Category Archives: SCD

Nougat Ice Cream

Hey there, friends and foes. I know it’s been uber-long since I have posted jack-squat here and I apologize for that. A life-changing illness, some cancer, a change of city, and the death of both of my parents got in the way of keeping my blogging priorities straight. Alas. I’m back, and hopefully for good.

Yes, I have been cooking the past few years. I’ll never not be cooking and dreaming of next meals. My blood is made of French brie and rosé, after all. This ice cream is so easy, you don’t even need an ice cream maker for it. It’s a no-sugar version of Bruce Weinstein’s recipe that appears in The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, which I love.

You could probably make an SCD version of this by using your own homemade yogurt and almond extract, whipping the (warmed) honey into the yogurt, and then processing in an ice cream maker. If you try this, let me know how it turns out.

Nougat Ice Cream (no sugar)

2 egg whites

1/3 c honey (if you love sugar and can’t live without it, you can also use, in addition to the honey, up to a 1/2 c sugar)

1/4 c water

1 1/2 c heavy cream

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 c toasted almonds (or other nuts)

1. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and set aside.

2. Combine the honey (and sugar if you are using) and water in a small, heavy saucepan and heat over low until honey dissolves. Raise the heat to a boil and without stirring, let honey cook for two minutes.

3. Remove the honey from the heat and very slowly drizzle it into the egg whites while beating. You may need some help here, but it is possible to do this solo.

4. Continue beating the mixture for five full minutes until it’s cooled down somewhat. Set aside.

5. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until it’s loosely-thick, then add the almond extract and beat until the cream is fairly thick (Bruce states to the consistency of sour cream).

6. Gently fold the cream and almonds into the meringue mixture.

7. Spatula the mix into a freezer container and freeze overnight.

There are a lot of ways you can go with this master recipe, adding traditional nougat ingredients (dried fruits, pistachios or other nuts) or other flavor combinations (e.g., mint, rose, or other extracts). If you use dried fruits, you might want to soak them in booze first so that they aren’t hard as rocks when you bite into them in the finished product.

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Filed under ice cream, Recipes, SCD

Sparkling Cider Mocktail

The Man and I had a lovely drink at Paley’s Place a few nights ago called a “Cider Lane” that was non-alcoholic by design. I’m not drinking at the moment, due to alcohol napalming my blood vessels. And you know, there just aren’t enough mocktails in the world.

We’ll be bringing this to a NYE party this week where we will also be burning the man. Let me just say I cannot wait to bid adieu to 2014 by lighting something on fire in the street.

Here’s an approximation, our best guess, of the drink we had. We’ll call it a Cider Train instead of a Cider Lane since we actually don’t know what the recipe is for a Cider Lane. You could always add booze to this; I’m thinking vodka, gin, or rum would work well.

Cider Train

3.5 oz sparkling apple cider

.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

.5 tsp orange blossom or rose water (pure eau, no sugar)

dash of ground nutmeg and allspice

thinly sliced apple wedges for garnish

Put all that in a tumbler over ice and stir. Garnish with a few apple wedges.

sparkling cider mocktail

Yummy and festive.

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Filed under Cocktails, holiday recipes, SCD

Mock Mashed Potatoes

The Man and I have been sketching out our Thanksgiving menu. We’ll be having only three second-family friends join us this year, mostly due to my current semi-invalidity. We’re doing an Indian theme, as in, “if Columbus had actually found India, what might Thanksgiving taste like?” To that end, we’ve been conducting some experiments with various potential dishes, such as this one:

Mock Mashed Potatoes, Indian-flavored

1 head of cauliflower

1/2 stick of butter (4 T)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 c coconut milk, yogurt, or some other liquid (my co-op is now selling these in mini 6-packs, which does not come in a can–nickel allergy–and says it has no preservatives; and of course you could make your own)

ground black pepper

  1. Chop up the cauliflower and steam it until very soft.
  2. When it’s cool enough to handle but still warm, put the cauliflower and all of the other ingredients into a food processor and pulse or blend until you get the consistency you like.

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Filed under holiday recipes, SCD, Thanksgiving

Winter Slaw

This is a nice little salad that’s refreshing in the depths of winter. It’s great with crab, and beef and pork roasts because it’s so light and sparkly against those flavors.

Winter Slaw

1 cup thinly sliced cabbage

1/2 of a Pink Lady apple, finely sliced

1/4 c walnuts, toasted

1 T coconut flakes, toasted

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Winter Slaw

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Filed under pork, pork roast, Recipes, salad, SCD

SCD Pumpkin Pie

Several years ago, my dad got into roasting his own pumpkins and convinced me that canned pumpkin was a poor imposter of the real stuff. Personally, I think it’s just a heck of a lot easier to peel open a can and go, but now that I’m SCD All The Time, I take the long road. It really does taste better than canned, I’ll give my dad that. It’s way more dense and the flavor is more complex.

