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gfcf_shaved_ice

I know it’s October, but here in Southern California we’ve been riding a few heatwaves lately! So, I remembered I’d seen this recipe in the May 2012 edition of Sunset Magazine for “Ginger Shaved Ice with Apricots and Sweetened Condensed Milk.” I figured that it would be a fun time to try this recipe out.

One problem – it’s way past apricot season! So, I had to substitute peaches for the apricots. I think the recipe still worked and I hope you’ll consider trying it too.  (One word of caution: it’s not something you can whip up in a few minutes for dessert; this one requires some advance planning!)

The flavors of this are really amazing. You have the hot spiciness of ginger with the cool ice and the sweetness of peaches. Not your traditional ice cream dessert!

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Ginger Shaved Ice with Peaches (Nicholas Rating = 20 Thumbs Up!)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup coarsely chopped ginger (unpeeled)

3 peaches, sliced (or, a 15-0z can of sliced peaches in their own juice)

1/3 cup coconut cream

4 small mint sprigs (for garnish)

1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove syrup from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, mince chopped ginger in a food processor. Then, add 3/4 cup of water to the ginger and whirl until juice gets extracted. Pour the mixture over a fine strainer set over a bowl and using a large wooden spoon, press the ginger to extract the juices.

3. Stir the liquid ginger into the syrup. Reserve 1/2 cup of the ginger syrup mixture and chill in refrigerator separately.

4. Pour the rest of the ginger syrup mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover the pan with foil and freeze until slushy at edges (between 2 and 5 hours). Stir well with a fork, breaking up the lumps, then freeze until solid (overnight works best).

5. Meanwhile, stir the peaches into ginger syrup liquid, at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

6. Scrape the frozen mixture with a fork to make large flakes. Spoon ginger ice into bowls and top with coconut cream. Drain the peaches, then spoon over ginger ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.

 

Thanks to the generous folks at Gutzy Gear, I received some free Gutzy Straps and Gutzy Patches and was asked to throw a party! What is Gutzy Gear? It’s a fun new way for children to personalize their backpacks with special velcro patches. Because they are velcro, they can be moved around on the special straps and even traded with other children. The straps retail for about $9.99 and the patches (in sets of 2) are about $5.99 (prices in Southern California). You can purchase the patches and straps at Toys ‘R Us and KMart.

boy_gutzyBecause we are a GFCF family, I made sure the menu was appropriately Gluten-Free and Casein-Free. I have found that most people, especially children, will eat just about any type of snack, as long as it looks like something familiar. The menu consisted of GFCF Sugar Cookies (recipe coming soon!), watermelon slices, and 100% Juice Capri Suns to drink. The cookies were a huge hit, even though there were only 2 of us there that needed to eat GFCF. (Side note – don’t be afraid to serve allergen-safe food at a party you are throwing; I’m always pleasantly surprised to see how much “regular eaters” enjoy my food!)

The Gutzy Gear was also a big hit! The party consisted of 3 girls and 3 boys, ranging in age from 5-11 years old. The girls (seen above) are playing a game of Bingo with the Gutzy Gear patch symbols. There was a real “feeding frenzy” to check out the patches when I brought out the different patches for the children.

The children were very excited to get their patches onto the special straps. None of them had seen the Gutzy  Gear product before, but all were excited to show their friends at school and be “the first one” at school with the cool patches. As you can see in these photos, the children are really excited that they were able to decorate their backpacks this way.

Overall, I think that Gutzy Gear is a fun new product for kids. My son is already dreaming about spending next week’s allowance for some more patches!

Disclaimer: Gutzy Gear provided me with  free samples of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

It’s summer in Southern California and that means surfing! Nicholas enjoyed a week of Surf Camp and the weather couldn’t have been better. It’s also time to list my 7 Recipes I love for July.

These are the ones we have been enjoying this month, and I hope you will too!

1. Creamy Cashew Pasta Salad  – what is it about cold pasta salad and summer? They just go together, beautifully. And, a GFCF version is even better!

2. Shredded Beef Tacos – my son asked me to make “tacos like they have at Chipotle” and this recipe really delivers.  It can be made in a crock pot too, so it doesn’t heat up your kitchen.  My husband and Nicholas couldn’t stop raving about these!

3. Coconut Cajun Shrimp – I’ll admit it…I have a definite weakness for recipes that include both coconut AND shrimp! This one is extra special because it’s spicy to boot.

4. Gluten-Free Crepes – yes, you can make crepes with coconut flour! Another fun item for summer because you can stuff them full of all the fruit that is in season now.

5. Paleo Hungry Man Sweet Potato Casserole – another hearty meal that you can cook in the crock pot. Crock pot cooking is really great for summer, especially if you are very busy.  Dinner is waiting for you in the evening, after a little bit of prep in the morning; fabulous!

6. Asian Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce – chicken on a stick…doesn’t that just scream SUMMER? I’ve seen the prepared, marinated skewers at the store and realized there’s too much junk in the marinade (including MSG and gluten usually). So, I was so thrilled to see such a yummy recipe to make my own.

7. Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Donuts – “But, Mom! I really miss donuts!” Nicholas was super excited to find out that he could eat these donuts and not violate the GFCF Diet.

guacamole_and_plantain_chips

Spring is here and the temperatures are rising – well, at least they are here in Southern California! Avocados seem to be plentiful in the store and I’ve been buying them like crazy! Nicholas’ new favorite snack is super easy and super healthy – a great combination. Avocados are loaded with calcium, lots of vitamins, nutrients, and the “good fat” we all need. And, you don’t even have to buy them organic!

This is an easy snack to have available when the neighborhood kids drop by or if you have to go to a potluck and just want to bring something a bit different.  I must confess, it’s not exactly an original recipe; many in the paleo diet community have shared this before, but I thought it fit well for being both gluten and casein free.

Guacamole and Plantain Chips (Nicholas Rating = 100 Thumbs Up!)

2 ripe avocados

1/2 lime

plantain chips (make your own or buy them at Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s)

Slice and mash the avocados in a small serving bowl. Squeeze juice of a half lime into avocado and mix well. Serve with plantain chips as a dip!

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