Sunday, September 30, 2007
Brownie Quest!
I am in search of the perfect brownie recipe that tastes "like the box mix", but did not come from the box. The illustrator says that you can't make one that tastes better than the mix from the box from scratch. I think he is wrong! You know I am always out to make things better for you too. Now, I know if you are going to eat a brownie than just eat a fatty brownie and shut up, but I don't subscribe to that philosophy ever. I want to enjoy food and make it better for you. That way, you can enjoy more food and feel better about it! So, I made this recipe and was told that it was the right "fudginess" ( I am not sure that is a word, but that is what he said), but the taste was not "quite" there - close, but not quite. So the quest begins...

Not Quite There Fudge Brownies

3 TBSP Whipped Earth Balance
1 TBSP Oil
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips ( I used Enjoy Life)
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP apple butter
1/2 cup egg substitute

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 in square baking with with cooking spray.

Mix 1/4 cup chocolate chips with EB and oil. Microwave 30 seconds to melt chocolate. Stir and microwave another 30 seconds if you need to. Keep an eye on it!

Spoon flour into measuring cups and level. Mix the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together. Mix together the coffee, chocolate mixture, apple butter, and egg substitute. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture until just combined. Fold in remaining chocolate chips. Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting (this part never happens in my house - I think the smell of brownies was seriously killing Max!)

The kids absolutely loved this recipe! So much so that they asked that their dad not take them to the studio. So, I will work on the fudgy taste and see how we can correct that.

12 servings = 243 per serving (we like big brownies!)


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:39 AM   11 comments
Friday, September 28, 2007
Where To Start...
I am so out of it right now that I don't even know where to start. I would say the beginning, but honestly, that would take far more energy than I am willing to put out right now. I know it doesn't look like it, but I have been baking/cooking constantly. So much that Jay (my 9 year old) said the other day, "Mom you have been baking a lot lately". I have enjoyed that part of the past week. The only problem that I have gotten into has happened later on...I would say starting Wednesday. In reference to that, I forget sometimes that this blog is about more than food. It is about lactose intolerance and the things that I got through on a day to day basis so that others (if there are others) can get information that might help them out.

While I love this is truly my favorite time of year...I have horrible allergies. Well, I discovered last spring (in a not so pretty way - if you know what I mean) that all over the counter allergy medicines have lactose as an ingredient in them. So, I thought I was getting a cold earlier this week (everyone in my family has suffered from one lately, I just thought it was my turn) but it hasn't gone anywhere. It is the same...all allergy symptoms. Now that I have realized this, I am frustrated because I don't feel like dealing with the doctor's office again (I have been with the kids far too many times the past month) so I am suffering right now or until the doctor's office opens on Monday morning.

As for the rest of the BS I have been dealing with lately. My computer is still not quite right. When they fixed it about a month ago, they got rid of the program that imports my photos. So, the illustrator has been really busy this week working on a big job and I was trying not to bother him with getting the photos to me. I went downstairs to import the photos on the family computer and when I was pushing the hard drive back into it's home, I pushed the keyboard drawer (the one that I was so careful not to put the camera on earlier) in (only this time I put the camera on it)! So, now I messed up another piece of equipment. Luckily, we have a warranty, but I use is for play...he uses it for work. I feel just awful. So, I am over today, but will be ready to share some of my treats starting tomorrow.

If anyone has any suggestions for natural ways to help with allergies, please let me know. I am always looking for healthier ways to make things better...


