pie crust for thanksgiving pies

My family loves pie for Thanksgiving.  Our favorites are pumpkin, cranberry cherry, apple crumble and pecan.  If you have a food processor, this is one of the easiest pie crust recipes that I have found.. and it is yummy too!

2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting your counter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup ( two sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cold water

Place your flour, salt, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor.   Pulse for a few sections to combine butter until it looks like coarse crumbs.  Drizzle in the ice water through the feed tube of your processor, while pulsing until a large ball of dough forms.  This should only take about 30 seconds.  Turn ball onto a clean dry surface and divide in half. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and press down a bit to form a disc. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When you are ready to roll out pie crust, place on lightly dusted counter-top and roll out to form a round circle that will fit into your pie pan allowing the crust to lay about one inch over the edge.  Trim edges if you need to. If you are doing a single crust pie, turn the end of the crust under all around the edge. You can make a cute edge by crimping it with a fork or using your thumb and two fingers.

For a two crust pie simply leave the bottom edge flat; fill your pie with filling and cover with the top crust. You can crimp your pie edges and crimp with a fork or your thumb and fingers.

Bake according to your pie recipes directions.

how to avoid a halloween hangover

What day do teachers call “the worst day of the year”?  It’s the day after America’s biggest candy holiday.  But if you think we’re talking about too much sugar as the cause of Halloween Hangover, please think again.  Sugar certainly can make kids “hyper,” but for the majority of children, its effects are not likely to last into the next day and beyond.  And forget about the theory that your kids are being difficult simply because they’re excited.  (Excitement would also wear off sooner.)  So, if it isn’t sugar or the festivities that are to blame for your child’s November 1st hangover, then what’s the culprit?

 

Take a close look at the tiny print on those candy wrappers and look for color + number.  Do you see things like Yellow #5, Red 40 or Blue No. 2?  These are the names for the colorings added to candy and other foods.  Synthetic food dyes are the most likely suspects when it comes to triggering behavior problems in children.  For decades allergists have reported that food dyes can trigger reactions like hives and headaches in sensitive people.  The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs found that they can cause respiratory problems like asthma.  And researchers in many countries have shown that these dyes can bring about behavior and attention problems, even when a child only eats a small amount.

 

Here are some of the problems that have been attributed to eating food dyes – attention deficits, irritability, restlessness, sleep disturbance, aggression, and hyperactivity.  But what could be so monstrous about those colorful little confections?  It’s not like food dyes are new; our grandparents ate artificially colored candies, too.  Food dyes have been around for well over 100 years.  They were first made from coal tar oil and are now synthesized from petroleum.  (The same stuff that makes your car run can result in high-octane kids!)

 

However, in past generations, artificial dyes were a “sometime thing” – something children ate occasionally.  Back then, most of our food came in a fairly natural form.  Many candies were made with natural ingredients like real chocolate and pure vanilla (not the fake “vanillin” so widely used today).  Children were given dyed lollipops at the bank or the barbershop.  They ate candy corn, jelly beans and candy canes once a year, and schools were not in the business of selling soft drinks and junk food.

A child growing  up in the 1940s and ’50s did not start his day with petroleum-based dyes in his toothpaste, medicine, vitamins, imitation juice and cereal.  Lunch was not the highly processed, chemically treated, food-less edibles served in most school cafeterias, so when he did eat candy corn and other dyed things he was able to handle it better than today’s chemically-saturated child.

 

 

Hangover Prevention Hints

  • Feed them first. Be sure your kids go out trick-or-treating with full stomachs to discourage snacking en route.
  • Consider a swap. Some parents buy natural candies and trade them for the unnatural ones.  Other parents have a highly desired toy on hand to offer in exchange for the stash.  They take the child  shopping for the toy before Halloween, and it stays with Mom until trick-or-treating  is over.
  • Just like the Tooth Fairy. Young children are told that if they set their bags of candy outside their bedroom door when the go to bed the Halloween Witch (or the Great Pumpkin) will come by to collect the candy and leave a toy in its place.
  • Consider a buy-out. Many kids sell their candy back to Mom.  It’s a great money-maker!
  • Limit the damage. If you and your child go through the stash and toss out the most brightly colored candies, and eat only a limited number per day, you will probably be able to weather the event.  Afterward, keep the candies out of sight (and out of mind).  Toss out a few each day, and try not to eat too many of them yourself!  Petroleum-based additives cause harm for people of all ages.
  • Consider giving out non-foods. Balloons and trinkets might be a welcomed change by the trick-or-treaters who come to your door.
  • Switch to better versions. The Feingold Association researches brand name foods and publishes books listing thousands of products of all types that are free of the unwanted additives.
  • Visit the natural foods section of your supermarket, a health food store, or healthy market. They offer natural goodies that won’t turn your kids into monsters.  And don’t overlook the big box stores.  Many Target stores have a natural candy section during the holidays.
  • See if your kids would prefer a home party with snacks and scary movies instead of the neighborhood trek.

 

Halloween doesn’t have to be a horror, and children don’t have to experience behavior or learning problems for the days that follow.  The non-profit Feingold Association has been showing families how to bring the fun back to holidays since 1976.  See www.feingold.org for more information.

did your kids have a bad first day of school?

My daughter came home from school on her first day.. and oh wow, was she a big grump!  Little things were creeping back in, like mini melt-downs and headaches.  Not being able to focus and fighting with her little sister.  While any one of these things is totally normal for her from time to time, when I saw all them all happening in one evening, something was really wrong.  By the end of the week, I was starting to ask myself, what is happening to her from the time she leaves our front door until she gets home.  Here are some potential places that I looked into.

When she walked to school and home, what could be affecting her?  Burning leaves , lawns that had been chemically treated, grass mold, streets and drive ways that could have fresh black top.  I had ruled all of that out, so I started investigating her school.  Maybe bus fumes outside the school?  Of course, I know that I can’t control everything she encounters, but I was going to try to figure this out.. and quick!

I also planned a visit to her school, to check out her classroom(s),  There are lots of things to look for including scented plug-ins, teacher perfume, scented garbage bags, chemicals on the desks, dry erase markers, paints, those little tatoo’s that some teachers like to offer their kids, hand sanitizers, hand soaps in the bathroom, candy that could be offered by any teacher, aide, etc.

Lunchtime can be an adventure too.  You pack a great lunch and then find out that your child decides to trade with someone.

Of course, this is a lot to think about, but many times it really helps to go through every possibility.  I sat down with her and we really talked about her day as well. Sometimes they really know that something is wrong, but just don’t feel like they can speak up and say something to an adult or fellow classmate.  Kids with ADHD often blame everything on themselves.

At that point, I did find out what was going on.  She was getting pulled out into another class, where the teacher really didn’t know her that well.  This teacher had scented plug ins in her room and that was the problem.   Once this was changed, things went back to normal at home and at school.  So, if you think things are a bit off at your house, when school starts, don’t doubt.. figure it out!

first day of school – pumpkin bars

first day of school – pumpkin bars

 

How did your kids first day of school go?  My daughter did great today and came home to her favorite fresh baked pumpkin bars. These have been a staple since we found them in the Feingold Handbook recipe section

PUMPKIN BARS

4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs, add sugar and beat together.

Add pumpkin, oil and water, and stir until well mixed. Beat in flour, soda, cinnamon,
nutmeg and salt. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into two well-greased and floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pans and bake for 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans.

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about us    
The Feingold Program is a form of elimination diet where foods containing certain harmful additives are removed and replaced with similar foods that are free of those additives. When starting the Program, certain foods and non-food items containing an aspirin-like chemical called salicylate are also eliminated, and later tested for tolerance…more


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