Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Cakes

Potato cakes are something that dad has had since he was little. Mom was introduced to them about 3 years ago. The basics of potato cakes are take left over mashed potatoes, add flour and salt, and fry in butter. Quite simple, really, and very tasty.

Today mom decided to try making sweet potato cakes. It was something I just went with, but I'll try to list some measurements.

1 baked sweet potato
2 tbsp dairy-free margarine (we use Earth Balance)
3 tsp tofu sour cream alternative
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 tbsp chickpea flour
4-6 tbsp each white rice flour and tapioca starch

To bake your sweet potato:
Wash the skin of the potato to remove dirt. Place potato in a 400F oven for approx 40 minutes until soft. Remove from oven, let cool until you can handle it without burning yourself, and peel off the skin.
(DON'T pierce the skin of your sweet potato like you do russet potatoes or you will have an ooey gooey mess on the bottom of your oven at the end from the sugars dripping out of the potato.)

To mix:
Take your sweet potato and mash it with a fork until there are no large pieces left. Add the margarine and sour cream alternative, and mix until margarine melts and everything is incorporated. Add salt and chickpea flour, mix again. Start with 4 tbsp each of the rice flour and tapioca starch, mix thoroughly. You are aiming for a dough that holds together but isn't dry or clumpy. Add extra rice flour/tapioca starch if your mix seems too liquidy.

To fry:
Place 1 tbsp margarine in a frying pan or skillet. Turn your heat to just below medium and heat until butter is melted. Use a spoon to place 2-3 tbsp worth of mix into the pan and flatten to about 1 cm (1/2") high. (see picture)

After 2-3 minutes, check your cakes for crispy bottoms. When bottoms are crispy as in the picture below, flip and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan, spread a little margarine on top so it melts, and enjoy. This recipe makes approx 9 cakes, which will of course require multiple frying sessions. Just make sure you add a little extra margarine to the pan between each set of cakes so they don't stick and don't burn.

To reheat cakes, just fry 60 seconds each side in a preheated pan, or microwave 10-15 seconds on high power.


Since we realized the necessity of a restricted diet, we haven't been out for dinner. That means at least 2 months of cooking every night. We ordered in pizza once for dad & daughter 1 and a chicken salad for mom (gf, cheese on the side so sharing with daughter 2 was possible). Last night mom hit a wall and said "I don't want to cook, I want to be treated." So I did some research and discovered that a Greek restaurant we already know and like is on a "friendly to celiac's" list. We walked in the door, I explained our dietary restrictions and we were good to go.

Our server was helpful, and when I asked if the feta was cows milk or sheep or goat, she went and checked for me because she didn't know. They were also super accommodating of our girls, which is always nice for a slightly higher-end restaurant like they are. We will definitely be going back there more often than we were already.

The restaurant is Kefi, 102-100 Schoolhouse Street, Coquitlam, BC,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our Story

In November 1999, two 17 year olds met in high school and fell in love. We spent much time (video and board) gaming together. After 5.5 years of dating, we got married, and kept playing games. In August 2006 our first daughter was born. Everything was and is hunky dory. We introduced this daughter to games early, she loves them already. In March 2010 we welcomed our second daughter, just as cute and as fun as the first. In September 2010 we started the normal introduction of solid food at 6 months. Immediately we noticed that something was not right. Rashes all over, eye rubbing, more interrupted sleep. Since she had only been introduced to a handful of foods, we were pretty sure we know the culprits. After consultation with a MD and naturopath, we have our daughter on a gluten and dairy free diet. Her rashes are almost gone, she doesn't rub her eyes. Her sleep is very slowly improving.

The introduction of a gluten free diet meant using other flours for baking. Voila, we discovered that mom can't handle corn. So no corn meal, corn starch, corn flour. One replacement grain out the window. So we adapt, we learn, and we keep enjoying games.

Here you will find the recipes I try and like, and comments on games and gaming when we feel like it.