Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Basic GF Flour Mix

America's Test Kitchen's How Can It Be Gluten Free cookbook has basically made me sane again.
The basic flour recipe can be found here.
The bread recipe is here.

I'll admit I am NOT a kitchen goddess. I cook things at home because I can't afford to buy them pre-made. I really don't want to come up with new recipes or be a foodie blogger. I just want to find recipes that WORK and are less work for my lazy ass.

Because of ATK's new cookbook I've stopped desperately trying to find GF bread I like. Hot out of the oven with butter on it it tastes and has the texture of bread. Once it cools I cut it into slices, wrap in parchment paper, put into a freezer bag and freeze the rest. (Note that GF bread is "fresh" for about a day and then it needs to be frozen or made into breading...kind of like french bread.) I take out what I need and defrost it for sandwiches, use the ends to make breading.

The mix has saved me money...though it is still more expensive then making bread with just regular wheat flours.

So far I have made:
White Sandwich Bread (I use a Pullman loaf pan so have extra bread dough which I am working on coming up with a crouton/cracker/flat bread recipe to make with the leftover dough or just spreading it out thin and baking it with the intention of processing it into breading.)
Cupcakes
Shortbread
Biscuits (I would not make them again. Too much trouble and since I make the best damn biscuits in the world with this amazing recipe they are a sad replacement. I'll do without.)
Pasta (though just recipes USING GF pasta and cooking tips. Making pasta itself looks like an incredible pain in the ass.)
Pizza Crust
Pie Dough (this made a basic, delicious flaky crust. Even my non-GF husband said he would eat it again.

I know there are a number of blogs and cooks doing great GF baking, and some may find the cookbook to simplistic (who doesn't realize you can use corn meal and Masa Herina for GF baking options?) and/or not enough recipes, but I've always found the ATK recipes to;
A. work
B. work

Did I mention that they work?
So there ya go.

Here's a crappy food picture for you.







Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lemon Ice Cream Pie with Pecan Crust

Yum.

Mix of a few recipes.
Gluten free.

Crust is from here. (this is a lovely recipe and if you want just make it instead of what I did. My issue was I suck at meringue toppings and did not want to make a lemon curd with eggs)

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted 
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix pecans, sugar, and butter in medium bowl until moistened. Press pecan mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish (mixture will be crumbly). Bake until crust is lightly toasted, about 12 minutes (crust will slip down sides of dish). Use back of spoon to press crust back into place. Cool crust on rack. Freeze crust 30 minutes.

Lemon curd is from here. (Also a wonderful pie. I make it all summer long. Just did not have cream cheese, but did have vanilla ice cream.)

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 2 tsps lemon (grated, rind of)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps butter
You will also need about 3 cups vanilla ice cream softened.

Make crust and freeze.
Make lemon curd and let cool.
Out semi soft ice cream into crust and smooth it out. Slather lemon curd on top of that and freeze until frozen. I made some whip cream (FYI if you add a smidgen of gelatin to it while whipping it will last about 3 days stored in the fridge.) that we ploped onto our pieces of pie before eating.

Pretty easy and very tasty for summer.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Gluten Free

Digestive issues and a wonky liver made me try going Gluten Free.
Sadly it worked.
Sadly? Well yes. I love bread and pasta in all the wrong ways. Plus I didn't want to give up cookies and cakes and bread and pasta.
GF living is expensive and adds extra annoyances to my life.
Why does everything have flour in it? Why can't I find cheap chicken strips breaded in cornmeal instead of flour?
Why the hell does soy sauce have wheat in it?
Arrrrrrggghhhh.

So enough bitching. I'm back. I'll post some of the things I've learned in the past year along with really crappy pictures the food I've made.

One thing I promise not to do is write paragraphs describing how I decided to make a particular item or how it affects my life, existential treatises on gluten-free versus Paleo and any other fucking extra extra words that I can put in just so there's more words in post. It drives me crazy when other food blogs do this and I want to punch them.

 I promise to make sure the recipe is the first thing you see.

Did I mention my pictures will be rubbish?

Also FYI over the past year the best resources I have used are King Arthur Flour recipes, the How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook from America's Test Kitchen, Oh She Glows website and (surprisingly) Paltrow's It's All Good.

In the process I've lost a bit of weight and my liver/intestines are happier.

As always Your Milage May Vary.


RIP Nico, The Evil Goddess Kitty.

