A great big welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I hope you enjoy the recipes and ramblings. For the story behind this site read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Check out my recently released cookbook

 


 

 

 

Wednesday
Dec152010

I Will Be Having ...

Yesterday was the final day of Share Our Holiday Table; a virtual, progressive dinner, hosted by Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry. And a bountiful holiday table it was! Today as I took another look at the incredible dishes that have been put before us I thought it would be fun to, as my boys say, "play restaurant." And so I did. And it was fun. Better than a Calgon Take Me Away moment. I dreamily browsed through each Share Our Holiday Table post and ordered a complete 7-course meal! Delish. And so fun.

Here is what I ordered. Oh and by the way, the meal was beyond my every expectation!

 

APPETIZER

Sun Dried Tomato Polenta Bites
presented by Chef Lori | The Recipe Girl

DRINK

Reindeer Antler Punch
presented by Bartender :) Shirley | Gluten-Free Easily

SALAD

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
presented by Chef Shaina | Food for My Family

SOUP

Roasted Chestnut Bisque
presented by Chef Perre | The Runaway Spoon

ENTREE

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Spiedini
presented by Chef Nancy | The Sensitive Pantry

SIDE

Couldn't decide so ordered two!

Stuffed Acorn Squash
presented by Chef Jenn | Jenn Cuisine


Root Vegetable Gratin
presented by Chef Heather | Heather Cristo

DESSERT

Pomegranate Poached Pears
presented by Chef Jeanette | Jeanettes Healthy Living

Images copyright and courtesy of their respective chefs.

 

Now THAT was a holiday feast!

How about sharing your holiday table with a child in need of nourishing meals. If you would like to contribute to the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry™ campaign to end child hunger in the United States by 2015, please make a pledge here.

 

Sunday
Dec122010

A Sweet Gift For Smelly Friends

My super cool Canadian blogging pal, Kirsten (Miss Dropsie), and I had intended to do a joint post on holiday gifts you can make in the kitchen. Well, I dropped the ball—sorry Kirsten. Today I looked at the calendar and realized how insanely behind I am in more things than posting. So much so that it's stressin' me out. It's no wonder I've been slathering on a bit more of my favorite hippy chick deodorant. Ha! Now wait, there's an idea. If you've got a friend who stresses out this time of year and gets to smelling, well, not so fresh, how about dropping a pot of this homemade deodorant in their stocking! Subtle hint? Innocent gift?

Okay so the recipe for this deodorant is one I shared earlier this year. I cannot rave enough about it! This has been the only deodorant that has worked for me since giving up antiperspirants 15 years ago. I swear by it. Maybe it's the perfect fit for my chemistry, I don't know. It just works. It is a recipe I found over at The Angry Chicken. Here are the ingredients you will need. You can visit The Angry Chicken for the how-to's.

Angry Chicken Deodorant

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons SHEA BUTTER
3 tablespoons BAKING SODA
2 tablespoons CORN STARCH or ARROWROOT STARCH
2 tablespoons COCOA BUTTER (found mine at Whole Foods)
2 VITAMIN E OIL GEL CAPS (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
ESSENTIAL OILS (Amy uses ylang ylang and orange, I used lavender and orange)

You can read my original post for ways to re-use and fill a plastic deodorant stick.

For gift giving, I use little pots. To apply, just roll a bit into a pea-sized ball and rub in. Pretty up the pot by adhering a strip of decorative paper (scrapbooking paper works great).

So there you have it. A gift you can whip up in the kitchen in minutes (my friend Abby can attest to that—thanks Abby!).

If deodorant is a little too personal of a gift, how about Elana's foot balm. Find it at Elana's Pantry. Hello, who turns down a foot rub!!?

And Kirsten, thanks for coming through for both of us. Kirsten has rounded up a few "make in the kitchen" gift ideas. You'll find them posted here.

Tuesday
Dec072010

Cashew Horchata & Sharing Our Strength

Cashew Horchata | A simple but festive beverage for your holiday table!Welcome to Day Two of Share Our Holiday Table—a virtual, progressive fundraising dinner designed to raise awareness of child hunger in the U.S. This event is being hosted by Share Our Strength®—a national organization that works hard to make sure no child in America grows up hungry.