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:43 PM   5 comments
Monday, September 24, 2007
More Bread!
So, as you can see, I am never on a low carb diet. I love bread! There, I have said it. This grilled flatbread is one of my favorites. The illustrator is actually the one that found the recipe and he used to make it all the time. It is so quick and easy to put together. I love it toasted and broken up in a salad or with a nice hearty dip! We originally found the recipe in the September 1998 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I looked online and it is here. I changed the recipe a little bit. I did not use the oil in the recipe, I used 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/2+1/3 cup white whole wheat flour, and I sprayed the grill pan with no stick instead of adding more oil. It is a great staple for something quick to throw together and people are always impressed that we make our own breads! Why shouldn't you when it is this good and a cinch to do!
I ate mine as a nice lite dinner with artichoke hearts and caramelized onions. It was so good!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:53 PM   3 comments
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I Made Bagels!
While I was out of town about a week ago, Celine at Have Cake Will Travel started a mad scientific experiment with bagels. I am a huge bagel fan! Then she went and put beer in her freakin' bagels. I mean, really, like I wasn't going to try this. I know this will shock some of you, but I do not like to drink beer...I just don't like it (the illustrator thinks there is something seriously wrong with me). However, I love it cooked/baked in things. I don't know why, but I do! (I know you all think much less of me now!) So, when I saw these recipes she kept throwing out there, I knew I would have to try them! So, I finally got a few minutes to myself and I threw together a batch for myself. I was so shocked at how easy they were! I have to be honest though and tell you that I had no doubts that they would be good...flour, beer, sugar...need I say more? They were perfect! What impressed me the most was that she simplified the recipe for those of us who do not have bread machines (I have just happens to be missing in action at my mother-in-laws house). I am anxious to try the pumpkin flavor now since I found some interesting looking pumpkin beer at the store the other day! Dang I love the fall!
Now, I know that you can just as easily go to the store and buy bagels (heck, it's probably even easier to go to the store). However, there is something to be said for baking food from scratch at home. I love that these look so "organic" and I don't have to look at the packaging to find out what kind of funk they have put in them! I am the type of person that can spend hours in a bakery just looking at the different shapes and colors of the breads. I love the smell too, so for me to be able to make things like this from scratch, to enjoy any time I want to is very comforting!I love that these look so "organic" . By that, I mean I am the person that likes things to look more homemade! I like good old fashioned looking treats! You know...not so perfectly frosted cakes or in my case not so perfectly shaped bagels. Also, this one in particular, without the perfect hole in the center, is going to make a mighty fine bagel pizza! I have threatened everyone in this house not to touch it...IT IS MINE!

I followed Celine's recipe for making the bagels by hand. This is the Double Mustard Bagel recipe, but I chose not to put the mustard in them because I wanted the flexibility to put sweet or salty with them! I followed the recipe for making them by hand and it is really simple! Thanks, again, Celine for another great recipe!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:44 PM   8 comments
Friday, September 21, 2007
Holy Crap!
Seriously, I just made Celine's Beer Bagels (I chose not to put mustard in them this time so I can do salty or sweet) and they are amazing! I will post pictures later, but you have to make them! They are so worth it!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:19 PM   2 comments
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I Feel It In The Air!
I can feel it, fall is coming! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I absolutely love this time of year. You are comfortable out side - not sweating or shivering - and the air smells so good. I love, love, love it! I know I have posted on this before, but cobblers definitely start the fall season off right! The illustrator and I both grew up with the same recipes for cobbler. Which is kind of funny because most of the time people change basic recipes suite their tastes. The recipe we use is just the good old fashioned, from Steel Magnolias, a cup, a cup, a cup. This one in particular came out of having nothing else. We did not have any other fruit in the house except for canned pears. Neither one of us had tried it before, but could it be bad? So, we went for it! It is so good. Not an over powering flavor. Just a warm, gooey, sweet treat topped with a scoop of So Delicious (of course).

Pear Cobbler
1 cup Self Rising Flour
1/3 cup Splenda Blend for Baking (or 2/3 cup sugar)
1 cup Fat Free Lactaid (or other non dairy milk substitute)
1 cup diced canned pears with the juice (it ends up being all of the pears and some juice)
freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray. We used a round 9in casserole dish, but you could bake it in a smaller one to give you a thicker cobbler. Just make sure it is not too small because it will bubble over!