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Fat Liver

One ultrasound and 2 blood tests later I have a confession to make.
My liver is fat. 
As in fatty liver, but not because I'm an alcoholic. The wee amount of alcohol I consume would embaress my German and Irish great-great Grandparents who drank and brewed beer their way into the American Dream. 
SURPRISE, but who knew eating shitty, but delicious foods can make your liver fatty which makes your gallbladder hurt which, of course, makes your liver hurt.
Long story short my traitorous liver does not cause me pain if I stear clear of food with gluten in it.
I know.
I've become one of "those" people.
Seriously though I freaked out for a few months, bought a GOOP cookbook (it is actually HELPFUL, don't judge me) and have spent too much money baking and trying gluten free alternatives.
Sigh.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sad Cat

River is a serial killer of boxes.
Nico the Goddess Cat who lives in our house loves boxes 
and she picks a new one every week or so to love.
Today I went out on the deck for about 15 min and came back in to find this:



Went in the bedroom to take a bath and put up the laundry.
When I came back out this is what I found:




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lemon Curd and Fried Pies

If you remember I've already figured out how to make fried pies using The Best Biscuit Recipe Ever, but was disappointed with a lack of lemon pies. I did not want to use the bright yellow lemon goo you find, but was not that interested in trying to find a replacement.
The other day I made THIS pie.
It might be the best lemon pie I've ever made or eaten. 
So good.
The best part was the Lemon Curd that tops it. 
LEMON CURD! I thought.
Perfect filling for my fried pies:

1 1/2 Cup Sugar
6 TBL Cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 C Water
2 Tea Grated Lemon Rind (4ish lemons)
2/3 C Fresh Lemon Juice (4ish lemons)
2 TBL Butter

Mix sugar and cornstarch in sauce pan.
Add water, lemon juice and rind. Bring to boil over med high heat, stirring.
It thickens about boiling point.
Take off heat.
Throw in butter and stir till melted.
Let it cool a few hours or a few days. I left my second batch in the fridge for a few days (w/o a lid, it began to weep with a lid on) with no issues. Follow the directions here to make fired pies using The Best Biscuit Recipe Ever.

Eat.

Summer in your mouth.

New Orleans Pic Spam

So you got 2 blog posts and then I forgot.
Mostly because I was wiped out by the end of the day. Suffice it to say it was a wonderful trip that I will always remember.
New Orleans was a joy.
Everyone we came in contact with were friendly and helpful. The staff at the Best Western Plus French Quarter Landmark Hotel were the best. Our room was comfy and there was a nice courtyard with fountain and pool.







Every meal we had was delicious. Seriously, not a bad one in the bunch.

Stand Outs:
Eat at 900 Dumaine St. was visited twice it was so good. Crawfish Pie, Butterbeans with Shirmp, Fried Green Tomatos and Chochon with Mustard Greens. All equally good.
Tracey's a pub in the Garden District had the best Fried Shrimp Po' Boy of the trip. Also it was just a nice location with outside seating, very laid back. It was the perfect place to eat, have a few beers and talk for two hours with my friend from Baton Rouge.
Meals From the Heart in the French Market though had the dish that has stayed with me. I had the Poached Egg and Crab Cake Passion. Lawd have mercy ya'll! I can't even describe how creamy the poached egg was and how well it melded with the crab cake and remoulade sauce. Even the English Muffin was amazing. I want to go back to NOLA just to eat here.
Also hit Creole Creamery in honor of the Cumberbatch and had a scoop of lavender and honey ice cream. Amazing.




Probably the best trip I've ever had and all because I have the best Mom (and Dad) in the world.









Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day 2 Gulfport

Gulfport.
The ocean!
Or at least the Gulf of Mexico.
Stayed at the Courtyard Hotel.
Very nice hotel. The lobby of course was remodeled after Katrina and is very nicely appointed.
I love a nice hotel.
Had an ocean view.

I should point out that the first meal of the day was a few Kystal burgers.

Second meal was at Half Shell Oyster House. I tried the Oyster Beinville which was totally satisfying. Luckily it was brunch so there was also a nice dink mix of champagne and cranberry juice.

Sadly there are still many signs of Katrina.
Large empty lots along the beach road with huge old trees and old stone and brick foundations interspersed with lovely old Southern homes.

We walked on the beach, watched the silly birds...the waves coming in was relaxing.















Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day One

Today was mostly driving though the Delta. Lots of talking and laughs until we began listening to Cabin Pressure which Mom found amusing.
Saw:
Varner Supermax Prison.
A catfish farm.
Rice silos(?).
Went through a town named Tullulah and I think we drove along part of a canal.
Another town was quite scenic with a long lake that ran along the highway.
Now in a town outside of Jackson MS.
Hotel looked pretty sad from outside but the rooms had all been renovated and we got the bonus of a handicap room.
No idea why we were given it, but the bathroom is huge.
Wifi sucked (I was ridiculous looking walking around the parking lot trying get service...seriously) until I called the tech service (which the manager had provided for the rooms) and got it working properly.I think it is through Comcast.
Yay me!
And thank you tech guy from PnS WiFi.
Beds very comfy.
Time to sleep.
Tomorrow pouring rain, Gulfport, beach (maybe) and, it seems, a casino (never been to one) or two.

Here's the few lame pics I managed to take.







