Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Great visit to the Metabolic Clinic

Today we all went up to see our friends at the Metabolic Clinic at OHSU. After almost six years you would think that we are all totally used to the drill. Of course we are, but there still is that little nagging tiny feeling in my heart saying "what if something is not right?" And of course there is Mia Rose who said in school the day before "I am sick that's why I have to go to the doctor tomorrow", and Alena who asked the receptionist "no shots, right? No Blutabnehmen (blood draw), right?"...So yes, it still pinches me every time.

In any case, our visit turned out to be wonderful. The girls are growing beautifully, live feels nice and soft (or however this is really described), eyes are clear, speech is good, LEVELS are FANTASTIC, and overall our physician was very pleased with both of our sweet little ladies...The best news of all? We currently go up to OHSU for an appointment twice a year, however because they are both doing so well we are switching to annual appointments! Yeah!!! Of course, this does not include the draws. Those are still at least twice a year for both girls, but this great appointment just shows to me that it is possible to live a normal life, include as much food as possible, and be HAPPY...as I said before Galactosemia is part of our life, but it certainly is not our life, and does not rule our life.

We celebrated today by going out for dinner to Deschutes Brewery Pub, followed by a visit to the Jamison Square Fountain, and ice cream at Ben & Jerry's in the Pearl (Lemon sorbet for Mia Rose & Mango Sorbet WITH chocolate sprinkles for Alena). The perfect ending to a great day.

Homemade easy Gnocchi & Pesto recipe

We love Gnocchi. They are delicious, and filling; some of the store bough ones contain whey, or another milk derivative, and I just do not like the frozen ones. Plus the homemade ones just taste so much better :)

Here is the recipe

  • 200 gr. (about a good 1-3/4 C) Flour
  • 500 gr. (2-1/4 C) Potatoes (I used red potatoes as they should stay somewhat firm when cooking)
  • Salt
  • 50 gr. (3-1/2 Tbl.) Earth Balance melted
  1. Peel potatoes and boil in salt water until done
  2. Pour flour into a bowl
  3. Push potatoes through ricer onto the flour
  4. add Salt
  5. add melted Earth Balance
  6. Put everything gently together (I use a scraper) until it becomes a firm dough - this process should take about 5-6 minutes; very gently knead dough
  7. Divide dough into four equal parts
  8. Form, and shape each one into a long skinny roll with about 1/2 inch (1 cm)in diameter
  9. Cut each roll into equal gnocchi, each about 1 inch, or longer (2.5 cm)
  10. Bring water with salt to a boil
  11. Add the entire Gnocchi batch at once to the boiling water
  12. turn down heat to a simmer
  13. Cook for about another minute once they float to the surface
  14. Take out of the water

You can serve Gnocchi just with garlic & olive oil, crispy fried sage leaves, tomato sauce, etc. Since I had a bunch of basil, I made Pesto...


  • Bunch of basil (leaves only) - about 2 packed cups
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 Cup of pine nuts, or walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesiano Regiano (optional - if you use, pls be sure that it is the imported version - FYI - Grana Parmsiano is not aged as long)
  1. Put garlic in food processor and pulse until finely chopped
  2. Add basil leaves and pulse
  3. Add pine nuts and pulse (if you use walnuts, then process them before the basil)
  4. Add Olive Oil and pulse
  5. If you do not add the cheese it is done and delicious - you may want to add salt
  6. Add Parmesiano and pulse (no additional salt is needed)

FYI - I did not have any nuts in the house and the pesto still turned out great.

Please let me know if you like it...Happy eating :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Stuffed French Toast & Apple Syrup

This past weekend we hosted brunch for friends. I like it because its early in the day and a lot of it can be prepared ahead of time. Plus, the big confession ;), I really love bubbly and isn't brunch the perfect time for a nice glass of bubbly? Maybe a Mimosa?! Anyway, so there is bubbly for the adults along with Fruit Salad, Apple Chicken Sausage, Marionberry Jam (so very proud to announce that its from the fruit we picked last week), French Toast, and apple syrup.

Our girls like fruit, but also (this seems to be a given) the French Toast along with the apple syrup and Jam. The recipe is easy and it can be prepared the night before. Just pop it in the oven 45 minutes before you want to serve it. Well, I have not posted recipes in a while so here we go.

