Friday, March 30, 2007

Tacos...sort of!

The Man loves tacos. Granted, he's never tried a gluten-free taco...but he loves tacos.

I do too. I haven't had a good one since going gluten free since I didn't want to take a chance on the taco seasoning packets. The few times I made them, I just used Mexican spices and created something similar, but it's not quite the same, you know?

I hit that store I found, which is called For the Good of It, located in Joliet. It's fairly small and has a pretty teeny GF section. They had The Gluten Free Pantry's taco seasoning, so that's what started this recipe brewing in my head. I found the Kinnicknick items (not very many) but was in a rush; I plan to go back and take a good look at everything they have on a weekend, maybe this one, to see what I can see at my leisure.

Anyway. Catherine over at Gluten Free Guide is having a GF pizza round-up next Friday, April 13th. Since I am about the klutiziest person on earth, I don't take chances on any Friday the 13th. So here's my pizza now. Of course, in keeping with the "rules," I am technically supposed to post a pizza on the 13th, so I will probably come up with something new and just make it on Thursday instead.

Remember, we are big on Halloween, have 2 black cats, and I am a major klutz. No sense in pushing it on such an auspicious day.

But this pizza flippin' rocks. I ate it with a fork because...well, I happen to like this shirt.

Taco Pizza

1 GF pizza crust (I used 1/2 the recipe for the Arrowhead Mills box mix)
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup refried beans
2 cups cheese of your choice (cheddar, monterey jack, cojita, etc.)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup GF taco seasoning
1 pound ground sirloin
Any other toppings you'd like

Make your pizza crust about 1/4 inch thick so it holds the weight of the toppings to come. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brown the ground sirloin in a skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add the taco seasoning (add water if directed), mix well, and continue to cook until thickened slightly.

When the oven is hot, place the crust into the oven to bake for about 10 minutes to take the rawness off. Remove from the oven and then layer as follows:

Refried beans - spread evenly across the crust
1/2 the taco meat - you'll have the other half left for another day
Other toppings
Salsa - "sprinkle" with a spoon

Place back into the oven for an addition 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.

Eat hearty.

Unbutton your pants. Pretend to be Al Bundy (you know, stick the hand in the waistband of your pants and stare at the tube, making snarky comments to anyone and everyone).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Everything's uphill

While I love getting new frames, I kind of hate getting used to new glasses. If my eyes have changed enough, everything appears to be going uphill until my eyes get used to them. I have been walking uphill everywhere I go since about 5:30 tonight.

I have been told that my new Prada frames look "sassy." And I am happy to wear what is probably the only Prada attire I will ever be able to afford LOL

I asked for and got my glasses prescription because I am curious. I will have to stop back to get my actual uncorrected vision, if I want it (you know, the 20/20, 20/40, or whatever). Legally blind is 20/200. The doc has told me more than once that I am well beyond that, but I still want to know the actual numbers.


Browsing the Kinnikinnick (sp?) website this morning, I found a natural foods store that carries their products only 15 minutes or so from here. So I hope to head that way in the next few days to see what's what. I want to see if I can get my hands on quinoa flour, amaranth flour, and other flours that I want to try without having to buy in bulk, just in case I don't like it.

Last night, I made one of our favorite light meals since it was so beautifully warm outside. My parents found the original recipe somewhere; I naturally have tweaked it to suit my tastes. And believe it or not, The Man actually liked the fresh basil and didn't disturb my flute practice session (whalin' out some Claude Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano) to ask me what the hell the green things were.

In a little more than the time it takes to boil pasta, this is done.

Lite Smoked Sausage Italiano

1 GF kielbasa (Wellshire Farms is GF)
8 ounces GF spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
1 package button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
6 to 8 good sized grape tomatoes
A small handful of fresh basil leaves

Make the pasta according to package directions. Slice the kielbasa into 1/2" coins. While the water is coming to a boil for the pasta, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the kielbasa (cover if you don't like cleaning grease off of everything; if you don't care, let 'er rip). Stir fairly often until the meat starts to carmelize a bit. Then add the mushrooms and reduce the heat to medium.

Don't forget to put the pasta in the water!

Continue to stir the meat and mushrooms until the mushrooms begin to reduce in size. Drain the pasta and then add to the skillet with the kielbasa and mushrooms. Toss lightly. Slice the tomatoes into quarters and the basil into thin strips (stack the leaves, roll them into a 'tube' and then hack away). Add both to the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss everything together one last time.