Taking A Trip

My mother and I are on our way to New Orleans today.
This is huge since I have not been on a real trip in years. Mostly because I hate to travel, but if I'm honest I've gotten a bit too attached to my nest. Leaving for too long makes me uncomfortable. So this trip is more then just a "happy 50th birthday" and more of a chance for the old me who used to enjoy new experiences and taking chances to reappear.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fried Pies

This weekend my husband and I went to a burger place with fried pies. They were pretty good (though I think if you are making lemon ones you might want to add some lemon juice and zest to the lemon goo) BUT the pie dough he used was so delicate you could not pick them up without the filling falling out everywhere. This began a discussion with my husband about how his mother always used canned (yuck) biscuits for her fried pies.
Of course this became an issue that I began obsessing over and like most puzzles in my life I figured it out while sitting in the bathtub.
I have no fucking idea why this happens.
Is it the warm steam?
Mostly I sit there bored wondering what Benedict Cumberbatch would look like sitting in the tub across from me.


Maybe like this?

But whatever, I think better in the tub and my solution was to try making fried pies using THE BEST BISCUIT RECIPE EVER and this was, I might say, a success.



My fillings were already made. I had some chocolate pudding I made the other day and a can (I know) of apple pie filling to which I added more sugar, butter, cinnamon and mashed a bit.

Made the biscuit dough, kneaded it with some extra self-rising flour a few times and rolled it into a ball. Covered with cling wrap and put in the fridge for a few hours.
After a couple of hours I turned the deep fryer to 375F and began rolling out circles (about 5 inches).
Wish I could tell you how thick I rolled them out, but I can't, I guess it was a good pie crust thickness.
On one half of circle I added a bit of chocolate or apple mix.
NO I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH you will have to dick around with this and figure out what works best for you.
Now you put a bit of water on a half and fold over so you have a half a circle. Pinch the edges with your fingers THEN crimp with a fork. Make SURE YOU GET THE SIDES or stuff will ooze out while frying.
If the oil (canola is what I have in the fryer YMMV) is ready drop a couple of pies in.
PLEASE DO THIS CAREFULLY.

It seems like I fried 4-5 minutes. Fry on side and then get it to flip over. Basically you are going for bubbly, dark golden, but not brown. Brown is burnt, dark golden is yummy while getting all the dough done in the middle.

Take 'em out, dust with some powdered sugar and please let them cool down a few because they fillings will be like hot lava.



Here is some bonus Cumberbatch.
Yummy man.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Pro-Life is Anti-Women's Health

This is a direct result of Pro-Life, Forced Birthers making it harder and harder for Doctors to choose to be trained to perform abortions. A heartbreaking (and as a woman incredibly chilling) Twitter feed of a Doctor who had to force a teenager to deliver her dead baby because there was no Drs. available who could perform a therapeutic abortion on a dead fetus.

https://twitter.com/DrJaneChi

"At noon, I got a call from my hospital. A teenage prenatal patient of mine was there. 21 weeks along. Bleeding, with pain. I ordered an ultrasound. It turned out there wasn't major bleeding... but her amniotic sac had ruptured. No fluid left at all. 
So, a teenager w/a "late," but not viable, fetus that cannot survive. After rupture, delivery will occur, and/or infection. Think Savita.
2 treatment options: 1, induce labor; 2, operative dilation & evacuation. In other words, an abortion.
No one at my hospital is able to do a D&E. Bc you have to do a bunch to be good, no one can do it who didn't opt in to abortion training."

*I want to stop there. A hospital in an AMERICAN city that has NO ONE who could do a D&E. This is what is wrought by bastards like Rapert and Mayberry. This is the fault of women like Lila Rose.*

"So. I call the nearest academic hospital. They tell me the next time an appropriately trained Dr is available is 4 days away. I call another academic hospital. Same story: most of their docs aren't trained. Only one is, & s/he is only there 2 days a week. So there I am, w/a teenager w/a doomed fetus, crying from grief & pain,& I tell her, there is no doctor who can do your surgery for 4 days. 
So I have to tell her, after that grief & pain, she has to labor & birth a dying fetus. ALL BC NO ONE IS WILLING TO DO ABORTION TRAINING.

So basically the girl was forced to go though labor (and screw you if you think it is no big deal to go though labor to push out a dead baby. Screw you.) and deliver a dead baby. A trauma she would NOT have had to endure if there had been a doctor (in a city with fairly liberal abortion laws) who could perform an abortion. A delivery that put her life at greater risk.

You pro-life forced birth folks out there think it is GREAT there are less and less Doctors who perform abortions, but there is a reason we need them. I bet some of you are even thinking the slut got exactly what she deserved. I am livid. I pray to God that if at my advanced age I end up pregnant that there will be a Doctor in Little Rock who can perform an abortion. 


Friday, February 08, 2013

Cumberbatch Love

Blizzard Memories

Pictures I took over the Ice/Snow Apocalypse that we had in December in honor of those about to sudder under the wrath of....NEMO