Be warned that this is very rich. Hog that I so proudly am, even I can only handle a slice at a time. Plus, I serve it with whipped French cream. I made this for Halloween, but it would also work well for Thanksgiving, of course.

Crustless SCD Pumpkin Pie

2 c roasted and pureed pumpkin (to do this, peel, de-seed, and 1-inch-cube a pie pumpkin, roasting the pieces in the oven at 350F for an hour or two until very soft, then puree in your food processor)

1/2 c French cream (probably dripped SCD yogurt would also work)

1/2 c honey

3 eggs

1 T coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp dried ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Butter a 9″ glass pie dish.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients into another bowl.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the wets bowl using a whisk, and then pour it all into the baking dish.
  6. Bake for 55 minutes, watching near the end to make sure the sides aren’t browning too much. If so, cover them with foil.
  7. Serve with French cream whipped with a little honey.

Here it is just coming out of the oven:

And here it is served with whipped French cream:

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Filed under dessert, gluten-free, halloween, holiday recipes, pumpkin, Recipes, SCD, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Quince Liqueur

It’s my favorite time of year: quince time! I’m starting with about 25 lbs this year. Should be enough to make everything on my list:

  • Jelly
  • Vinegar
  • Liqueur
  • Poached
  • Stuffing for Thanksgiving

A friend of mine has a speakeasy party every December where many attendees bring their homemade hooches to share. I always bring quince, but this will be the first year I’m trying an SCD-legal version. Here’s the recipe I’m using:

SCD Quince Liqueur

4 c or 750 ml vodka

2/3 c water

1 1/2 c honey

2 medium-sized quinces, grated

  1. Combine the water and honey in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Boil for five minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the vodka into a large jar.
  3. When the honey-water mixture is ready, strain it into the vodka jar. Straining it will remove any foam. Set the jar aside.
  4. Wash and dry the quince to remove their fuzz.
  5. Quarter and grate them, and add to the jar. Should look something like this:
    Quince liqueur in a jar
  6. Shake it well to combine everything.
  7. Shake it once or twice a day for a week, then put in a cupboard (cool, dark place) for a few weeks, shaking it once a week. Should be ready by Thanksgiving.

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Filed under liqueurs, quince, Recipes, SCD, Uncategorized

SCD Progress

I was reading an old post about my progress with SCD and happy to see how far I’ve come (that post is under “November 2010” on My Health Project page). I’ve been on SCD about 9 months now and I’m doing much, much better. This time last year I was unable to leave the house due to my allergies–my face would swell up and my eyes would practically bleed just walking from the front door to the car. My rash was out of control and my digestion issues were raging. Seriously, it was bad. After ignoring everything as long as humanly possible, I got back on the SCD. For those interested in the gory details, read My Health Project page.

So, anyway, it’s nice to see some progress. And not just a little, but a LOT. I’m having a fantastic summer! I’m able to go outside, work in my yard, ride my bike, and generally be normal, which is spectacular. My allergies are way better and very manageable. The rash is under control with just a few problem spots that I continue to work on. My current regimen consists of SCD, acupuncture and Chinese herbs, yoga/meditation, and exercising (bike commuting). My digestion is normal now (meaning that it actually works).

From January through June I cut out fruit and honey and I think that really helped kill off some resistant gut bugs that were causing a lot of heartburn. I’m doing a lot better with that. I’ve started adding back some fruit and honey, and so far, the heartburn only gets me when I’ve clearly eaten something that even a normie would find problematic, like tomatoes or onions. I also notice that if I eat too richly or overeat, I get heartburn. So, apparently, I just have a tendency to get heartburn that I need to be mindful of. No problem.

I continue to only be able to eat a little of the SCD yogurt. If I eat too much, my digestion stops working. For whatever reasons, aged cheese is perfectly fine, but the yogurt must be enjoyed in moderation. I’m hoping this changes someday and I’ll be able to eat loads of it, because it’s one of my very things about SCD actually, especially with SCD jelly whipped into it. Yummers.

Anyway, that’s how I’m doing today. I’ll put this into My Health Project page when I post next because I like having these progress reports for posterity.

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Filed under progress, SCD

Pork Belly, Mon Amour

The Man is a devotee of Lardo, one of the best food carts in Portland. They were so very generous in sharing their technique with The Man because he wanted to make me an SCD version of their amazing pork belly (they use sugar, The Man uses honey). Thank you, Lardo! This dish has been one of the highlights of the past 40 years of my life, and what I want to be embalmed in after I die.