Mix flour, nutmeg and sugar together. Add Lactaid and vanilla until just combined. Pour into prepared dish. Evenly distribute pears and juice over the top of the batter. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden on top and semi-firm in the center. It should still be a little bubbly!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:14 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Fantastic Soy Yogurt!
I used to eat yogurt like there was no tomorrow. With all of the stomach issues I have, it always seemed to help. Not to mention, it is/was one of my favorite foods! Unfortunately, as I have stated before, the soy yogurts I tried were just not as good. My mom told me a while back that someone had recommended Stonyfield Farms O'Soy. I was still cautious to even look for it (and my grocery store did not carry it). So, at a recent visit to Whole Foods to find some alternatives to dairy products, the illustrator convinced me to give it a try. Well, I am so glad that I did! So far, it is the best soy yogurt I have tried. Shoot, it may be the best yogurt I have ever tried! I have called everyone that I know to tell them to try it...lactose intolerant or not! The only flavor I have tried is the vanilla and it taste like you are eating the creamiest custard! To tell you the truth, when I opened it up I was really worried when I saw that it was solid. Then I realized that when I stirred it, it was the perfect consistency! So, if you get a chance, give it a try...and if you don't need the soy, you can always try the regular ones!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:31 AM   10 comments
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Too Easy, So Good
Well, things have been really busy (still) around here. We are done with major traveling for awhile and that feels so good. Since we have been so busy, we have been eating a lot of quick meals. As I mentioned about a month ago, I was new to cooking tofu. I really did not know how easy and good it really is. I had some odds and ends to use up around here, so I threw together a few things (literally) and I had a great meal. Most people assume that food has to be so hard to make in order for it to be good. I think that the simpler it is, the better it will taste. The more you add to something, the more you cover up the flavor of what you are eating! This is a keeper in my book. I sliced some lite firm tofu, pressed it a little between some paper towels, salt and peppered it and then seared it in a nonstick skillet for about 15 minutes (or until you get it as crispy as you like it). I discovered that I like it plain, but I also decided to add some Ken's Steakhouse Lite Asian Dressing to it (which is quite addictive), put it on top of some shredded cabbage and carrots and I was in heaven! It was light, healthy and filling. Perfect for a busy night!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:55 PM   2 comments
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Visiting The Newest Member
Well, I am finally getting the chance to cuddle the newest member of my family, Jacob Miller! My sister gave birth to this beautiful little man 10 weeks early. He is now almost 2 months and I could not stand not being able to see him anymore. He came home a couple of weeks ago and his dad had to go on a business trip. So, I was more than happy to come and love on this teeny little cuddle bug. This is my way of saying that food is the last thing on my mind, but I will be returning with lots of yummy treats for my family in a few days! Until then...


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:26 AM   2 comments
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Chai Treat
I only said it that way because I like the way it sounds...chai treat. Ok, so I am home with the boys while the illustrator is away for work and I may be losing my mind! I have regressed to approximately 10 years old. I only say that because I still feel that I am still acting mature for my "age" even though I have regressed. Anyway, enough babbling (I can't even tell you how many typos I just had in what I typed, so I will keep this short and sweet). My computer is still not 100% so I am having trouble downloading pictures that I have taken, so I will just share one of my favorite treats with you that I had a couple of days ago. I have said this before, but for some newbies I will say it again...I love "ice cream". Specifically, frozen yogurt, but you take what you can get when you are limited. Being that lactose free frozen desserts tend to be so expensive, I ration myself. This product is definitely one of those finds. I love the fruit sweetened It's Soy Delicious! Specifically, the Tiger Chai is my favorite. I like this fruit sweetened variety of Soy Delicious because it is not too sweet or high in fat. I have noticed a lot of the lactose free frozen desserts are way too sweet and way to fatty. So, being that the flavor is what it says it is and it is not loaded with tons of sugar or fat, I highly recommend this product!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:35 AM   7 comments
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I have to admit that finding out that I am lactose intolerant was extremely frustrating. Who wants to be the only one in a family to have to avoid all the things they love! Most people would be amazed at how many products out there contain dairy/lactose. Looking for alternatives to dairy products is not always the easiest thing to do (not to mention how expensive they are). I hate going out to eat now too because I feel so "high maintenance" when I have to ask for everything on the side or to not have it at all! I always feel the need to explain that I am lactose intolerant to whomever is taking my order. The strange thing is that I have had more people tell me lately, when I say that to them, that they are lactose intolerant too or that they know someone who is! I am sad to hear that there are more people out there that have the problems that I have, but comforted that I am not alone...I guess in that case I can agree that misery loves company. I have to say that I started this blog in an attempt to find a community to share experiences with me that have to deal with food. I am happy to say that I have definitely found that community! There are so many great blogs out there that have been so helpful to me in my quest to learn more about cooking dairy/lactose free! I also wanted to say a huge thank you to for posting my peanut butter cookie recipe. If you are looking for product reviews or information on living without dairy, this is a great site to check out!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:15 AM   3 comments
Friday, September 7, 2007
Baking With Little People!
I have to say that I have the most fun cooking with my family. Even though we all do things differently, I really enjoy making things together that we can all share. My 6 year old and I used to bake together all the time. Now that he is in school it seems like forever since were last in the kitchen together. I think cooking with your kids is so important. It is science, math, reading and so much fun (you get to eat something yummy when you are done)! What could be better. Jay was sick (with what Max shared with him from a week ago) so Max told me that he wanted to find something that looked good and make it. We looked around at a couple of things that we had in the kitchen that needed to be used up and found a recipe from the FatFreeVeganKitchen that looked really good! We decided to make zucchini muffins. They were so good. Max actually did most of this by himself. I measured and he dumped. It was a great time and I can't wait to do it again soon! Oh and Jay ate all but the 3 that Max and I ate. I guess they were winners all around here!

