This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Basic Kitchen Help and Cooking Skills

One of the most significant barriers that I see people struggle with in order to implement a special diet is lack of general cooking and kitchen skills. Over the last few generations many people haven't learned these skills as they would have in the past. This is especially true for traditional cooking methods, such as fermenting foods and making broth, but is also true for more basic cooking methods as well. Below are links that demonstrate some of this information.


A nice collection of diagrams and graphics to illustrate and teach cooking.
Cooking hints and tips from What's Cooking America
The Culinary Institute of America
Learning to cook without recipes (teaches technique)
Kitchen Conundrums with Thomas Joseph
(collection of tips, how-tos, and demos about all sorts of cooking questions)

Kitchen Tools

Basic Knife Skills
How to care for cast iron pans
The benefits of choosing enameled cast iron
How to sharpen a knife using a whetstone
How to use and season a mortar and pestle
How to clean a spice grinder (coffee grinder)

Common Ingredients

Which Salt to Use?- Kitchen Conundrums with Thomas Joseph
Science: When to Add Salt During Cooking—and Why
A Peppercorn Primer
(important- pink peppercorns can cause cross-reactions in people with peanut allergy.  Also, black peppercorns are high oxalate but the white ones are not)

Preparing Fruits and Vegetables

How to cut an onion by Cook's Illustrated
Learn How Now: How to Julienne Vegetables
Reference guide for spiralizing vegetables
Easy method for peeling garlic cloves
Roasted peppers
How to make crispy (not soggy) latkes
How to Roast the Best Potatoes of Your Life
How to cut a spiral potato

Animal Products for Cooking 

How to render fat (making lard and other cooking fats)
How to render tallow
Rendering lard in a pressure cooker/Instant Pot
Rendering lard in a crock pot
DIY Bacon
How to Make Cottage Bacon
Salt Pork
Chicken broth and stock
Perpetual stock or broth
How to make dashi (fish and seaweed broth used in Japanese cooking)
Make your own anchovy paste
How to make vegan bacon
How to quick-cure salmon

Dairy and Dairy Alternatives

How to make cultured butter
How to make clarified butter (ghee)
Making Dairy-Free and Vegan Butter Substitute (margarine?)
How to make nut milk
How to Make Clotted Cream
Making Whipped Cream Substitute from Chickpeas (Aquafaba)
Simple Farmer's Cheese
How to make "zucchini cheese" or another method here

Cooking Steak and Other Meats

Four ways to season steak
Steak | Basics with Babish
How to Grill Steak for Beginners | Food Network
How to cook the tastiest lamb chops with Curtis StoneHow to Truss a Chicken in 6 Easy Steps
How to make crunchy crackling on a pork roast
How to Carve a Turkey
Making an indoor "grill" for cooking Yakitori and Korean barbecue

Understanding the Cuts of Meat

Steak Cuts Explained
How To Butcher An Entire Cow: Every Cut Of Meat Explained
How to Butcher an Entire Pig: Every Cut of Pork Explained
How to Butcher an Entire Lamb: Every Cut of Meat Explained

Cooking Eggs

How to cook eggs
How to make soft-cooked eggs
How to make perfectly poached eggs
How to make steamed eggs
Perfect fried eggs

Cooking Rice and Grains

Secrets of Making Perfect Steamed Rice
Perfect Persian Rice
How to Make Soba Noodles (can be made from Buckwheat to be GF)
How to Make Buckwheat Soba Noodles


How To Make French Hot Chocolate At HomeBasic guide to roasting coffee in a popcorn popper
Basics of Making coffee several different ways
DIY Cold-Brew Coffee
Vietnamese Egg Coffee
Scandinavian Egg Coffee
How to make Cuban coffee
Making Authentic Turkish Coffee
Arabic Coffee

Baking, Candy, and Sweet Treats
(Many of these are not diet-compliant for most special diets, however I am including them because they can often be modified to work for at least some diets.  Also, some of these videos are included because they demonstrate techniques.  Lastly, some are just inspiration that might lead to all sorts of

How to temper chocolate
Dutch Process Cocoa Powder vs. Natural Cocoa PowderThe Trick to Making the Perfect Sorbet
Making sorbet or ice cream without an ice cream maker
How to make maple cream (aka maple butter)
How to frost a layer cake
How to make a Cotton Candy Machine at home from a blender
How to make cotton candy by hand (hand-pulling method used to make Chinese noodles)