I know I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, and for that, my apologies. But know that I have been thinking a lot about this blog. And not only about this blog, but about life, living, writing, cooking, and blogging. My brain has been working overtime, for sure. Not to mention my current addiction to all things Olympic (in fact, I have to keep this short! Men’s figure skating starts in a few minutes and I HAVE TO SEE Johnny Weir’s costume!)
I’ve been contemplating my blog super-mucho these days: What is a blog? What is this blog? Who reads this blog? Etc. Is it the easiest way for my family and friends to see what The Man, Pickle, and I are up to? Is it my own personal cookbook? Is it a journal of one woman and her experiences living, eating, and cooking with celiac disease? Is it all of these things? And why do I need to get so existential about it? Why not just blog and leave it at that? Hmmm, not sure. Maybe because I’m introspective by nature. I’ve always been motivated by a desire to know.
It bugs me that I don’t post more often. But truth be told, I have a full-time job, a second part-time job as a fiction writer, a spouse, a dog-child, a house, and a volunteer gig that I love. Oh yeah, and friends. Honestly, I often just can’t find the time to blog my recipes. Hey Time!!!! Where are you??? I look at the blogs of other gals who cook and I’m just blown away by their output. They are prolific! HOW do they do it?!
Ah, well. I’ll try to post a cake recipe this weekend that I’m loving. Here’s to hoping!
We made an awesome breakfast this morning and that got me to thinking that there aren’t many fancy breakfast occasions. The only ones I can think of are Christmas and New Year’s, and maybe Easter. I think we need more because there are so many fab things to make for breakfast.
Our New's Year's Day Breaky-poo
The Man got a waffle maker for Christmas this year from my dad. We busted it out this morning for its maiden voyage.
Gluten-free waffle in situ
I was going to refer you over to Oster’s site for the recipe, but since they do such a poor job explaining how to actually make this recipe (one assumed, incorrectly, that was the whole point of recipes), I am printing it in its entirety here. They can sue or thank me. I modified this for gluten-freedom and some other finer points learned by doing.
Light N’ Crisp Gluten-free Waffles
2 egg yolks
2 cups milk
2 cups Bob’s all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs whites, stiffly beaten
Makes five full-sized waffles.
Preheat the waffle maker to the highest setting. Put all ingredients, except egg whites, in a large mixing blowl. Beat on low until moistened. Increase to medium, mix until smooth. By hand, gently fold in beaten egg whites. Pour 3/4 cup batter over the hot waffle grid. Close the waffle maker and bake for 12 minutes.
You can freeze these apparently, too. I’m going to try that since these made quite a bit.
Why do perfect food items such as this make me so very happy?
Travel Oregon put together a really awesome Oregon-themed cookbook that highlights autumn ingredients. The recipes are gathered from restaurants around Oregon. What a great idea. Methinks I’ll be printing this out and trying a bunch of stuff, including the crazy-but-very-right-sounding Juniper Granita. Between this cookbook and the Bon Appetit Thanksgiving planner, I think I’ll be set for My Big Fat Turkey Thursday (mostly vegan).
At work the other day, a fellow food lover brought in his brick pizza oven. Only it wasn’t like any pizza oven I’ve ever seen before. It was a do-it-yourself brick pizza oven made out of an old barbecue grill. I think a picture here will be helpful (more pics available in the Flickr feed – click on the sidebar widget):
Do It Yourself Portable Brick Pizza Oven
Basically, he took an old barbecue grill and outfitted it with a little metal shelf on which to place the bricks. The shelf gets the bricks up and away from the gas element in the bottom of the grill pan. Then he also put two more bricks on the upper warming tray of the grill.
This thing was totally awesome. It combined my nerdy technical side with my love-to-eat side. Yea!
Look, Look, LOOK at this!!!
Went to a garden party, sat around with my old friends...
It’s my first garden salad of the year! By that I mean that I grew everything in this bowl. Well, I didn’t grow it, I put the seeds in the ground and they grew themselves, like great little children. And now, I must eat them!
What we have here are: spinach, rouge d’hiver, salad bowl, Australian yellow, crinkly cress (man that stuff is spicy) rocket, flat leaf parsley, marjoram, and some other stuff. I tossed all of this in a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. It’s so fresh it’s still bleeding, so what more could it need?
