolate icing and stir until mixed. Voila! Bon apetit!

You can change all of the ratio’s depending on how chocolatey/sweet you want it!  It also tastes better if you let it chill for a while in the refrigerator … if you can wait that long!

Advertisements

Becky’s Rainy Day Beef and Barley Stew

It was rainy. It was gloomy.  It was four o’clock in the afternoon and after chasing the kids all day I still hadn’t eaten lunch — or prepared a week’s worth of sulphite/salicylate-free food for an upcoming trip.  A pot of black beans burbled on the stove top, but other than that, some Rice Krispies, and a whole heck of a lot of potato chips, my healthy nutrition for the coming week was questionable at best.

But wait!  What was that?  A knock on the door?

Through the window pane I could make out the form of a woman clutching the hand of a little girl.  I opened the door, and there they were: the amazing chef Becky and her little mini chef clinging to her dress.

“I was bored today,” she said, a twinkle in her eye, “so I decided to make you some beef and barley stew.”  She held forth a bowl of warm, delicious stew.

20130711_161748

“Oh,” she added as an aside, “and I made extra, too.”  There, nestled in a silver tray, lay bag upon bag of stew, all prepped and ready for me to take on my trip.  Isn’t God good?

As soon as she left, I sat down for a sample and immediately sighed with delight.  That stew was a comfort food I didn’t even know I was missing!  Wow, did it hit the spot.  Even my allergy-free husband wanted a second bite (or two!  or three!).  I can’t wait to eat it on my upcoming trip — and I just know it will be the perfect food for those gloomy, rainy (healthy!) comfort food days.

Food intolerant or not, there is NO WAY you should be without this soup in your cooking recipe repertoire.  So, so, so, so good.  Try it for yourself!

Becky’s Rainy Day Beef and Barley Stew
Ingredients:
3 lbs Beef (stew meat or roast) in 1 inch cubes
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup soy sauce (Make sure it’s preservative free)
1/4 cup whiskey (optional)
2 cups barley pearls
12 cups water
2 teaspoon sea salt
In a large soup pot place the cubed beef, oil, flour and celery. Brown on on high to sear the beef. Add soy sauce and whiskey and reduce heat to low and cover. Adjust heat to maintain a very slight simmer and simmer until beef is tender. Depending on the cut of beef it could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2+ hours. Meanwhile in another pot add 2 cups barley, 12 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. The water will not be gone. When the beef is tender add barley and water to beef mixture and stir. Taste and season with more soy sauce or if it’s too salty add more water.
REGULAR VERSION: If there are no sensitivities/allergies to accommodate, add about 1 cup of carrots and 2 teaspoons of pepper to the barley. Reduce the soy sauce to 1/4 cup, use the oil of your choice, and add one packet of french onion soup mix to the beef mixture after browning the beef.

Homemade Granola!!!

Image

As a life-long breakfast cereal eater, imagine my shock when I discovered that for the sulfite/salicylate intolerant, there is only ONE cereal in the universe … ONE! … that can be eaten without causing a reaction.  One cereal.  IN THE UNIVERSE.  (It’s Rice Krispies, by the way.  And ONLY the actual bonafide Rice Krispies, which, fortunately for me, I like just fine).

I am also a life-long non-yogurt eater.  The texture makes me gag.  UNLESS, of course, I can add granola and fruit.  Unfortunately, most granola (even the crunchiest of crunchy healthfood granolas) is made with brown sugar or honey or cinnamon — sure to send me straight into anaphylaxis.  Soooo …

Becky saves the day yet again!  Her healthy breakfast option?  Home made GRANOLA!  (I’ve tried chocolate and regular, and I gotta say I lean towards the chocolate).  You can have it with milk or mix it in with some PLAIN GREEK YOGURT or eat it just straight as a snack.  (I’m intrigued about trying it with Greek Yogurt and some chopped up PEELED GOLDEN DELICIOUS APPLES).

Image

Enough of my chatter — here is the delicious recipe for you to try yourself (and modify for your own particular dietary needs).

Granola
8 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons safflower oil

Preheat oven to 300. Pour oats into a large baking pan. In a small bowl mix to together remaining ingredients and then drizzle over the oats. Mix until oats are thoroughly coated. Bake until golden brown stirring every 15 minutes. Depending on the size of your pan it can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes to brown.

Variations:
For chocolate granola add 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the sugar oil mixture before mixing with oats.

For more nutritious breakfast, sprinkle a spoons of ground flaxseed or wheat germ on your bowlful.

 

If you are not Salicylate/Sulphite free here is the original recipe:

One large container of (2lbs 10oz I think) old fashioned oats
1 bag sweetened flaked coconut (it was the standard size I think it’s 14ozs)
2 cups honey (Or to taste/caloric desires!)
1/4 cup oil of choice (canola, coconut, etc. )
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
Pour oats, coconut, and cinnamon in a huge bowl. Mix together honey, oil and vanilla. Then stir into oats mixture until thoroughly mixed. Bake at 350 in large pans about 1″ to 1 1/2″ layers until golden brown stirring about every 15 minutes. Depending on the size of your pans it could take 30 minutes to an hour. I also think it is super yummy just raw also. Once it cools you can add nuts and fruit as desired.

Real, Fresh Sulphite/Salicylate-Free Bread!

Ever since I discovered my sulphite/salicylate intolerance, I haven’t had real sandwich bread in over a year and a half. A YEAR AND A HALF! It effects me more than I realize. Every day I make my children sandwiches for school, and every day I drool inside wishing I could take just one tiny bite. But store-bought bread is loaded with no-nos, and so every day I sigh and smile and pack those delicious sandwiches into their little ziploc baggies. Who ever though I’d be missing good ole PB&J?

Imagine my surprise when Becky showed up at my door with not one, but TWO beautiful hand made loaves of bread. Sheer deliciousness! Even her little daughter had to sneak a bite.

sulphitesalicylatefreebread

Here is the recipe (yummy and healthy enough for all!):

Becky’s Whole Wheat Bread

4 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup Safflower oil
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon salt
2 lbs whole wheat flour
2 cups quick oats
1 cup ground flax

In a large bowl gently mix hot water, sugar and yeast. Let set 10 minutes until yeast foams. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until combined. turn dough onto floured counter and knead for 10-15 minutes. Oil the bowl you mixed in and add the dough back into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 45 minutes. Punch down and let rise again for 45 minutes. Divide into three oiled loaf pans and let rise 20-30 mintues. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

Now if only we can invent a great spread to go with it (for now a little butter will more than do!). What possible sulphite/salicylate-free sandwich ideas can YOU come up with? (I’m thinking I might be able to figure out how to put grilled cheese back on the menu!) Please SHARE your ideas in the COMMENTS below.