Zucchini Muffins
(adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar in the raw

Wet Ingredients:
6 TBSP unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini, packed
1 1/4 cups fat-free Lactaid milk or other non-dairy milk

2 TBSP sugar in the raw
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a muffin pan with paper or silicone liners or spray well with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined. Do not over-stir. Batter will be very heavy. Spoon into muffin cups, dividing batter equally among the cups. Sprinkle the center of each muffin with topping and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

1 muffin = 116 calories

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 1:10 PM   5 comments
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I can't believe it has been so long since my last post! As you can see, my little girl is back, but not all together there. I still have some things to do with her, but for now she is working. So, we will just go with it. Honestly, blogging has been kind of therapeutic for me. It gives me the opportunity cook the food that I like and then "talk" about it. What could be better?? In the mean time, I have been tagged by OneFrugalFoodie! I am completely honored that people want to know more about me! So here goes nothing...

Here are the rules:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Fun facts about me...
1. I am a health nut! I will always try to make something healthier for me. I work out religiously and love it. I am one of those people that would walk everywhere if I could! I even walk through the airport when my gate is the last one. I love it!

2. My husband and I have been married for 12 years (together 13). We have 2 handsome boys (9 and 6) that keep us on our toes at all times. The queen of our household is our cat, Maggie. She runs the show! We rescued her at 5 days old. She has no idea that she is a cat!

3. My husband and I own a small creative company in Atlanta, GA. Everyone wonders how we live and work together everyday (and not kill each other). He is the creative side and I am the office side. He is my best friend and it just works for us!

4. I visit grocery stores/markets everywhere I go. I can hang out at a grocery store for hours. Kind of like some people go to the mall or the book store. I read labels and look at all the options there are to buy. I love the colors and the smells (except the Kroger in Macon...I won't even say what that one smells like!). You learn so much about people in a certain area when you go to their grocery stores. I find it so interesting that even labels are different for marketing to a specific audience in different areas in a country. I find that so fascinating!

5. I could live on oatmeal, fruits and vegetables. Those are my favorite foods. I am not a sweets or meat person. I know it seems boring, but if you think about your options with just those three things, you can make so many different and exciting foods that range from sweet to savory. I could do a blog on this subject!

6. I am a penny pincher. I will always try to save a buck or two! I am not cheap. I just hate to waste money. I think a large part of that comes from my responsibilities as a kid. I had a job at 16 and I learned how to manage my money early on. I always want to be prepared for the future. You never know what is going to happen. I know this from experience!

7. I want to live in Paris at some point in my life. It could be for just a short while, but I really want to live there. My husband won a graphic design competition that aloud us to travel to a couple of places in France and we absolutely loved it! I love the European way of life. I love the way they shop and eat and how they seem so efficient, yet so extravagant. I just think you would need to live there for a little while to really get into it more and I would love that opportunity!

8. I graduated from culinary school and have worked in various positions in the food industry. I feel fortunate that I have this background especially now. I have discovered that it does take some know how in order to be creative when you are trying to change even the most basic recipes for my dietary restrictions. I love to cook/bake. Being in the kitchen is so calming for me. It is my form of yoga!

I have to admit that does make you think a lot about yourself. I like that it gives you the opportunity to get to know other bloggers more personally. We all know the basics and we know we all share the common interest in food, but this goes deeper! Thanks Alisa for tagging me. Now I need to tag some people. If you have already done one, I am sorry...

1. Have Cake Will Travel
2. Seven Spoons
3. The Conscious Kitchen
4. Yeah That Vegan Shit
5. Veganista
6. Bake and Shake
7. Everybody Likes Sandwiches
8. Eat Me Delicious

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:13 AM   5 comments

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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