Wednesday, December 31, 2008
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/3 cup dill pickles, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (Spectrum Canola Mayo is GFCFSF)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until tender but still firm (about 15 minutes). Drain and place in large bowl.
In a separate bowl combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
Add dressing mixture to potatoes and combine well.
Garnish with paprika and dill. Can be served warm or cold.
1 8oz package fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups unsweetened hemp milk (room temperature)
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
salt and pepper to taste
Place olive oil in large skillet. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic. Saute over medium-high heat until tender.
Add hemp milk, worcestershire sauce and flour. Whisk well to remove lumps. Reduce heat and simmer to thicken.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups of soup.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
3 slices uncooked bacon (Hormel Natural Choice is gluten-free)
1 16 oz bag frozen chopped collards
1 cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop bacon slices and add to a saucepan. Cook bacon over medium high heat. Stir in frozen collards, water and vinegar. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to eat.
Top with chopped onions and additional vinegar if desired.
Friday, December 26, 2008
The virus then moved on to Sarah. On a good day she is prone to irritability. I've actually witnessed this child throw a tantrum because her right hand was holding a toy that her left hand wanted. So, you can imagine the joy of Babyzilla with a cold.
My children, overcome with generosity, decided to share their nasty virus with me.
Under normal circumstances, moms do not have the luxury of resting in bed while sick. I had to work triple time to take care of the sick kiddos and prepare for Christmas. Plus, this year was my first time making Christmas dinner (and it had to be GFCFSF), so there was no time to be sick. I pressed on as any good mother would. Presents were wrapped, menus were planned and groceries were purchased.
I cleaned the house until it shined. Even though I should have been drinking hot toddies while lounging in bed, I scrubbed, mopped, vacuumed, dusted and laundered until I felt faint. On Christmas Eve, 15 minutes after I finished the massive clean up I discovered this:
That, dear readers, is my dining room wall. The very room where I planned to serve Christmas dinner to my guests. The artwork is Sarah's masterpiece and she was quite proud of it. Instead of having a stroke, I was overcome with a sense of peace (medicine head, perhaps?). I decided to spare Sarah's life and not stress out about the unauthorized mural on my wall.
The kids' cold symptoms began to improve and they were both able to enjoy the fun of Christmas morning. I, however, was a walking zombie and still had dinner to prepare. I made cornbread, collards, potato salad, green bean casserole and ham. In spite of an agonizing sinus headache, I really enjoyed visiting with my family. (Note to self: Spend more time with extended family.)
My condition continued to decline as the evening progressed and by the next day I was wondering if I would survive the ordeal. Fortunately, my husband had the day off from work and would be able to take care of the kids so I could get some rest. Yeah, right!
My darling husband went out to lunch with his sister, who was visiting from out of town. It must have been a phenomenal lunch, because he was gone for 5 hours. Rest assured that I will not put him in charge of teaching Jake empathy. Even Sarah picked up on the fact that I was sick and when her dad returned from his excellent adventure, she announced, "Mommy cough-cough!" (More like, "Mommy cracked a rib-rib during her cough-cough.")
I am still sick, but at least the kids are better. Jake is off the steroids and Sarah is back to breaking her crayons into tiny choking hazards. I intend to consume copious amounts of NyQuil until I join the 'all better' club myself. Wish me luck!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I have one special wish for all of us in the new year. May we find strength when we need it the most and find humor when we expect it the least.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
1 yucca root
canola oil for frying
salt to taste
To prepare the yucca, peel the outer layer down to the white flesh of the root. Chop off the ends. Slice the root lengthwise and remove the thread that runs down the center. Cut into shoestring style fries (thinner pieces will cook faster).
Pour oil into large, high sided frying pan. Add enough oil to cover the fries. Heat oil over medium-high heat.
Slowly add fries to hot oil and cook until golden. Be careful not to add them too quickly or overcrowd your pan as it will cool the oil. Remove golden fries from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Salt to taste.
Yucca roots vary greatly in size. I got 4 servings of fries from a medium size root.
Note: These are sturdier and crispier than french fried potatoes and would travel well in a thermos for lunches at school.
Friday, December 19, 2008
GFCFSF Sandwich Bread
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 eggs (or equivalent substitute)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup garbanzo flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 packets yeast
4 tablespoons ground flax seed
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
Combine wet ingredients in bowl of stand mixer.
Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and whisk well.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Mix at medium speed for 5 minutes.
