Friday, October 29, 2010

play-dough, gluten free style!

so, i just got a job as a nanny for a family with twins who are almost three.  i've been unable to work for so long that i'm throwing myself headfirst into my work with everything i can muster and i don't even start until tuesday!  the twins, E and D, are great little kids with tons of personality and lots of energy.  E, the girl twin, is allergic to egg whites, dairy, wheat and nuts.  D, on the other hand, can eat anything he pleases.  this doesn't bode well with E, who was only diagnosed this past summer.

isn't it great that their new nanny is well versed in food intolerances and can read labels like a pro?  isn't it great that their new nanny wants to make sure these kids have tons of wonderful experiences to learn and grow from and isn't gonna let some measly allergies stop them?  yeh, well, i think it's great, and that's why i've made play-dough to bring with me on my first official day!

the idea came to me when i hung out with the kids and their current sitter yesterday.  we went over to play at a neighbor's house and play-dough was brought out.  luckily, E didn't get interested in it, so we didn't have to stop her.  i started talking with the neighbor mom and she quickly googled a gluten free play-dough recipe.  i grabbed the nearest crayola marker and vowed to make a batch of it that night.  E is quite the little builder and loves to get dirty.  i think the only reason she didn't notice the ghastly-gluten-play-dough was because she was so engrossed in a plastic tool set to care about anything else.

so, i don't know where this recipe came from, and my batches have yet to be kid tested, but i needed to post it right away!

1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
food coloring
1 tsp cooking oil (i used olive)

medium saucepan
spoon for mixing
1/2 cup dry measuring cup
glass measuring cup
teaspoon measuring spoon

step 1
in the saucepan, mix 1/2 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup corn starch, 1/2 cup salt, and 2 tsp cream of tartar.  i used cheap rice flour that i've had for four years.  i figured it's safe for play-dough, even though i probably wouldn't cook with it.

tip- my three batches of play-dough used almost all of the tiny container of cream of tartar.  buy more if you plan on making more than three batches.

step 2
in the glass measuring cup, mix together 1 cup water and the desired food coloring.  next, mix in 1 tsp cooking oil.

tip- i started with the frosting guidelines on the back of the box of food coloring.  i added more after i mixed the dry and wet ingredients together and could see what the color actually was.  for teal, i used 9 drops of blue and 6 green.  for orange, i used 16 drops of yellow and 6 red.  for dusty purple, i used 10 drops of red and 4 blue.  i found that mixing the oil in after the food coloring made for more even coloring.

step 3
pour the wet ingredients into the saucepan and stir until all the lumps are gone.

tip- a whisk would be helpful for this step, but i didn't find it necessary and i wouldn't recommend it for the next step!

step 4
cook on low heat while stirring constantly.  turn up gradually, as needed.  let cool before handling.  store in an airtight plastic bag or container.

tip- after a few minutes, it will start to feel like your spoon is dragging on the bottom of the pan.  keep stirring!  dough will collect on your spoon until all of a sudden it looks like mashed potatoes  turn off the stove and keep stirring until it is all one lump and nearly impossible to stir.  take it off the burner and let it cool.

i can't wait to see what E and D make with it on tuesday!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by our blog :)
    What a wonderful and thoughtful nanny you are - those twins are lucky to have you! I hope they loved the play-dough!