Stuffed French Toast Strata
  • 1 1-lb. loaf French Bread
  • 1 8-oz. package of Tofuti "Cream Cheese" cubed
  • 8 Eggs
  • 2-1/2 Cups "milk", or "creamer" (I use Soy and like plain the best)
  • 6 Tablespoons Earth Balance melted
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  1. Cut bread into cubes,
  2. grease a 13x9x2 inch baking dish
  3. Place 1/2 of the bread cubes into the baking dish
  4. Top with "Cream Cheese"
  5. Top with remaining bread cubes
  6. In blender mix together eggs, "milk", margarine, and maple syrup until well combined
  7. Pour mixture evenly over the bread & "cream cheese"
  8. Press down lightly to moisten all layers
  9. Cover with foil and let rest in fridge for 2 - 24 hours

When you are ready to bake the French Toast

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until center is set, and edges are slightly golden
  3. Serve with Apple Cider Syrup

Apple Cider Syrup

  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup apple cider, or apple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
  1. Stir sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon together (in small saucepan)
  2. Stir in juice, or cider and lemon juice
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly
  4. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in margarine until melted (I actually did not add more margarine and it turned out good)

I have had this recipe for a very long time and adapted it to fit the galactosemic diet; unfortunately I do not have the name of the author, title, etc.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I love Kale, Mama...

As of last week I am no longer buying produce on the Farmer's Market, or in the store. What is going on? Did we give up on veggies? Wow, that would be terrible...no, of course not, we just started to get our veggies delivered. It is too late in the season to get a share in a CSA, but it is never to late to join "Organics to You". So, last Tuesday was the first time we got a box full of veggies. Let me tell you, it is very, very, very impressive. Mushrooms, Snap Peas, Lettuce, Garlic, Fresh Onions, Carrots, Potatoes, Broccoli, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Basil, and Kale. And yes, the girls eat everything, we do not exclude one single vegetable. They love tomatoes...Mia Rose actually ate an entire pint of cherry tomatoes the other day :)

In any case, so we have had the Mushrooms with new Onions and Pasta; Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Couscous; home made Gnocchi with home made Pesto (pls let me know if you are interested in the recipe & I will post it...and yes, the pesto I made was with Parmesiano Regiano); Kale with black beans and rice...So why, the title? Today we had black beans, rice, and Kale for dinner. Alena loves black beans, Mia Rose on the other hand sees her plate looks at it (so imagine one pile of rice, pile of black beans, and pile of sauteed kale) and says "Mama I love Kale..." It was just so cute that I had to share it :)

Lately it seems that my posts have nothing to do with CG. Well, on one hand this one certainly does not but on the other hand it does. Just like with earlier posts about the berries it goes to illustrate that we live a normal life. The girls eat all fruits & veggies, even Parmesiano Reggiano and they are doing fine. I used to be so frightened that something terrible would happen if they would eat certain food which are not allowed under the Acosta Diet. I remember when Alena was first eating solids how I analyzed every single ingredient. Poor girls, she did not have any apple sauce, nor carrots...I sound like a broken record now, but I have come a long way. Remember the glass is always, always half full...

P.S.: Here is the link to Organics to you...http://www.organicstoyou.org/

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vanilla "ice cream" with chocolate sauce and raspberries

We love summer. Long days, walking barefoot, kids in swimsuits, sunshine, Oregon berries...

Yesterday the girls and I went berry picking again. We ate all of the berries from our last trip (yes, all 12 lbs. of blueberries were eaten within 3 days!!!) Good thing there are still blueberries available even so for only another two weeks or so...So we went again and came back home with
12 lbs. of blueberries, 3 lbs. of marionberries, and 3 lbs. of raspberries. Marionberries are so thorny, and Alena's absolute favorite. On the way home Alena kept talking about chocolate with ice cream, berries with ice cream, carrots (?) with ice cream and chocolate...well, you get the picture. How could I resist but to buy the fixings for ice cream sundaes?!