Yesterday a dynamite food blogger line-up treated us to nine tasty appetizers. Today we move on to drinks. But before we make our festive toast to good health and prosperity, I have something to ask and something to share.

Have you been missing the signs of child hunger in your town?

I had.

There is a route through downtown Cheyenne that I drive a couple of times a week. It was last fall, at the corner of Lincolnway and Pioneer, that I first noticed the brown bags. Most Wednesdays I would pass by and see hundreds of them filled and neatly lined up on the floor of the vacant Dineen building. It wasn't until July of this year that I made the connection when an article ran in the Wyoming Tribune Herald. The article was about Cheyenne's Friday Food Bags program and the number of school children in Cheyenne living in food insecure households. I had been missing a sign. I had been driving past one for over a year.

Turns out, over 300 food sacks are handed out to Cheyenne school kids every Friday with the intent to ensure these children, who normally get free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches at school, don't go hungry over weekends. Having had my eyes opened, I was shocked and ashamed for being oblivious to the hardship some of the children in my own town were facing.

I have come to applaud the efforts of organizations like Share Our Strength and grass roots programs like Friday Food Bags. When you read the statistics, they are pretty mind blowing. In 2008 (and this was before the U.S. fell deeper into recession) the USDA reported that 22% of the children in the U.S. were living in food insecure households [read more about that here]. They were experiencing hunger—"hunger" defined as an uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food.

Now most will argue that children going hungry is just a symptom of deeper-rooted problems in our society—ones that need to be addressed. I agree. However, the ability to obtain enough food for an active, healthy life is the most basic of human needs. The idea of any child going hungry troubles me. Why? 1) Obtaining food is something a child has little control over, 2) it should not be their responsibility to do so and 3) there are mental and physical changes that accompany inadequate food intake which directly affect learning, development, productivity, physical and psychological health and family life.

Okay, I am hopping off my soapbox (thanks for hanging in there with me).

Now, shall we toast?

Here is to health, prosperity and no child going hungry this holiday season! Please consider making a contribution [click here] to the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry™ campaign. Then as you gather around your holiday table, know that you have extended it beyond your circle of family and friends. You have shared it with a needy child—and very likely, one in your own town. Thank you.

The recipe I bring to Share Our Holiday Table is one for simple horchata. Popular in Mexico and with origins dating back to ancient Egypt, horchata can be made with three basic ingredients—rice, cinnamon and sweetener—and costs just pennies to make. Nuts may be added for extra creaminess as can vanilla. Serve it over ice or warm and blend it with melted chocolate for a decadent hot cocoa. Place a pitcher at the kids' holiday table and they're sure to feel extra special.

Happy Holidays to all!

Cashew Horchata

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Easily Tree Nut-Free | Sesame-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan

Makes: Approximately 5-6 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 4-6 hours

Ingredients:

1/2 cup WHITE RICE
4 cups boiling WATER
1 CINNAMON STICK (2 if you love cinnamon!)
2 teaspoons VANILLA EXTRACT
1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS
1/4 cup, or to taste, RUNNY HONEY (see Notes for sugar-free version)
Dash SEA SALT
1-2 cups COLD WATER

Directions:

1. Using a blender, coffee grinder or food processor, grind rice to fine meal. Transfer to medium bowl along with cinnamon stick and vanilla. Pour boiling water over rice meal mixture. Allow to stand at room temperature 4-6 hours.

2. Add cashews to a separate bowl. Cover with water and allow to soak 4-6 hours. Rinse well.

3. Transfer cashews and rice mixture (including the cinnamon stick) to high-powered blender.

3. Blend on high 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

4. Strain mixture into large bowl using cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

5. Return liquid to rinsed blender carafe. Add honey, pinch of salt and 1-2 cups additional water to achieve the consistency of milk.