I’m really, really pleased about this because this year I gave up on anything remotely fancy for my garden (ix-nay on the ucchini-zay, eets-bay, etc.) and just gave the garden what it most likes to grow, and that is LETTUCE. Et voila, gardening success! Finally!
When I was a kid, my parents would often take my older sisters, brother, and I back to their small hometown in California’s Central Valley. Think cotton fields, dust, unbelievable heat, drive-in movie theaters, strawberry soda, and the smell of alfalfa everywhere. One of my uncles, whom I’ll call Floyd Owens, was a real character. Think bolo tie, cowboy boots and hat, thin lips, Texas accent, and a major leg-puller of small, gullible children. He used to call me “Melon-eye”, which now sounds to me like an exotic Hawaiian cocktail, but at the time was one of those mildly annoying things about Uncle Floyd (when you’re twelve, “Melon-eye” just doesn’t sound cool somehow).
As I mentioned in my last post, my market had a sale on galia melons. I got to thinking about aguas frescas and how much I love them. Then the Craving started, and I knew it would have to be satisfied. Hence, I bring you, The Melon-Eye. Improvise as you wish. Methinks it cries out for vodka, but you probably have better ideas (which you naturally should let me know about).
- Select a galia melon. I typically push in the bottom gently with my thumb and smell it. If it smells like melon and my thumb can push in just a bit, it’s ripe.
- Cut up the melon, discarding the seeds and peel.
- Place the melon pieces into a blender or food processor, pulsing until blended.
- Strain through a colander or sieve.
- Add agave syrup to taste. I use 1-2 T per glass.
- Add ice and serve.
Like I said, this just screams cocktail! and next time I make it, I’ll probably add some vodka and maybe a sugar or salted rim. I mean, it is summer after all, and one must make the most of it.
My apologies for taking so long to post once again. I got busy with moving NS and getting the chicken feet. The feet handoff went very smoothly and included freshly picked strawberries and a jalapeno plant from my sister’s garden. The strawberries were spectacular and may have inspired me to actually try planting some myself next year (however, not holding my breath as my garden intentions always outdo my garden realities).
Oxtails had been on my mind due to my recent economical meats kick. I saw them on a local menu a few weeks back as something like “braised oxtails with orange” and knew that was the next thing I’d tackle.
They’re pretty cheap, though not as cheap as I thought they would be. I got three-ish pounds for $18. Not exactly the price of pigs’ feet, but this dish made it plenty worth it.
I first looked at this recipe to get an idea of what to do, and then went off-roading from there.
3 lbs oxtails
5 T butter
1 c red wine
2 T bacon fat (optional)
1/4 c orange juice
2 t drained bottled green peppercorns
4 cloves, ground
2 t salt
- Melt 3 T butter in a dutch oven. Add 1 c red wine and the oxtails. Cover and roast in the oven for 3.5 hours at 300F.
- Remove from the oven and try not to eat them all because they are super delish at this stage. Remember, you’re going all the way and making pate.
- Let cool a bit and then remove the bones using your fingers. It’s much harder to do with a knife and you risk losing a finger. Bad times.
Meat separated from bones
- Saute the chopped onion until golden in some leftover bacon fat that you have lying around, or 2 T of butter.
- Add to the bowl of your food processor: oxtail meat, sauteed onion, orange juice, peppercorns, cloves, and salt. Pulse until fairly well minced but not to the point of a fine grind.
- Pack into a loaf pan and refrigerate overnight or until well set.
- Loosen the sides by running a spatula around the edges and plop out onto a serving platter. Serve at room temp with some seriously good crackers. This makes enough for two people to last a week and is plenty for a dinner party.
The Man’s comment on this pate was that it was good enough to serve to “normal” people and was actually quite yummy. I thought of it more as a great holiday dish that I won’t have to make excuses for (i.e., “This is my allergy-friendly dish that only I will find tasty.”)
Please take me to a dinner party so I can make people happy!
It’s not every day that oldest my sister texts me with this message: “Do you like chicken feet?” Hmmm. Where could this question possibly be leading? I text back: “Maybe?”
Her text: “We are slaughtering chickens today. Do you want the feet?”
My text, following a mad Web scramble for chicken feet recipes: “Sure!”
So now we are on our way to San Francisco to move a friend to Portland. On the way back, we’ll rendezvous with my sister in Redding to get the chicken feet. Good times!