For the first time I bought Vanilla Bean "ice cream" made from Hempmilk. WOW - is that tasty. It is made by Living Harvest Foods, Inc. and the brand is "Tempt"...Here is the link to the "ice cream page" http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/CategoryDisplay?cgmenbr=655972&cgrfnbr=3021040. The flavors include Vanilla Bean, Mint Chip, Coffee Biscotti, Chocolate Fudge, and Coconut Lime. So far I can only pledge for the Vanilla Bean. It is delicious...oh, and for the chocolate sauce I bought Chocolate flavored Syrup by Santa Cruz. The girls loved this too :) Check it out, here is the link http://www.scojuice.com/products/dessert_toppings/chocolate_syrup. The girls topped the "ice cream" with the chocolate sauce and raspberries.

Oh, and if you wondered what happened to the berries. 1 bag of blueberries are frozen (yeah!), marionberries = 8 jars of jam, raspberries - most of them are eaten, and I made 2-1/2 jars of jam out of the rest, 1 bag of blueberries will be made into jam, the last bag of blueberries will be eaten :))) - I LOVE Summer!

I love to hear from you, so please let me know if you like this...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun day at the pool followed by popsicles

Yesterday we went to Sellwood Pool to cool off...what fun we had. I did not feel like making a second stop at Staccato Gelato. There are snow cones for sale at the pool, but there is also an ice cream vending machine. Guess what? As you can see, there were Popsicles the girls can have...Isn't life great?! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This time we had a fun day...

Today we drove back to the place where Alena had a seizure a few weeks ago. Both Ron and I had to go back to feel good again about the place, and know that it had nothing to do with the location. I certainly did not want to avoid the recreation area as I had avoided Emanuel Hospital for over four years because of PTSD. In any case, we went back today and had the absolute funnest day. It was great therapy and I think that it just maybe OK...

It was a very warm sunny day in PDX, and about ten degrees cooler up there. Alena just got a bike with training wheels and we brought that along as well as Mia Rose's bike. Mia Rosie's bike is w/o pedals, she sits on it and uses her feet. Its great to learn the balance thing. We took "Streamwatch Trail", looked at the fish, threw rocks into the Salmon River, waded in the Salmon River, and also brought lunch along. Our fantastic lunch de jour consisted out of PBJ for Ron, Mia Rose, and myself. Alena prefers to just stick apple pieces into peanut butter. She ended up eating 1-1/2 apples with a ton of peanut butter :) (made both of us oh so very happy). We then trekked back up to the car, loaded in the bike and drove to the "Family Picnic" area. There is a huge open field, and also a nice playground. The girls were ecstatic...Perfect ending for a perfect day. Take a look at this great place here is a link to the broshure http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/files/brochures/Wildwood_brochure07.pdf. Oh, and what does this have to do with Galactosemia? It really has nothing to do with it at, but you know what? We did not think once about CG...Have a great week.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Espos and Nature's Promise Sorbetto Recall due undeclared to milk - specific lot sizes

I just received information about this recall. The panel will be updated by next week.
Hiland-Roberts Ice Cream Announces Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Specific Lot Numbers of Espo brand and Natures Promise brand Sorbettos Due to Containing Undeclared Milk

Fri, 17 Jul 2009 18:59:00 -0500

Hiland-Roberts Ice Cream, Norfolk NE is voluntarily recalling sorbet products manufactured for Espo's Cucina Dolce, Inc. because they contain undeclared milk. The recalled products are pint containers of Espo's Sorbetto and Nature's Promise Sorbetto.

Please click on the above link for detailed information about the recall.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More summer ice cream fun - Staccato Gelato

Friday morning's are our playground days. We meet up with other families in Sellwood Park. Today, after playgroup, we all went to have ice cream at Staccato Gelato. Most children had chocolate, vanilla, or any other type of milk based ice cream you can imagine. Alena and Mia Rose had sorbet. Today they had a selection of four different flavors. Lemon, Raspberry, Plum, and Blueberry. Mia Rose ate (as always) a scoop of lemon, and Alena chose Blueberry. Delicious!!! Honestly, I would have never thought that being around other kids eating chocolate, or vanilla ice cream would be a non-issue. What do I mean by that? Well, I imagined that the girls would have a hard time with other kids eating the flavors they love (OK - Mia Rosie really is a lemon sorbet girl, not vanilla soy cream or anything else :) ). It is no issue at all. Alena told the other kids, no I cannot have that...and I told Mia Rose that it had "Kuhmilch" in it. I am so impressed, on top of that I was not the least bit anxietal. No fear, that they would ingest, or taste from another kids...what a great journey :)

On more thing about Staccato Gelato, homemade, local gelato. The place is such a wonderful east side place...you just have to love. The staff is great, they are helpful, and there is even a play corner in the Sellwood store. :) FYI - there are two locations one in North East Portland, and the other in Sellwood (South East Portland).