On yet another side note, I designed the floor plan for the 2007 haunted barn last night. Have I told you lately that I have a devious brain? Bwah....ahh....ahhh...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Welcome Spring!

It's 78 degrees outside, the windows are open, and I am wearing a pair of shorts. It will cool off by the end of this week and there's a chance of rain every day, but who cares - we have spring warmth today!

This is a simple spring dessert that we used to have at family gatherings. I am not sure which relative brought the recipe into the fold.

Glorified Rice

2 cups quick-cooking rice, uncooked
2 cups pineapple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 small container whipped topping
1 can fruit cocktail

Combine the juice and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; stir in the rice, cover and remove from heat. Pour the cooked rice into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool. Once the rice is cool, drain the fruit cocktail and stir into the rice. Add half the container of whipped topped and mix together.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The new addition

I finally got to meet our future addition yesterday afternoon.

Really bad picture taken with my camera phone. You can barely see her. And no, that is NOT my house LOL

She has a little mohawk running down the top of her head - she's so CUTE!

Got any name ideas for a girl dog that won't even be 10 pounds full-grown?

So far, we have:

Gizmo - I think this is more of a boy name



Putchies - guess who came up with this one - you got it - THE MAN - I told him there is no way I am sticking my head out the door and calling for what sounds like "Butt-Cheese"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cooking with dilated pupils

Why do I have dilated pupils? Pick one:

(1) Sheri has become a drug addict.
(2) Sheri lives in the dark.
(3) Sheri had an eye appointment today.

If you guessed (1), I am probably one of the most anti-drug people you will ever meet. I don't even like to take my necessary prescription medication or something as simple as Advil.

If you guessed (2), I only live in the dark when I have a migraine or if the power went out.

If you guessed (3), you can just imagine how huge my pupils are. I had to drive my stupid butt home after the doc dilated my eyes, holding those cheesy sunglass things up to my face because they're too wide for my head and don't stay. It's a good thing I live less than a mile from the optometrist's office.

But I have some kickass Prada frames on order and I am also getting a trial pair of extended wear soft contacts. I have worn contacts since I was 17, but I have only worn the gas-permeable kind because no one made soft contacts for nearsightedness and astigmatism together. And, well...I am blind as can be, without correction. In fact, when I take my glasses off, I am legally blind and can't see 2 inches in front of my face. But over the last couple of years, someone made soft lenses that correct both problems. The doc said that my gas perms (which I am keeping - there's nothing wrong with them) will give me better vision, but when I explained that I have issues at night....

...more than once, I have scared at least a year off of The Man's life because I woke up in the middle of the night and panicked because I couldn't see. Imagine it - 2 or 3 AM - pitch black room - wife sitting straight up in bed shrieking like a banshee.

...the cats like to knock my glasses off the nightstand, necessitating a search of the floor in the dark just so I can pee.

So he said that I could try the extended wear, but under no circumstances am I to actually leave them in for the 30 days advertised. I am kind of excited and hope they work out, because the thought of waking up in the morning and being able to see without groping for a pair of glasses...well, I haven't been able to do that since third grade. I don't even know what my glasses prescription is anymore.

So, I have been shying away from daylight since I got home. A simple dinner was in order, one that didn't involve a run to the grocery store. I ruminated on what to make while I tried on frames; he dilated my eyes, then I slapped in my contacts long enough to see to pick new frames, then I popped them back out so he could do the evil shine-the-light-through-a-mirror-while-you-look-in-every-direction thing.

So here's dinner. To go with, I made The Gluten Free Pantry's French Bread and Pizza Mix as French bread. Blech.

Somehow I feel like I have posted something very similar before, but if I didn't I couldn't find it anywhere. If I did, sorry. If I didn't, try it. You might like it!

Shrimp & Parmesan Spaghetti

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter (not the lightest recipe in the world -sorry)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
8 ounces gluten-free spaghetti

Prepare the spaghetti per the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, stirring often to insure it doesn't burn; saute 1-2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, about 4 minutes or so, depending on the size of the shrimp. Add the cooked spaghetti, pasta water, basil, parsley, and cheese to the skillet, tossing well to coat. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

GF Kolache

Growing up, when I figured out that my mother was cranking out kolache, I got really excited. I love these things! I assume the original glutenous recipe came down through her side of the family.

I was flipping through cookbooks early this morning, in the mood to bake but not sure what I wanted. I looked at doughnuts, cakes, cookies....and then I saw a recipe for danish. Hmm. I wonder what would happen if I tried to convert the family kolache recipe to gluten free?

