The White Pages

It’s Tradition February 15, 2013

Im not really a do the same thing twice kinda gal, much less a do the same thing over and over kinda gal. I tend to prefer getting confused and screwing up something new to repeating a project (book, recipe, movie) over and over. Apparently I bore easily. Sometimes I envy those who find joy in repetition. If I could read books multiple times or watch movies more than once, I think I’d be a lot smarter and may even be able to quote movies. Generally I’m lost when it comes to the movie quoting game, which is fine by me, because usually I find it annoying. However, quoting books would make me feel learned (pronounce learn-ed and you will feel more intelligent).

As our family grows, I am being challenged by my distaste for repetition. There’s something about tradition, by definition a continued pattern, that builds family identity and makes us feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. I want that for our family. It’s grounding. We need a bit of grounding sometimes.

We’re not huge into Valentine’s Day, but we are huge into family and building home and making memories. I like a good excuse to celebrate the special things. Last year we had Valentine’s breakfast for dinner and we did it again this year. I did change up the menu, and this year totally won. Tradition with a bit of flexibility – I can handle that.

Caleb kept asking Corban if he was excited for Valentine’s dinner and Corban was adamant every time, “It’s Breakfast daddy!” Caleb likes to tease.

On the menu: French Toast Towers, Twisted Spicy Bacon, and Farm Fresh Scrambled Eggs with Chives and Dill

French Toast Towers (sans gluten and dairy, if you wish)
A conglomeration of recipes inspired by this picture.

Slice a pound of strawberries and sprinkle them with 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside. It will get all syrupy while you finish the rest.

Chocolate Ganache
1/3 cup coconut milk
6 oz chocolate chips

Warm the milk on the stove and pour over chocolate. Let sit five minutes and then stir.

Coconut Cream
1 can full fat coconut milk (or cream)
A dash of vanilla
1 T sugar

Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge as soon as you remember ;). The longer the better. Flip upside down, open the can, and pour off the watery liquid. Scoop the solid coconut cream out into a mixing bowl and beat on high (stand or hand mixer) until peaks form. It won’t be as stiff as cream, but it should have substance. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until combined.

Make your favorite French toast recipe (we love ATK), and if you’re feeling fancy use a heart shaped cookie cutter for festive shaped bread. We used Udi’s gluten free bread and subbed sweet rice flour for the all purpose to make it gluten free, and we switched out almond milk and coconut oil for the milk/butter to make it dairy free. You can keep the French toast warm in the oven at 250.

BUILD YOUR TOWER. This is the best part, and the kiddos love it. Spread some chocolate on a piece of french toast, sprinkle with berries and syrup, and top with a bit of coconut cream. Sandwich another piece of french toast on top and repeat with the toppings. Top with a final piece of french toast and garnish. Or you could just keep going.
Seriously. This is good stuff. Once a year kinda stuff, but good stuff.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the Whites!


Chicken Tortilla Salad February 1, 2013

Filed under: From My Hands — perfectlywhite @ 1:53 pm
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This salad is known in our house as “the salad that Corban eats” or “the salad that makes me forget I can’t eat dairy” or “what should we have for dinner, how about the salad? salad”.

I always forget about salad. Vegetables and I had a tumultuous relationship until I was 20. My experience up until that point included canned corn and green beans, both of which taste like water and salt. I’d really rather just have water and salt, thanks. The only “vegetable” I really liked was the tomato which, it turns out, is not a vegetable.

At some point in college, I made it a goal to like vegetables. It was probably because I was getting married and wanted to lose weight, but hey, whatever gets ya there. The summer that we got married I discovered fresh garden vegetables, and it was then that I decided, wait! These taste like…something! I have been cultivating (didn’t even do that on purpose) a love of fresh, delicious, and cute (trust me, seedlings are way cute) vegetables ever since. I’m pretty sure Caleb thought I was nuts when I kept worrying about my vegetable babies growing in the basement last spring. I probably was.

I suppose for clarity’s sake, I will call this chicken tortilla salad. It helps me remember that salad is a good idea.

Chicken Tortilla Salad

I love this salad because I don’t miss the cheese at all. If you can’t have dairy, emulsified salad dressing and avocados are your friend. Both are reminiscent of the creamy texture of dairy that that we miss so much. It serves two adults and a hungry 2 year old.


4 cups fresh salad greens, we’ve used them all
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 (or 12…we love avocados) avocado, pitted and cubed
1 cup corn (best cut fresh from the cob, frozen would work too…thawed, of course)
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup black beans (cooked or canned), drained and rinse
3 green onions, white and green parts
1-2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into strips
Tortilla Chips, for “chomping on top” in Corbanspeak.


(slightly adapted from this recipe)
1 jalapeño pepper, seed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pulse jalapeño and garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Add lime juice, honey, balsamic, salt, and cilantro and pulse until combined. Turn on food processor and slowly stream in oil until emulsified, which is a happy word that describes the chemical process in which oil and vinegar mix together and get all thick and creamy.