- 232 NE 28th Ave. and
- 1540 SE Bybee

Here is a link to their Web-Site http://www.staccatogelato.com/

SO DELICIOIUS - Coconut Milk Ice Cream from Turtle Mountain

We found something new that is quite delicious! On our weekly trip to the grocery store Alena picked out a box of "Mini Chocolate Vanilla Bars" from So Delicious. They are made from coconut milk, super creamy, and very, very good. FYI - I just saw that they are now also offering Coconut Milk in 1/2 gallon containers. It is fortified with minerals and available in plain, vanilla, as well as chocolate. In addition, there are now also coconut milk yoghurt's available. We have not tried the milk, but the yogurt. The yogurt is also quite good, however it runs on the spendy side if you know what I mean ;). What do you think? Would you like to try it too...well, here is the link http://www.purelydecadent.com/. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Fun = Yurt Camping and S'mores

Have you ever heard of a Yurt? Yurts are somewhat like a cabin but circular, with a plexiglass dome on the ceiling. Oregon State Parks call it "Camping lite" because you need to bring everything you need for camping but the tent, or RV, or camper. It is really fun, and yes also rustic like any "regular" camping experience. A yurt is somewhat like a tent but it has electricity, a bunk bed, futon, table and chairs. Quite luxurious :))) Here is a link to Oregon State Parks explaining Yurts http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/rustic.shtml#RUSTIC_YURTS . We just got back today from two days at Champoeg State Park. It was so much fun!!! Ron made our "usual" great camping dinner of Baked Beans with Hot Dogs. Honestly, it tastes so good when sitting around the campfire and both girls just LOVE the beans. The after dinner treat is of course a must of either roasted marshmallows or s'mores. This time we made s'mores. Graham crackers usually seem to be a safe food, well so far we have not found one w/o corn syrup in it but besides that, I have not seen any to contain whey, etc. For chocolate we used Lindt 85% Cocoa. I grated the chocolate and put it on the graham crackers while the girls roasted the marshmallows. I then took the roasted marshmallow of the stick, plopped it on the chocolate, put on the second cracker and voila...perfect s'mores. Alena LOVED them and she ate a total of three (!) s'mores...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lemon Coffee Cake

I actually really like having cake for the weekend. Its so great to enjoy a cup of coffee for breakfast with some nice coffee cake...unfortunately I do not bake that regularly. This week however I really felt like some type of Lemon Coffee Cake (or is it lemon pound cake, but then again what makes it a "pound" cake?). I found this very easy recipe and adjusted it only to use Earth Balance instead of butter, and Soy Milk instead of milk. - Here it is:


- 3 Cup Flower

- 2 Cup Sugar

- 1 Cup Soy/Rice Milk

- 2-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

- 4.4 oz Earth Balance (Margarine) FYI - 125 gr

- 3 eggs, separated

- 2 Lemon, juiced and peel grated

***Preheat oven to 350 F***

1. Separate the eggs

2. Beat whites until peaks form

In separate bowl mix:-

3. Flower, with baking powder and add

4. Egg yolk. Earth Balance, and Soy Milk

5. Mix together

6. Add Lemon Peel

7. Add the egg whites and mix carefully (use spoons) under the dough

8. Pour batter in a well greased Bundt Pan (Gugelhupf Pan)

9. Bake for about 1 hour in the pre-heated oven

When the cake is done

10. Mix Lemon with some powdered sugar and brush mixture on the warm cake

When the cake is completely cooled down, sift powdered sugar over it

Please let me know if you like the cake, or made any adjustments. Thank you :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Berry picking