6. Blend on low 10 seconds.

7. Chill and stir before serving over ice.

8. Optional: Dust with cinnamon and garnish with a star anise pod for a festive touch (pictured above).

Notes:

Cashews may be replaced with an additional 1/2 cup soaked rice or 1/2 cup almonds that have been soaked for 8-10 hours and rinsed well. Cinnamon stick may be replaced with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. For a subtle licorice "twist", throw one star anise pod in with the rice/water mixture. Blend with the rest of the mixture. Easily sugar-free: Sweeten to taste with SweetLeaf Liquid Vanilla Creme Stevia instead of honey.

 

Share Our Holiday Table Progressive Dinner

Day 1: Appetizers

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 2: Drinks

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 3: Salads

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 Day 3: Soups

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 

 Day 4: Entrees

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

 

Day 5: Sides

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Day 6: Desserts

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Monday
Dec062010

No Kid Hungry | Share Our Holiday Table

 

This month, dozens of food bloggers are participating in Share Our Holiday Table, a virtual, progressive fundraising dinner designed to raise awareness of child hunger in the U.S. during the critical holiday season. The promotion kicks off today with appetizers served up by this stellar blogger line-up. For the next nine days you'll be treated to four, yes FOUR, seven-course meals; Gourmet, Family Friendly, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free. So whether it's an intimate dinner for four or a chaotic gathering of 24, you'll want to visit Share Our Holiday Table for recipes that will bring joy and satisfaction to the tummy's of those you will be gathering with. And while you are there, please consider making a contribution to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign. Just one dollar can help connect a child with up to ten healthy meals!

Tomorrow I will be sharing a cashew horchata recipe. So be sure to come on back.

Monday
Nov292010

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Okay! So you've read the Lexie's Stew Seasoning post or have landed here from my guest post at The Spunky Coconut. Thanks for visiting. If you're in the mood for stew, you've come to the right place. Once you have a batch of Lexie's Stew Seasoning ready to go, making a hearty and comforting stew is a snap.

Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Serves: 6-8
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  4-8 hours in a slow cooker

Ingredients:

2 pounds beef or bison STEW MEAT, 1-1/2" cubed
6 tablespoons LEXIE'S STEW SEASONING
2-4 tablespoons GRAPESEED OIL (or other high smoke point oil)
6 cups 1" cubed POTATOES
2 cups 1/2" sliced CARROTS
2 cups 1/4" sliced CELERY STALKS
2-32 ounce cartons SOUP or BROTH (see notes for options, read ingredients list for potential allergens)

Directions:

1. Toss meat with stew seasoning and brown in oil.

2. Add to slow cooker; browned meat, potatoes, carrots, celery and soup.

3. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

4. Salt and pepper to taste prior to serving. Looking for a little zing? Add some chili sauce such as Cholula Hot Sauce!

Notes:

Experiment with other veggies; kohlrabi, turnip, green beans, summer squash.
Use the pre-made soup or broth that suits your diet (see below). Alternatively, use 5-7 cups of beef broth with some extra onion and garlic goodness thrown in.

 

 

Broths We Like:
Ingredients in Pacific Natural Foods French Onion Soup: Filtered water, organic sauteed onion base (organic onions, organic dried onion, salt, organic butter (milk), natural flavor), organic cane sugar, organic onion flavor (contains organic sunflower oil), sea salt, organic garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, xanthan gum. Gluten-free. Contains: milk.

Ingredients in Pacific Natural Foods Organic Beef Broth: Organic beef stock (water, organic beef), organic beef flavor base (organic roasted beef including beef juices, organic cane juice, organic beef flavor, organic onion powder, sea salt, organic canola oil, caramel color, organic garlic powder, organic black pepper, organic paprika, flavor), sea salt, autolyzed yeast extract, organic garlic powder. Contains caramel color but Pacific claims this soup is gluten-free. Dairy-free.

Ingredients in Imagine Natural Creations® Creamy Portabello Mushroom Soup: Filtered water, portobello mushrooms, organic onions, organic soymilk (filtered water, organic soybeans), organic potatoes, organic celery, organic rice flour, organic expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, sea salt, organic onion powder, organic garlic powder, organic spice. Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Contains: soy.
***Ingredients list subject to change. Always read labels.***