Divide dough between two 8x4 inch loaf pans. With very wet hands, smooth tops of loaves.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove plastic wrap. With a sharp knife, slice tops of loaves lengthwise (about 1/4 inch deep).
Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Makes 2 8x4 inch loaves.
Let cool completely before slicing or freezing.
Friday, December 12, 2008
That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Great! Call me Hercules.
It could be worse.
That's the best you could come up with?
I know exactly what you're going through. My daughter has a lot of trouble with math.
Let's talk again when Suzy's difficulty with Algebra leads you to contemplate robbing a bank to provide for her long-term care.
I don't know how you do it all.
I don't either.
You need to have some 'me time'.
I do. I call it "going to the bathroom".
You need to get out of the house more often.
You need to babysit more often.
Everything is going to be just fine.
Really? Tell me more, Magic 8 Ball!
Of course, this is just for fun. We really do appreciate your support and encouragement.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Christmas shopping with an Autistic preschooler gives a whole new meaning to "dashing through the snow". Save yourself some trouble this year and order your gifts online. I have already posted a few gift ideas that I hope you found helpful. Now, I'd like to point out a truly unique gift idea. I may be a bit biased on this one, but my Cafepress store is loaded with original gifts for kids and adults. And, it's all available to you with a 30 day money back guarantee.
Monday, December 8, 2008
My husband came up with a great idea to help my television obsessed, chip loving child expand his food choices. Our television is visible from the kitchen table. So, when the kids sit down to eat, we leave it on playing one of their favorite shows. Dad, armed with the remote control, periodically pauses the show and explains that the TV is broken and the only way to fix it is to take a bite. This process has now become a game in our house and Jake is finally eating some new foods.
Of course, I tried similar techniques such as "first take a bite, then I'll turn on the TV" and other "first and then" ideas recommended by autism experts. They never worked for Jake. He loves this new game with Daddy, so we'll stick with it for now.
There is a concern that we may have created a new problem for our son. I keep envisioning a day when a 30 year old Jake has to call the cable company because his cable service isn't working. I can just imagine him on the phone with customer service saying, "I don't know what's wrong. I ate a waffle and an apple. But it's still not working!"
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Every night, when I tuck Jake in bed, we turn off the light and 'talk' for a little while. He seems better able to communicate when it's just the two of us, alone in his room. Maybe it is the lack of distractions or the fact that he knows he has my undivided attention, either way, we have our best talks at bedtime.
I have been doing this same activity with Jake every night for many months. I always start with, "What did you do today?". At first, he would only answer with a blank stare or a random bit of echolalia. I would model an appropriate answer and have him repeat it.
After a while, he would answer that same question with one word such as "play" or "school". I would model the same answer as a full sentence. "I went to school today." Then I'd ask a follow up question and model an appropriate answer when he responded with a repeat or a stare.
So, you get the idea. We are building up to a conversation (slowly but surely). He now often volunteers simple tidbits about his day. And, when he's feeling up to it, can answer the occasional question. I still get a lot of echolalia or sometimes just silence when he is unable to find the words or does not understand the question. That's where those 'three little words' come in.
So the other night, I tucked him in and asked, "What did you do today?"
Jake said, "I went to school."
I ask, "What did you do at school today?"
Jake said, "Play!"
I said, "What did you play?"
He responded, "Sandbox".
I ask, "Who did you play with in the sandbox?"
Jake answered, "I don't know."
"I don't know" this simple phrase drives mothers of teenagers absolutely crazy. But, for me, it is a much welcome addition to Jake's repertoire. I have never heard him say this before. "Who" questions are still very difficult for him, so "I don't know" is a valid answer and could be a response to one of a few different issues. He may not have known the playmate's name or maybe he was alone in the sandbox. Perhaps he did not understand the question. Either way, it is progress. Big, big progress.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sugar Free Rice Waffles
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 egg or substitute
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients and cook according to waffle iron instructions. Makes 4 large waffles.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
He has been quite a chatterbox these last few days. I've heard several new sentences. Last night while I was talking on the telephone with a friend, he walked right up to me and said, "Mommy, can you get off the phone?" My favorite one came this morning when he said, "I love cuddling with Mommy the best in the whole world."
There have been several more, but I think you get the idea. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. I've worked so hard to get him talking, every new sentence seems like a miracle. I wonder if there will come a day when an original phrase from Jake is no big deal?
IEP Fight Song
Oh IEP, Oh IEP
Why do you aggravate me?
I will prevail
Come wind or hail
You will never break me.
Sorry it is so short. There just wasn't much left after I removed all of the profanity. :-)