We all love berries...don't we live in the perfect spot for that?! - Sauvie Island is less than a thirty minute drive away, and picking berries is just so much outdoor fun. The kids, and the mothership (as I have been calling myself today) love it. Anyways, in June we already went Strawberry picking. I ended up making six jars of jam which is quite delicious. Mia Rose is the absolute Strawberry nut...she loves them so much. She basically sat in the field eating one berry after another...Alena of course also loves Strawberries but is not quite as crazy about them. Alena did throw berries in the basket and not just into her mouth ;)

July brings Raspberries and Blueberries. Today was our day to go back to Sauvie Island. Just the girls and me. What fun we had. We first picked Blueberries, which is another of Mia Roses favorites, and then moved on to the Raspberries. The farm we go to has these great carts, so by the time we were at the Raspberries the girls stayed in the cart cuddled in their blanket, eating cookies while the mothership picked Raspberries, dropping the occasional one into their mouths. Funny enough, Alena is a Raspberry nut. Mia Rose likes them but she definitively would not sit in the dirt just to eat them :))). In total we had 12 lbs. of berries and yes, we will be back as Marionberries, and Blackberries are yet to come. Plus can one ever have enough Blueberries? Here is a link to the farm we like to go to http://sauvieislandfarms.com/

So there is really not one point I am trying to make. Maybe one. - When I first read through the documentation on foods and saw that it also included Blueberries I was so, so very sad. Well, here we are five years later, two girls with CG, both with great levels, no issue, and both are total Blueberry lovers. OK the point? Its not all black, and its not all white...and the glass is always, always, always half full...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Alena and Mia Rose

My happy thought...girls hanging out on the couch in the morning :)

Update...she is fine :)

Just a quick update on Alena. We went for our follow-up visit with our pediatrician yesterday and she did not think that Alena had a seizure. Fact is that she never stiffened up and was floppy the entire time. Our pediatrician - and please know that we think the world of her; she had a gut feeling that something was not right when we brought in Alena at 5 days of age and we credit her much with saving Alena's life - thinks that it may have been brought on by Alena being super tired, a little dehydrated but she wants to talk it through with a pediatric neurologist. Alena did seize as an infant when she was a week old in the hospital, right after that she was transferred to the PICU...ahhhh...my mind keeps on going back there now and it really is not a place I want to go right now. In any case, our pediatrician will talk it through with the pediatric neurologist and based upon her recommendation (neurologist) Alena may have an EEG. Oh, and yes she (our pediatrician) will also keep the metabolic team in the loop.

OK - I have to get back to happy thoughts...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th everybody...

Before I forget, belated Happy Canada Day ;)...

Another 4th of July and it is hot here in Portland. What does 4th of July mean in our house? Do you want to guess, maybe?! OK I will let you off the hook...its FLAG CAKE DAY!!! Yeah, I already baked the cake, poured the Yell-o on it (just a tiny bit so this year), and frosted the cake. But it's not yet finished. The girlies and I will do that a little bit later before we go to our party :)

For those of you who are interested here is the link to the recipe. http://galactopdx.blogspot.com/2008/07/4th-of-july-flag-cake.html A picture of this year's cake will be posted later :) Have a great day everybody

GREAT lab results...

With all the excitement going on last week I completely neglected to mention the fantastic lab results we had for both girls. Thankfully also the Vitamin D levels are up, not quite there yet but they are up...We are so pleased...this gives us definitive proof that the diet at Mia Rosie's school is 100% safe. Plus there is another thing. Did I mention before that both our girls eat Parmesiano Reggiano? - Both girls have been eating Parmesiano for awhile now (only authentic Parmesiano Reggiano, not Grana, or other type of Parmesan). I think that I mentioned in previous posts that Germans, Austrians, Swiss, and also Italians allow aged cheeses in the CG diet. We actually have friends in Northern Italy whose two children also have CG. Their kids are 10 and 8. Both kids eat Parmesiano. After meeting with our metabolic clinic we first allowed Alena to eat Parmesan, and now also Mia Rose. In any case, going back to the recent labs both girls ate Parmesiano the day before the draw...We are so excited, as neither level was elevated. Calcium is just so important, and if they can get it from cheese it is just so much better.


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