Toss the dressing and salad ingredients together. You may not need all of the dressing – start with less and add more if you think it’s still dry. Top with sliced grilled chicken and make sure to let your two year old chomp the chips on top or you will hear about it at the table.


Lemon Blueberry Corn Muffins January 16, 2013

Filed under: From My Hands — perfectlywhite @ 2:34 am
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I had a craving for corndogs the other night. In general, we eat quite healthy. I prefer eating real food for lots of reasons, and no gluten and no dairy means we need to homemake just about everything if we don’t want to go broke. I, however, have a soft spot for buttery, sugary, creamy, meaty, not-great-for-you food that I indulge occasionally. And sometimes more. As a nursing momma with food restrictions, I get frustrated because I’m hungry all the flippin time, but quick and easy food that won’t make one of us sick is pretty rare. So i was craving corn dogs, the ultimate in convenient snack food. The problem is, we never buy hot dogs. All beef, no nitrates/nitrites hot dogs do exist, so I bought some of those and we made corn dog muffins. There’s something about watching the Golden Globes while eating corn dogs.

We had some leftover corn muffin batter and I thought, hey, lemon blueberry corn muffins. Please do not get these confused with the aforementioned corn dog muffins. That would taste something like Rachel’s English Trifle with beef from Friends (Friends reference anybody?).

Corban and I experimented this morning and Corban, my ever honest taste tester, deemed them, “Good, Mommy. You can have one of my blueberries, that would be ok.” Such a sharer, that one. Unless you try to take one of his trains.

We often bake by weight. Gluten free baking can involve a host of different flours, and sometimes we don’t have the exact flour we need. Since different flours have different weights, baking by weight makes it easier to sub one flour for another and not have to cross your fingers and pray it still turns out. Plus it’s easy and saves dishes. In this recipe, you could sub 4 oz of all purpose flour for the sweet rice and potato starch if you can eat that kinda thing. Butter and dairy-full milk could also be subbed for the dairy free alternatives. The following recipe is based on the quick bread ratio from the aptly named book, Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. Highly recommend it.

Lemon Blueberry Corn Muffins

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tin with liners if you’re fancy or by spraying if you’re me.
Dry ingredients:
4 oz (3/4 cup) cornmeal
2.5 oz (1/2 cup) sweet rice flour
1.5 oz (1/4 cup) potato starch
4 oz (1/2 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

I let Corban whisk the dry ingredients while I ran upstairs to calm the crying baby. To my surprise, it was all still in the bowl when I came back down.

Wet ingredients:
4 oz (1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon) coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 eggs
8 oz (1 cup) almond milk

Zest of one lemon + 1-2 T juice
Frozen blueberries

Corban always gets the first crack of the egg and I do the second :). Whisk wet ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Add zest of one lemon and a tablespoon or two of the juice (depending on how lemony you prefer your muffins). Then fold in frozen blueberries. I let Corban put the blueberries in by the handful, and if you’re like him, you love you some blueberries. No clue exact amount – pretend you’re a blueberry crazed two year old :). Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Top with a bit of lemon zest. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they bounce back when you push on the top.

I think they’re great. Caleb liked them a lot, too, but he said they weren’t his favorite. I gave him the evil eye until he assured me another one my muffin recipes was his fav. As long is its one of mine ;).


Snyders! January 6, 2013

Filed under: From My Hands — perfectlywhite @ 5:45 am
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So, I have a gluten intolerance (like break out in rashes, intestinal cramping, digestive “issues” shortly after touching or consuming intolerant), and my babies are sensitive to milk protein (like blood in their diapers sensitive), so I can’t eat dairy when I’m nursing. This is medical necessity not hey i want to go on a diet. So we’re learning how to make food taste good in a different way then we used to.

Good friends of ours from Grand Marais love Snyders pretzels and would stock up every time they went to Duluth. I was at the store the other day and Snyders now has gluten free pretzels for $3.29 a bag! $3.29 people! That probably sounds like a lot if you can eat regular people pretzels, but prior to my discovery, the only gluten free pretzels I could find were $7 a bag. This is half price! So, in honor of Steve and Deb, I bought some and made these.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches (the dairy and gluten free way)
Adapted from this recipe at Simply Scratch

1 bag gluten free pretzels
1 cup peanut butter, I like chunky
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 T softened Earth Balance “buttery spread”
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 oz bag dairy free chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semisweet or Enjoy Life)

Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, “butter” (it hurts me to have to put that in quotes. Goes against everything in my nature.), and vanilla on medium speed until just blended. Lay pretzels out on a large sheet of parchment. I got about 100 total pretzel sandwiches out of this amount of peanut butter filling. Form about 1 teaspoon of the filling into balls and place on the pretzels. Press another pretzel on top to form the sandwich (that was my favorite part). Melt the chocolate chips however you like to melt chocolate and dip half of the sandwich. Place on parchment and sprinkle with sea salt. Let dry, probably overnight if you make them at 11 pm like I did. Then you can eat one for a midnight snack ;). Seriously addictive.