After a little research as I haven't really tried to convert a recipe like with this much flour before, I started out by pulling a bunch of flour containers out of the fridge (the top shelf is devoted to GF flours now).

Flour dusting the countertop is a call for Baby, who loves flour. He would have licked the area clean if I hadn't come running to nicely chuck him to the floor.

While these don't taste quite like what I remember, nor are they as pretty, they are still tasty.

This recipe is considerably easier with a stand mixer as the dough gets pretty stiff.

Gluten Free Kolache
Adapted from the family recipe

1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
2 tbsp shortening
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
4 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 can cherry pie filling (Wilderness brand is GF) or other favorite filling

Combine milk, shortening, yeast and sugar in the mixer bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly beat 2 eggs with the salt and vanilla; add to the mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment, give it a whirr for a minute to mix together. In a separate bowl, mix the flours and xanthan gum together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl until the dough starts to get stiff (stop adding flour at this point). Switch to the dough hook attachment and start adding flour again. Once you have all the flour mixed in, cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for an hour.

After the dough rises, roll into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise again for another 30 minutes.

After the second rising, use a spoon to push down the centers, leaving a 1/2" rim around the outside. Fill with a spoonful of pie filling.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating the dough rises a final time.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Am I done playing yet?

I dunno. Since I am unfamiliar with CSS and all that crap, it's been a day of "cut-preview-repaste-if-it's-the-wrong-thing." I am happier with the look now than I was, but am still unhappy. Anybody good with this stuff? I have questions...or need help...or something.

A friend of ours got married today at noon. I went to the ceremony at his home and when the food started coming in, my mouth started watering from all the wonderful smells wafting through the house. And I just knew that I couldn't eat any of it. Damn it. Big Irish family, so you can imagine the goodies that were laid out today of all days. Damn it.

I stuck it out for 2 hours and then came home to eat, realizing that with all that great food sitting there, the 2x3 granola bar in my purse wasn't going to cut it. I swung by the grocery store on the way so I could make something I have been craving for a few days.
We had tuna casserole a couple of times a year when I was growing up. I had never had tuna other than in that casserole until high school, when a girlfriend introduced me to tuna salad sandwiches. I was hooked from that moment on. I remember getting yelled at once by Dad because I had made tuna salad with the can of tuna they had bought to make casserole with that week.
Two of my lunches this week consisted of a small container of tuna, mayo and onion, which I ate on rice crackers. Yummy.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

6 oz gluten-free pasta (I used Tinkyada spirals)
1 good sized tuna steak
1 can gluten-free cream of mushroom soup
1 can peas
1 to 2 tbsps cornstarch
1/2 cup freshly grated mild cheddar cheese
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Salt and pepper both sides of the tuna, then put into a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and it flakes easily with a fork. Set aside to cool. When you can touch the steak without burning the skin from your fingers, break it into small pieces.

Cook the pasta according to package directions (add a pinch of salt to the water before adding the pasta). Drain well.

Drain the can of peas.

Heat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat; when it comes to a boil, add the cornstarch and whisk madly until it's dissolved and the soup starts to thicken.

Combine the flaked tuna, pasta, peas and soup in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, then sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.

Variation: Sometimes I use shrimp. Oh, and you can mix the cheese into the soup and put buttered bread crumbs on top instead.

Under contruction

Playing with the template.

Have patience and forgiveness. And maybe pity. And definitely a Redbridge.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why I wish I was Irish

Why? Because then I could eat this meal more often and not have people think I'm weird! Well, people probably think that anyway, but why give them yet another reason?

I grew up on a different version of this meal. When I was in grade school and then in middle school (we had no junior high - 6th, 7th, and 8th grades were called middle school), I dreaded the smell of corned beef (or pork hocks, depending on dad's mood) because I knew what we were having for dinner, and quite frankly, I didn't like it. At all.

But then I grew up and began to appreciate the flavors of cabbage, corned beef, pork hocks... On Sunday, I was actually CRAVING it. I flipped through the recipes I scratched down before moving to Illinois and it wasn't there, which means that Dad never wrote it down. So I picked up the cell phone and dialed my parents and talked to Dad. Who knew that something that tastes so good can be so easy?

I cut everything in half since this was just for me. A word to the wise - watch that crock pot! I wasn't able to stop at home during lunch today, and it ended up cooking dry. And overcooking the potatoes.

