Friday, August 8, 2014

Cut-Out Cookies for St. Herman (GFCF No Nut)

Tomorrow we will visit a sister parish for their feast day - the glorification of St. Herman of Alaska! We've often celebrated St. Herman's Day in December with special treats, so we wanted to bring some Spruce Island Cookies for this special day in the parish's life.





However, my son, the one who is no-dairy-soy-egg-nut-wheat-corn, would not have been able to eat them without discomfort, so I tried a new recipe today, inspired by Katherine and Anna. I substituted sun-butter for part of the margarine, sugar for the powdered sugar (which has corn starch), and oats & gfcf mix for the flour. And the bottle of vinegar for a rolling pin.



We thought the results were good enough to share, since it can be hard to find good recipes for our gfcf-no-nut-no-egg family and friends:) At first, I thought they might be too crumbly and would need something like xanthum gum to help, but once they cooled they turned out fine.




Cut-Out Cookies 

(GFCF No Nut No Egg)


1 scant c. sugar
1/2 c. lenten margarine, softened (we use Earth Balance, soy-free)
1/2 c. Sunflower Seed Butter
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c. Bob's Redmill Gluten Free baking mix (the one with garbanzo beans & sorghum)
1 cup oat flour (just took my stick blender to a bowl of oats, then measured out a cup)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cream together confectioner's sugar, margarine, sun-butter, and vinegar. Mix together the flours, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl. Add to the margarine mixture and stir until blended. If the dough seems dry, add a little liquid (rice milk, water, etc.) to correct consistency.

On a lightly oat-floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes (like a tree!) Place cookies carefully onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle cookies liberally with green sugar or leave plan to frost after baking.

Bake 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly on the pans. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1-3 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter!


 Spruce Island Trees and the North Star of Alaska
St. Herman, pray for us!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Crochet a Monk Doll

Disclaimer - I didn't write down what I was doing as I went - so this is NOT a pattern. It's more like a trail of crumbs, my friend. Follow if you already know how to crochet and don't mind figuring out quite a bit yourself.... :)

First, follow this pattern using cream colored yarn, but don't make legs or ears: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/80095AD.html?noImages=

For the black robe, I just traced a pattern, single-stitch crotched it, dropping and adding stitches to make each row the right length. I made two of those and then sewed them together. Start at the bottom of one side, go up and just past the shoulder, then run the yarn through the back of the neck, sewing the pieces together again at the other shoulder, finishing by sewing down.

Same thing with the hat - shaped it as I went, ripped some out, started over, repeat....


If I make another one, I promise to count stitches and write it all down as I go!



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Online Children's Bible Reader

What a great idea: Children's Bible Reader Online. Children can click on which stories they want to have read.

Children's Bible Reader: Greek Orthodox Children's Illustrated Bible Reader - English Version

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In which the baby started speaking like a big girl...

My five year old is starting to say the correct words more often, words that make me realize I'll miss the old phrases. So here are a few, saved in a place for me to remember. Many of these terms have become new whole-family vocabulary.

Hand Sanitizer - Hanitizer
Presvytera Maria - Tezaria, Tezmaria, Prezatezmaria
Back Yardigans - Backward Guardians
Unpack - Repack ("RE" is the preferred prefix for many words)
Terri - Tehwee
Mrs. Maria - Mizariah
Chicken and Dumplings - Chiklin-dumplins

Many years to my five year old girl!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Make Koliva Memorial Wheat


If you've never shared Koliva in memory of a loved one, this is a special treat with symbolic meaning. (Seems like most traditional Church foods have symbolic meanings!) Wheat kernels must fall to the ground and die in order to create new life (Gospel of St. John 12:24), just as our earthly bodies must come to an end in order for our spirits to find new life in eternity.

 2 cups of wheat berries (the "soft" ones cook faster; can usually find these from health food store)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. white raisins (or whatever dried fruits you prefer)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin

1 cup finely ground zweiback toasts (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
dragees or more nuts/ raisens for decoration


Day 1. Cover and soak berries overnight.

Day 2. Drain & rinse. Cover with water in large pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 1-3 hours, until puffy and tender (keep covered with water and stir occasionally).

Drain in a colander; rinse and drain again. Spread the wheat our on a smooth dish towel to dry overnight.

Day 3. Light a candle and pray. Mix all ingredients. You may decide to bring the mix to church to assemble. One time, when I arrived, another dear sister in Christ added a Lebanese spice and I wish I could tell you what it was - maybe star anise?  In any case, put combined mixture on a tray that has been covered with wax paper.

Heap in a mound toward center and press to make smooth.

To top it: Either just sift on 1 cup of powdered sugar, or first sprinkly with 1 cup of finely ground zweiback toast and then with sugar. (the zweiback keep the sugar from absorbing and disappearing into the wheat).

Make a cross in the center with koufeta, dragees, nuts, raisens, whatever.

                        (This is Carol's Koliva)




May Their Memory Be Eternal!





(from the 2008 archives - I think it's worth sharing again)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Many thanks to Anna for her Magic Kale - I loved it. And here is one that came in my Farmers Market email this morning that I can't wait to try. Substituting pecans for feta might be nice for the fast. The recipe below is a direct quote from the NPR website, which you can visit by clicking on the link. Enjoy!  

Kale, Peach, Corn And Feta Salad by Deena Prichep for NPR
Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Dollop honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
1 bunch kale (red Russian is especially nice), washed and torn into small pieces
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
3 peaches, cut into slim wedges
1/4 cup feta (preferably a moist, mild feta, like French or Israeli), crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, sherry vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion, and let sit for a few minutes to mellow. Add the kale and cilantro, and mix well to coat with the dressing. (Monica"s note: I like Anna's recommendation of "massaging" the dressing in.) Let sit for an hour, refrigerated or at room temperature, for the kale to absorb the dressing and soften. Scatter the corn, peaches and feta over the top and serve (or pack in containers for a picnic).