Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cheddar Chive Coconut Flour Biscuits

Look out! It's time for the honesty hour with Anna.

Grain free baking confession 1:
Coconut flour baked goods make me very sad and angry. I have developed an aversion to both coconut oil and sweet coconut flour treats from associating them with times of extreme illness and pain. This is very strange because I have been a coconut fanatic my whole life, so you would think that this couldn't happen to a person like myself. And now that I am recommitting myself to grain-free eating, I am truly up a creek with only an almond meal paddle, if I am taking away coconut flour. No!!!!!!

Since yesterday was my first day back to the grain-free grind after a glorious three weeks of gluten-free freedom, you can imagine my frustration as I stared at my delicious gluten-free waffles that have been my staple every morning. I screamed at them for containing harmful starches, angrily made my scrambled eggs, and resolved to find something grain-free to replace the waffles with. I don't have a waffle maker, so my next thought was: biscuits?? I went to a coconut flour recipe I have experimented with before but couldn't stomach the thought of these imitators posing as my Mama's southern biscuits with butter and honey gloriously slathered on top of them. So, I haphazardly threw in a heap of shredded raw milk cheddar and dried chives just to see if maybe, just maybe, these would be alright with a savory kick, hopefully covering up the nauseating coconut texture.

Lo, and behold, the result was a delightfully crunchy little cheddar biscuit that has a lovely finish thanks to the chives. Sweet relief! I'll take any success in life I can get right now. And this was no small victory! I'm all about the little things these days. In fact, I'm at the place where one day at a time is all I can handle. Isn't that how we should all live anyway? We aren't guaranteed tomorrow, so you might as well embrace today! Lord, give me strength for this moment (and every moment in today) and a lot of hope for tomorrow?!?!

Cheddar Chive Coconut Flour Biscuits
makes 10 small

1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 tbs butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
heaping 1/2 cup grated cheddar
heaping tbs dried chives

- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and combine dry ingredients first to incorporate. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl then add to the mixture along with other items until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat and form ten little biscuits with your hands, flattening them a little bit to achieve a biscuit look. Don't worry! It won't be as messy as you think. Sprinkle with coarse salt and toss in the oven for 14-15 minutes or until they begin to brown. Store at room temperature for 3 days or stick in the freezer!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Turn up the Tang : BBQ Sauce Edition

What a day I'm having!

I saw an IBD specialist today who seems to think my current medical regimen isn't going to work. The alternative is a series of infusions I refused back in March that now I have no coverage for. But you know what? I just can't dwell on that. I have to believe in what my body is doing right now. I have to have hope that comes from a gracious God who has allowed me to be on earth this long. And if I'm going to be here any longer, welp, I might need some help. And what a time to learn trust and acceptance. Life really doesn't get easier as you get older, hmm? Should have listened to my Mama!

Enough about being old and dealing with difficult things. Life is still beautiful.  Did I tell you that I am so enjoying cooking in my little funky kitchen? My stamina isn't so hot these days, so I started prepping dinner before my appointment this morning. I take naps and detox baths and practice breaks in between food making, and it works out quite well! Now, if it weren't so sweltering, we'd be in great shape here in NYC! Luckily, this evening it has cooled off quite a bit thanks to the rain, and little Zoe is having a hay day barking at the lightning show. Simultaneously adorable and annoying.

Oh, how thankful I am to have dinner with G at our dining table again. I roast a lot of chickens these days and it is always accompanied by some thrown-together sauce. Tonight, I actually measured out my usual haphazard method. We like our BBQ sauce nice and tangy, so cut back on the vinegar if you're afraid of the tang! But do attempt your own sauce as it is a lot better for you, not to mention cheaper! This recipe makes a small mason jarful!

Tangy BBQ Sauce

1 scant cup ketchup *homemade is best if you have it or at least low or no sugar!
3 tbs apple cider vinegar *Bragg's is a GREAT brand
3 tbs honey
2 tbs good quality Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs of your favorite mustard, I used a grainy horseradish for an extra kick but yellow will do, too!
1/2 tbs chili powder
2 pinches of sea salt
1 pinch of pepper

- Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes whisking often, to allow the flavors to meld. Serve warm! Store in the fridge for up to a week.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Scrambled Eggs

I've been itching to write for a while. But sometimes I can't help but wonder when I will be able to cut it with the epic posting and instead be able to sit down for a normal little session containing a few short words and a recipe. That doesn't seem to be in the cards anytime soon, and perhaps you'd like to be updated on recent happenings, faithful readers!?

As some of you know, my ulcerative colitis came out of remission on my birthday last year. At the time, I was hopeful that I could regain control of my health in a timely fashion, but as it turns out, this has proven to be the most challenging year of my life. Needless to say, I am looking forward to October 4 of this year and have high hopes for it being a really new year full of health and upward motion.

You see, the more I am on this journey, the more I realize the impossibility of reconciling western medicine with the natural world. Usually when one has a flare up of an autoimmune disease, it's straight to the specialist, diagnoses, treatment plant, GO! And when I attempted to follow that regimen this last time, I was overwhelmed with conviction about the drugs being pumped into my body, drugs that didn't seem to be doing their job. At that point, I threw myself into the world of the GAPS diet and natural healing for six months. And for about two of those months, I did well, I saw healing, and I was convinced I would be well. But when an unexpected relapse occurred at the end of July, I felt like a giant failure. I poured so much time and discipline into this lifestyle, and it failed me? I then attempted a last-resort water fast to try to stop the inflammation, and unfortunately that put my body over the edge and sent me to the hospital for a grueling week of needles, IVs, an overabundance of antibiotics, isolation, and miserable fluid retention.

Since my recovery, I've dealt with a ream of ridiculous symptoms and other unpleasantries (I think I made that word up) that accompany high-powered steroid use. And because of the steroid, I can't be sure if the drug I am currently on to tame things down is actually working or if it will fail me once the steroid stops.

Through this whole discouraging process, I was perhaps the most flabbergasted in the hospital when I realized that they have NO idea how to treat GI patients, especially when it comes to food. Keep in mind, I am being hospitalized for an inflamed colon... and what do they send me? Sugar, dairy, gluten... in the most highly processed forms. PEOPLE! IT'S THE HOSPITAL! WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU WELL!??! AND THIS IS THE FOOD THEY SERVE? Oh, I was furious. And apparently pioneered a gluten free menu at this particular hospital. (I'm not joking.)

Be still my heart. I can't afford to get worked up about this. Or anything. Attempting to remain calm at all times is my new life goal. Worried? Not me! Mad? Don't worry about it! I've got this!

I do have to say that amidst all of the misery, I have been completely blown away by the generosity of friends and family in getting us moved to NYC and in taking care of me. We've felt so loved and supported and have received such wonderful surprises. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I'm going to keep trucking and thanking God for each day that He gives me. I'm happy to be here on this earth and in this amazing city and I am so thankful for all of you in my life holding my hand through this time.

Come visit us soon and I will make you soft, digestible foods like these eggs that I start every morning with! When the day is daunting, look at the basics of life. Food. Health. Family. Prioritize them, make them special, and don't take them for granted. Love what you have!! <3 p="">