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage
From the family vault - kinda

1 corned beef (I have no idea of the weight - I pitched the package without looking, like a dork. The one I had was about 7 inches long, 5 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 head of green cabbage, cleaned and cut into strips
8 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
6 red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1/2 + 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter
Sea salt

Place the corned beef in the crock pot. Add the potatoes, carrots, 1/2 cup water, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper. Set the crockpot on low for 8 hours AT THE MOST (might be overdone if your beef is small).

10 minutes before you want to eat, heat the butter in a large skillet on low heat until melted. Add 1/4 cup water and the cabbage. Toss gently to coat the cabbage with butter, then turn off the heat and cover. The cabbage should cook and wilt in about 5 minutes.

I guess I am going to find out if this Cook's corned beef is gluten free. I am such an idiot - the plan was to call the company because I couldn't find it on their site - and never did.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Disappointment, a resolution, and kudos to Mother Nature

I had big plans. BIG PLANS. The Man is out of town overnight and I was going to make corned beef and cabbage, yet another of those things that he can't even stand the smell of. See, I am a good and dutiful wife - I try to not make foods he hates unless he's not home! Or if I don't want him to be home LOL

So I get home from work today hoping that I could satisfy this craving. Hell no. If I hadn't overslept this morning (I loathe the spring daylight savings time change), I could have thrown everything but the cabbage in the crockpot this morning and with minimal effort, had my dinner. But no, I had to oversleep by 45 minutes, necessitating the nonsensical rush by both of us this morning, trying to get out of the house and to work while making sure the bed got made, dishes got done, and the zoo fed.

And oh my goodness, was it beautiful outside today. It started out overcast with sprinkles and ended up sunny, breezy, and nearly 70 degrees. I am sitting here on the couch in shorts and a tank top, dreaming of summer.

So tomorrow - the crock pot. I am going to (hopefully) chop up the potatoes and carrots tonight, throwing them in bowls of water in the fridge until morning.

But tonight, there is a solution to my problem - namely, what the heck to have for dinner. A panini from the gluten-free no-knead bread recipe that I made yesterday. Be sure to give the bread a light toast before piling on the goodies and pressing. But more importantly, I still have a recipe to share.

I spread this on two slices of bread, add turkey, provolone cheese, baby lettuce, tomato, and thinly sliced red onion, sandwich it together, and grill on my panini press (I like my Cusinart, but a George Foreman grill or skillet with a foil-covered brick will work just as well) until the cheese is melted.

An Impatient Woman's Roasted Garlic & Basil Mayo

1/4 cup good mayo (Hellman's is all I use)
1/4 tsp dried basil (more or less to taste)
1 tsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves

Crack and peel the garlic. In a small skillet/omelet pan, heat the olive oil on low heat. Add the garlic and slowly saute, turning often, until the garlic becomes golden brown. Remove the garlic from then pan and place in a bowl. Mash well using a fork. Add the mayo and basil and then stir well. Let stand in the fridge for 15 minutes before using.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Redbridge and a party

Tonight, our neighbor had a congratulations surprise party for her husband, who was recently promoted at work. I took along one Redbridge, thinking that since I haven't had any alcohol to speak of in nearly 7 1/2 years, I damn well better take it easy.

It tasted like what I remember beer to taste like. The Man took a taste (I poured a little into a glass for him - no gluten-y lips on my beer bottle, thank you) and said it tasted like an import to him. But then, he drinks Old Style Light, the beer served at Wrigley Field. I imagine everything tastes like an import after drinking that nastiness. I used to use that as "skunk beer" when making brats!

Oh my goodness - I can make brats the Wisconsin way again!

So I nursed that beer for two and a half hours, seeing as I hadn't eaten anything of substance since lunch. And it was so nice to be with friends and have a drink other than water in my hand while talking and ripping on people. I didn't feel like a social pariah.

No full feeling, no tiredness. And I even had half a shot with the girls.

Life is good.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Warm fuzzies

I started this blog in October 2006 as a way to keep myself gluten-free. I had a nasty habit of being too lazy to cook and throwing caution to the winds, I would swing by the local McDonalds/Wendys/Arbys/what-have-you to get myself something to eat. While I sated the hunger, I ended up completely miserable - not just physically, but mentally as well, because I knew that every time I deliberately ingested gluten, I was destroying all the healing that had begun.

