Cold Summer Treats and You Control the Sugar!

When my children were small, they used to love those plastic tubes of frozen juice treats. These days, they all more health-conscious so wouldn’t touch them anymore although they recall them fondly. Not only was the frozen treat fun to save on a hot afternoon, the fact that there was no stick made it easy to tackle and kept their hands cooled down, too. If only there was a way to make these the way we want them without the sugar, chemicals, and food coloring. You’ve guess it! If you check on, you can now find the plastic tubes being sold and most brands usually include a small funnel to get your fruit creation into the tube for freezing.

Imagine the scope for coming up with tasty but better for you treats. My daughter is talking about blending together fresh strawberries and some yogurt for her creation. Also, for a grown up barbecue, you could make up a favorite mixed drink and pass of some interesting flavors where the ice will last as long as the frozen treat. On a diet? Frozen iced tea or coffee? A lot of room for imagination here.


Homemade Gluten-Free Asian Noodles!

One thing we have missed since having to go gluten-free has been a big bowl of Asian Chicken soup with lots of long, slurpy noodles. Yes, there are some gluten-free spaghetti and pasta products but they aren’t quite the same and usually come with a price tag that doesn’t fit into my budget. Personally, I think the meat on the menu should be the pricey one, not the pasta/noodles.

Well, I was watching some competitive chef show on television a couple of months ago and he was going to make fresh Asian noodles and grabbed this funny, press thing, put in his dough, wound it down and long strings of beautiful noodles cascaded into the boiling water and within less than a minute . . . noodles. Well, he was, of course, using wheat flour BUT I surfed the Internet and soon came up with a gluten-free recipe and whipped up a batch of noodles I squeezed into boiling oil which resulted in the best crispy noodles ever and much less expensive than the canned version.

Basically, I use BetterBatter gluten-free blend. The recipe is BetterBatter, salt, and eggs. I usually figure on a cup per person having dinner and then just keep adding eggs until I get a dough that softly holds it’s shape. Get the water or oil going and have kitchen shears at hand because each batch put into the pot is one, very long batch of noodles. I simmer about as long as it takes me to reload the press. Each cooked batch comes out and drains in a colander before the next one goes in. Sometimes, it takes four to six eggs to get the proper dough with three cups of gluten-free flour. I toss the noodles with a little sesame oil to keep the separated and they are ready to be drowned in a batch of
Chinese Chicken Soup.

What Happens When The Government is in Charge . . .

You may not have heard about this but there is a 10-month old baby in a London Hospital on life support. In spite of the parents objections, the hospital plans to remove the baby from life support within days. The parents have gone to court on this and been denied a ‘stay of execution’ of their child. Are they asking for more and more ‘free’ medical care for the baby? Nope! They have raised more than enough money to have the child transported to the United States for an experimental trial that might extend or save his life. England and the doctors are not permitting this. A lesson to those who feel that the one-payer, everything is for ‘free’ medical system would be ideal. Ideal until someone other than yourself gets to decide your date of death.

Watermelon Hints

The best part of the summer season for me is that it is watermelon season, too. Yes, in California, you can find a watermelon most any time of the year but the summer ones are always the best. We discovered one problem, however. Since we revamped our diet and now indulge in more fruits and vegetables, our refrigerator is always full with absolutely no room for a watermelon. Not wanting to deal with a watermelon addict in withdrawal, my husband came up with the idea of keeping the melon in a cooler with four or five frozen bottles of water. Every evening, he switches out the bottles for the back up one in the freezer and this has kept my watermelon in a healthy state of coldness leaving room in the refrigerator for that pesky broccoli, squash, and carrots.

Also, an annual word to the wise. Always thoroughly wash the melons you bring home from the store before storing them either in a cooler or refrigerator. It is not enough to merely use a clean knife for cutting a delectable piece of melon as the knife is cutting through the ‘dirty’ outside of the melon and scraping any germs/virus right across that slice of deliciousness you are about to enjoy. Just think about where that watermelon has been on it’s way to your home! I use a dab or Dawn dish detergent as it rinses clean, doesn’t have a lingering scent and really gets the surface of the melon clean.