Roasted Pork Belly

  1. We’ve been getting ~2.5-lb pork bellies, so this recipe is for that range.
  2. Trim off the skin by running your sharp knife between the skin and the fat, pulling away the skin as you slice through.
  3. Score the fat side you just exposed in both directions about 1″ apart.
  4. Rub the belly all over with 1 T of honey and 1 T of salt for every pound of belly. For example (for the math-o-phobes, ahem), if you have a 2.5-lb pork belly, put on 2.5 T of honey and 2.5 T of salt. Wrap it up and put it in the fridge overnight.
  5. Preheat your oven to 450F.
  6. Unwrap the belly and place it fat side up in a roasting pan.
  7. Put the pan in the oven and roast the belly at 450F for an hour. At 45 mins., you’ll likely need to lightly cover with foil to prevent the top from burning (it will be fairly dark by this point).
  8. After an hour at 450F, reduce the heat to 250F and roast for another 30 mins.
  9. Eat warm or cold. We like it sliced in 1/4″ lengths. Even better cubed and fried in pork fat and butter.
roasted pork belly in a pan

Why yes, I have licked the pan.

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Filed under gluten-free, pork, pork belly, Recipes, SCD

Sorrel Soup and The Pleasures of Aging

What I’ve realized this week is that it’s kind of awesome getting old. Two examples:

  • I read back through some of my creative writing work from 1997. At the time, I had been writing pretty seriously for a few years and I was definitely very committed to writing and improving. So, the pieces I reviewed were not my very first attempts at writing. What I discovered was that while the writing was fine, it was very much a beginner’s effort, of someone still learning how to write well. In other words, 15+ years into my writing career, such as it is, I can now do way better. It was so lovely to see how far I’ve come. Yea!
  • Next is that I gave someone a recipe this morning for sorrel soup that I realize now was pretty vague. But this is how I’m cooking these days. I followed recipes from roughly ages 20-35. But for the past few years, I’ve gotten a lot better at whipping up something from whatever I have around, based on my understanding of how things taste and what goes with what. Essentially, I learned how to cook by following recipes, and now I am reaping the rewards of that learning in the form of being able to cook without recipes. What a milestone!

I’ve always been one for the long haul. I feel like I never truly know something unless I’ve been doing it for a very long time. It’s nice to feel like I have been doing a few things for a long time and I now have some chops to show for it. If this is what it’s like to be 40, I’ll take more!

On a related note, I find that I gravitate towards cookbooks that try to teach you how to cook instead of just giving you recipes to follow. Good examples include Sally Schneider’s books and Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. All of those books are framed on the principle of “master recipes” from which you then make other things (Schneider calls this improvising). This approach/philosophy really works for me. And, of course, with SCD, I have to be really flexible and creative with modifying recipes anyway.

Oh, and another thing. I came home from work one day this week and I’d had a really rough day, at the end of which, I basically obliterated everything I’d worked on all day and was not sure I could get it back. I had to leave work late not knowing if I’d be able to recover all my work the next day. When I got home, I started making chicken curry for dinner. Somewhere in the middle of making it, I realized how profoundly grateful I am that I enjoy cooking. I find it relaxing and engaging, like meditating, and I know that so many people just don’t. For them, it’s a big, boring chore–like doing the laundry or mowing the lawn–and there is no pleasure in the act of cooking. I am so grateful that I do love it, especially given that I’m eating SCD, which is fairly challenging. I really feel for the people that come to SCD with no cooking skills and no interest in cooking. What a tough mountain to climb.

So, here’s that sorrel soup recipe, for what it’s worth.

Etudes des Sorrel Soup

4 cups of chicken stock

4-6 cups of fresh sorrel

nutmeg

ground white pepper

salt

cream of your choice (optional)

Basically, I bring the stock to a simmer and then add the sorrel. Simmer for 15-20 mins or so. Then run this through the blender and add a few shavings of nutmeg, ground white pepper, and salt to taste, and optionally, a cream of your choice (like almond or coconut milk).

Variations include sauteeing some leeks beforehand and then adding the stock to that and going from there. Or caramelizing some onions first and going from there. You get the idea.

And now, back to my coq au vin simmering away on the stovetop and my firm belief that any dish that starts with frying bacon in butter is going to be good.

Sorrel is one of the things that grows really well in Portland, almost too well. I separated my sorrel-jungle in February, and here it is now trying to take over again.

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Filed under Gardening, gluten-free, Recipes, SCD, sorrel, soup

SCD Cheesy Snack

This is one of those too-easy recipes The Man dreamed up. Basically, take all the various cheeses you have in your fridge:

Cheese wedges on a cutting board

Any given day from our cheese drawer...

Peel off slices and arrange them on a plate. Shake your favorite spices on top. I like chives, paprika, and salt and pepper.

cheese slices with spices on top

Add heat and make delicious.

Cook in the microwave for 90 seconds, or until you see a lot of bubbles on the surface of the cheese puddle. Remove from the microwave and serve as-is or peel off and serve some other way. Here they are almost all gone:

Bachelor cheese snack. Dangerous.

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Filed under cheese, crackers, SCD