I remember my excitement when one of the gluten-free bloggers I read religiously linked to me for the first time. Slowly, more linked, and in turn they turned me on to other gluten free blogs that I didn't know about. And I feel that we have become a circle, in a way. I love going to check out my tracking site to see who I know that has been on to read the goofiness I seem to post a lot of. I see the information and think, "Oh, that's Lynn!" Or "Mike was here today." And I feel wonderful knowing that I am part of what could be considered a gluten-free movement.

What makes me think about this tonight? While sorting through the mail a few minutes, I came across an envelope addressed to Just Not Dinner (Sheri). Hey - that's me! It is a lovely thank-you note from a fellow blogger to whom I had sent some of my extra xanthan gum a month or so ago. It is my first communication from the blogging world outside of my laptop.

We should all raise our glasses and toast ourselves. To those who choose to share their lives and stories with the world, giving amusement and encouragement to those who are taking their first steps away from gluten - I salute you. There are many of us out there who find it easier to make such a drastic life change with the support that other GF bloggers provide.

And just because it's probably expected...

While pulling my keyboard out from underneath the platform my laptop sits on, I knocked over my glass of ice water.

Flatbread? Or Pizza? You be the judge

I saw this recipe while dinking around on the internet the other day. I really wanted to try it last night, but...well, you know.

And it was..... The cheese and veggies are a good idea and I will definitely attempt this again on a pizza crust, but the Madwoman Flatbreads are already in the garbage can. Win some, lose some.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe. Minus the Madwoman Whatever Flatbread, plus pizza dough.

Zucchini & Red Onion Pizza
Based on a recipe on

1 recipe GF pizza dough of your choice
3/4 cup Alouette Garlic & Herb cheese spread (according to their site, it's gluten free, but it's processed in a plant...yada, yada, yada. I haven't had any problems.)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
1/2 a red onion, sliced thin
1 zucchini, sliced into thin coins
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your pizza dough. Quickly saute the zucchini coins in a skillet with the olive oil, no more than a minute or two to start removing the stiffness.

Spread a thin layer of cheese over the crust. Then layer the onion, zucchini and tomato. Sprinkle the top with parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until crust is browned.

Now I will go and donate the rest of that flatbread to the raccoons in the yard.

A new day

Tonight, there will be a combination taste test/new recipe.

Last night, my intention was to make said recipe after doing a little grocery shopping (I bribed The Man with Easter candy while at the store since I needed to get cat litter and sure as hell can't lift it right now). However, I got home and unpacked the goodies, crawled into a hot tub, and then flopped onto my bed with a bag of chips and a handful of Jelly Bellys, rotting my brain (well, not really) with a playing of Celtic Woman on PBS while I elevated my legs and whimpered in pain.

But now it's a new day.

Imagine my excitement yesterday when I spotted something I have been wanting to try while roaming the liquor section of the store. Yes, ladies and gentlemen - the latest in a small line-up of gluten-free beers - Redbridge. I actually yelled for The Man at the top of my lungs and pointed to it on the shelves, babbling, "They have it they have it they have it..."

But now it's a new day. I have re-collected my few wits.

Well, maybe not, since I seem to have reaffirmed my agreement to a new addition to the zoo. I better get me some doggie books and figure out how to potty train a puppy, since it looks like in the next month or so (they are only a week old right now), there will FINALLY be another female in the house. It better be a female or The Man will be hurting in bad places. And we all know who will end up taking care of the dog, so I get to pick, damn it.

He brought home pictures last night and that pretty much clinched it for me. Mom is a Shitsu mix and Dad is a Papillon. This will be a teeny weeny dog.

Anyway, food stuff to come after work. For now, I need to get my keister in gear and get ready for work.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Comfort at its finest

It's been a long week so far. My back is still bothering me a lot, enough that I picked up a bigger, more restrictive, has-metal-stays lumbar brace. Something feels weird at work. Maybe I am just paranoid; I don't know. We'll see if my paranoia is founded.

I didn't much feel like cooking over the past two days. I had a dream last night about food and these two dishes were the stars. I guess your body lets you know when it wants real food, doesn't it? Instead of potato chips and "poor man's dip" (what we grew up calling ketchup), my dinner from Monday, or a kosher hot dog and a Grandma Ferdon's hot dog bun (not bad, by the way), last night's dinner, my body wanted real food. Good food. Comfort food.

I haven't made this chicken in years. I made up the marinade one day when The Stepson didn't think he liked chicken. We used this marinade nearly every weekend we had him for 3 years.

Scalloped Potatoes and Marinated Baked Chicken
Potatoes based on a recipe from The New Best Recipe

For the chicken:

1 pound chicken thighs (I used boneless skinless)
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp dried minced onion
A pinch of sea salt
1 tsp dried parsley
2 dashes Liquid Smoke

Combine all of the ingredients (except for the chicken) in a large bowl with a cover or a zip-style plastic bag. Mix well, then add the chicken. Cover/close and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

When ready to cook the chicken, remove the thighs from the marinade (discard the marinade) and place them (I had 6 of them in the package) in a baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

For the potatoes:

2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced fairly thin
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 cup grated mild white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet; add the onion and garlic, sauteeing until the onion is translucent (a couple of minutes max if you minced well). Add in the salt, pepper, and thyme; saute a minute more. Add the potatoes, bay leaves, broth and milk. Stir well to coat the potatoes and then allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are nearly cooked through.

Remove from the heat; spoon a third of the potatoes into the bottom of a casserole dish, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Lay another third of potatoes; sprinkle with cheese. Place the last third of potatoes, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the top is browned.

Thumb's up from The Man. And from me? Here's my thumb:

Look out for the mandolin blade, moron!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I have no idea what to call it, but it's good!

I wanted quinoa.

I had crimini mushrooms, kale and zucchini from my last organic delivery that needed to be used before they became science projects.

I wanted some time alone.

I have no idea what to call the mixture I am currently cramming into my face with alarming speed.

As I eat this, and at other times over the past few weeks, I realize that I have really cut back on the meat consumption since I became gluten free. I am debating going all the way - becoming a vegetarian. But then I need to think about how strict a vegetarian I could be, as I would truly miss salmon and other wonders of the sea,

Something to think about, anyway. Seriously think about...and research on the web.

But if being a vegetarian means I can still eat like this, would I care?

I still need a moniker for this meal. I rarely eat until I am filled to overflowing, but I am rapidly heading to that point now and I am still shoveling it in! Any suggestions?

The As-Yet Un-Named Quinoa Fridge Cleaner-Outer/Husband-Banisher

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2 bunch asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 1-1/2" pieces
2 zucchini, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and chopped into thirds
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 or so cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch kale, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Sea salt
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Seeds of Change Tomato Vinagrette (the bottle says gluten free! I love this stuff!)

Prepare the quinoa per package directions. Set aside but keep warm (I made mine in the rice cooker so I didn't have to really keep an eye on it).

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. When the olive oil is hot, add the garlic and mushrooms, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. When the mushrooms begin to soften, add the zucchini, asparagus and leeks (and a good pinch of salt). Stir, cover and saute for 3 minutes. When the zucchini is tender, add the kale, chickpeas and tomatoes. Cover and cook for an additional 3 or so minutes, until the kale starts to wilt. Remove from the heat. Mix all the vegetables together well, then add the quinoa and mix again. Then add the vinagrette and toss again.

Marvel at your good fortune and eat hearty.

The cherry (tomato) on top - unplanned.
Four bowls full.

Wow, am I full.

Because it's never too early for chocolate

Good morning!

I had a batch of these gluten-free breakfast goodies fired up at 5:00 this morning!

Banana Chocolate Chip Scones
based on a recipe on the Pamela's website

3 cups Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp butter
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
4 extremely ripe bananas
1/2 of a 10-oz package of Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the baking mix, 1/3 cup sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Beat the egg and milk together, then mash the bananas and add them to the egg and milk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry. Mix together and then add the chocolate chips.

Drop by 1/2 cupfuls on a greased cookie sheet and sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar. Bake for 16 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a scone comes out clean.

Makes 10 scones.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A different Oskri bar

First of all, Old Man Winter is playing with us Midwesterners yet again. Yesterday, 45-50 degrees and rain; today, really windy, cold, and snow. I blow raspberries at you, Old Man Winter!

One of the things I got with my latest FHC/Natural Farms order was a different Oskri bar - this time a granola bar. If you like granola and nuts, you will probably like this. I certainly did. I am checking to see if all of the Oskri bars are both gluten free and lactose free, like this one and the coconut cherry ones I already mentioned.

It's made up of:

Pecans 25%
Rice syrup 22%
Raisins 13%
Pumpkin seeds 12%
Honey 10%
Buckwheat 10%
Amaranth 4%
Crisp rice 4%

Soft, chewy and crunchy all at the same time. I ate 2 of them at work yesterday.